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Sweat Test, Not So Easy

January 7, 2012 by Michelle

Ok, so this post is about the sweat test, which we did to rule out cystic fibrosis, but I’ll start with something light from our visit.

Just before the test, I took Bunny to the family restroom to change her. It’s a nice restroom with an adult height toilet, a kid height toilet, & a changing table. After I change her, I put her down on the ground so I can throw out her diaper. In about 3 seconds, the following happens:

Bunny dunks her hand in the kid toilet. I hear the splash and say, “No!” quickly pick up and throw her sippy cup (instead of diaper) in the trash. Reach in to get it back and turn around again to her splashing saying, “water!”

It was almost a nice, funny little moment before we started in on an hour-long test.

Sweat Test Procedure, 20 Minutes of Screaming

Once we washed hands after the toilet incident, it was time to get started.

While the test shouldn’t be a painful one, the first 20 minutes or so was miserable. The test was in a similar room to where they draw blood, so the crying started when the technician started wiping her arms clean with water.

After cleaning, the technician placed two metal plates, with a piece of gauze in a solution to encourage sweat underneath, on her arm. Then she attached electrodes to each one and turned on a light current (which can cause a tingling sensation) for 5 minutes. I got to hold her and the free arm down, the technician held the arm getting stimulated.

This is when the technician brought out the iPad. While a cool concept, (they have a few kids apps loaded up and it’s wrapped in plastic to clean between kids) bunny wasn’t interested. We got a few seconds distraction at one point, but it was pretty much red face screaming, crying, and drooling.

After 5 minutes of stimulation, she removed everything and taped a special sheet to her arm to absorb the sweat. The technician then wrapped the arm in a blanket.

Then, it was time for arm two.

Waiting for Sweat

We left the room, two arms wrapped, and instructions to wait for 30 minutes. I quickly found a place to sit and nurse. Thank goodness for still nursing, cause no saying how long it would have taken to calm her down otherwise.

After that, we managed to relax and I even got some smiles out of her. 🙂 Here’s a photo from our wait with the giant armbands. She’s looking out into the open lobby area at CHOP.


When it was time, the technician came out to get us. Bunny was walking in her direction, saw her, and turned around. Smart kid.

Anyway, the technician said it looked like we got enough, so hopefully we’ll get a conclusive result this time. Hopefully results come Monday.

Update Jan. 14, 2011:

Test results came back normal, not inconclusive, normal. No cystic fibrosis. Phew.


  1. Kelly says:

    I think I would have DIED if Nathan stuck his hands in a public toilet! I’ve never put him down close enough to one, and now I’ll be sure I never will! LOL

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