5 May 2008
Night before the endoscopy
I was told that I need to starve from food and water from 12 am last night for the endoscopy.
So, we had a pig-out session. Or Mother’s Day celebration. Or belated birthday dinner. We had a lot to eat and laugh about. The boy didn’t eat much but he sure enjoyed himself, esp to the nice music…too bad his cousins didn’t join us.
The glutton I am, I thought I’d *starve* – just before the stroke of midnight, I drank a mug of soy protein and my last glass of water.
I woke up the next morning feeling quite normal. I’m such a drama queen 🙂 Then, we drove to the hospital and arrived bright and early.
Following the nurse, I was brought into a whole new world behind the reception. Wow! There was a mini ward of about 5 hospital beds behind it…
I was given a hotel-looking robe to put on and asked to lie on one of the beds. After taking my blood pressure, the nurse announced that she’s going to insert an IV tube (branula? I can’t find the spelling for this device) for the sedative. I asked if I could say a prayer first and she agreed.
I decided to draw on my father’s strength because he was very calm and strong in the hospital.
I also thought of my boy’s face this morning when I kissed him goodbye. With that, I took a deep breath and let the nurse get on with it.
Good news – the IV needle went in without too much pain. Bad news – my vein refused to co-operate by flowing blood.
Rats! Just when I decide to be brave about it, this has to happen.
Okay, I took another deep breath and let her do the right hand. She did a good job and I told her so. After all, nurses probably hear more groans, grunts and grumbles than anyone else!
We had a little chit-chat and I found out that my medical records categorized me as a different race! I need to correct this later.
I was then wheeled into the procedure room and was pleased to see that this is a progressive facility – the ceiling had a pleasant scenery. If you’ve never been admitted into a hospital, you’d never understand the fear and frustration of staring at white walls and ceiling.
(If a hospital renovates itself with nice wallpaper and ceiling scenery, please shut up about ‘mismanagement of funds’ – hospitals are working very hard to drop that ‘cold and clinical’ image.
Do you know this is why many old people (and others) have a phobia about hospitals? They think of it as a place to die, not to heal.)
Another nurse came in with a baby syringe – similar to the one the boy get for medicine. She said it’s to expel gas from my body. Great, I was going on a fart fest 🙂
She then explained the lidocain spray, which numbs my throat, making it less sensitive to the invasive probe of the endoscope.
She warned that it’ll be bitter, hot and spicy. I was told NOT to swallow when she sprayed and to listen to her instructions when to swallow – or I’ll start coughing and keep on doing it.
I was a good girl and held my swallowing reflex. It was bitter, hot and spicy but not as bad as I’d imagine. I must be getting good at this because my last hospital stay (delivering the boy) was a sheer nightmare!
My throat felt numb but it’s OK.
The first nurse came in and placed a paper sheet on the left side of my face to soak up saliva and then instructed me to lie on my side. Thanks to years of yoga, I knew how to position myself comfortably on my side.
Just before that, I asked her if she was a Christian. She said yes and I asked if she would just say a little prayer for me. Thankfully, she agreed and she asked for God’s blessing over me and over the doctor. I felt much better.
She then inserted an oxygen tube inside one nostril and told me I was ready to start.
During the procedure, my head may be bent slightly to let the saliva drip to prevent from choking myself – some patients can still hear and follow instructions under sedation. She told me if I could, I should try to follow as ordered. Ok, I’ll do my best.
Then, she injected 4 ampoules (I think) Midazolam 5 mg. Interestingly, this sedative is a type of date rape drug and also given to death row inmates in the US before execution. It is also NOT to be used by pregnant women.
If I felt sleepy, I was asked to give in to the sleepiness. She also shared the good news that my sister changed her mind about sitting out and will come in to watch the procedure 🙂
By then, I was quite proud of myself but haha, she told me to relax because my BP was going above 100! I was surprised to hear this because I FELT calm.
(Also, as I don’t drink or smoke, I’d feel the effects of the sedative quite quickly. Did you know that these two substances will slow down the effects of sedatives? Or you may even need stronger types? Another good reason NOT to do either.)
The doctor then came in and said he’s ready to start. He gave me the consent form to sign and that’s all I can remember at about 8.15 am.
I woke up outside the hospital bed and felt like I’d woken from a nap. An old uncle was snoring loudly beside me. When the nurse came, she told me it’s about 9.30 am – wow, I didn’t know I’d slept for an hour!
She slowly helped me up and I didn’t feel dizzy. Then, I stepped down and was given a mug of Milo and some digestive biscuits. My sister came in and told me that she’d dozed off in the waiting room.
She said that the procedure only took 4-5 minutes and I only moved slightly as they inserted the probe. She’s one BRAVE woman because I don’t think I’d be able to stand and witness such an event.
I’m blown off my feet by the sedative because I did not:
- hear her talking to me
- hear the doctor talking to me
- recollect anything about the insertion or removal of the endoscope
It helped a lot to ease the trauma of such a procedure but it’s scary to think of the danger it could cause if this drug fell into the wrong hands.
Also, imagine what people can do to you in the operating/procedure room because you are completely HELPLESS.
God bless my sister for being with me!
Esophagus, stomach or duodenum
Guess what? There’s NOTHING wrong with my oesophagus, stomach or duodenum! I’ve got the shiniest, smoothest tract and so, am placed in the group of “non-ulcer dyspepsia”.
While the doctor assured me that all the signs and symptoms I feel are real, he said that it’s difficult to treat since there’s nothing wrong.
The conclusion? It’s probably due to stress. I’m given 2 types of drugs to take for a month and…he may prescribe anti-depressants if they don’t help!
Thank you for assuring me that I’m not crazy but then, you’re just going to make sure I’m not by prescribing me something?
I’ve also been given a long list of things to avoid:
- caffeine – tea/coffee
- fatty/fried foods
- oily foods
- carbonated drinks
- fast foods
- spicy foods
- citrus fruits
- brussels sprouts
- beans – including soyabean and its by-products
Wah-lau! What else is there left to eat??? He said, “Oh, there are still lots of things.” Hmm…as I’m as fussy an eater as my son, it’s going to be tough.
The best news is that I can go back to my favourite dairy products (milk, CHEESE, yoghurt etc) as he doesn’t think I’m lactose intolerant.
Jeez…here’s the tough part: the doc says I should go back to dairy and drop the beans. The natural therapy books recommend soy. Who is right?