Thursday, October 1, 2009

~If I explore the heavens, or if I search inside, well, it really doesn't matter as long as I can tell myself, i've always tried~

The upper GI endoscopy is over and I can add that to the list of procedures I've experienced now.

After filling out consent forms in admittance at Met Hospital, my parents and I walked through a maze trying to find the endoscopy area. Even with the arrows on the wall, it was still a challenge because if you don't keep your eyes peeled for every bit of signage, you might walk past or go to a completely different location.

Finally we arrived with plenty of time to spare. There were about 10 chairs all lined up against the wall so I was the meat in this equation, while my mom and dad were the slices of bread. The receptionist was so friendly and I had to fill out another set of forms, mainly patient history and then she asked me the routine questions of when was the last time I ate or drank anything, do I have a fever or cough, etc.

Everyone's head seemed to turn simultaneously with the automatic doors opening each time to the day surgery recovery room. Anytime that someone walked out, you couldn't help but think hmm... did they just have a colonoscopy? or endoscopy? You get nosy after a while but it makes the time go by faster.

When the nurse called my name, I gave my mom a hug and my dad walked up with me to ask if he or my mom could wait inside. They had a rule that due to the other patient's waking up from sedation and even needing further rest, no one else was allowed in that area. So I gave my dad a big hug and I could feel myself just getting really emotional. The nurse took my hand and said that everything would be okay and so I took a deep breath and followed her inside as the doors closed behind us.

After undressing, the nurse helped me into bed and got me a warm blanket since once again it was freezing in there. Before starting an iv, she said " have such tiny veins!" in which my reply was "ya, they usually use a butterfly needle on me." Unfortunately they didn't have any so she was concerned that the needle may fall out, so 5 rolls of tape later, and there was no way that sucker would get out. A lot of the time, they have no problems with the iv and finding a good vein, but for some reason this nurse did. Unfortunately, I knew after all her probing, I would be looking like a heroin addict later. I think this was the most upbeat staff i've come across in a while though.

Everyone was smiling and working like a well-oiled machine. The only scary part was being thought of as a colonoscopy patient. I got asked that two times and I thought to myself, oh I hope they realize I am wearing pants! That was the main difference, endoscopy patients take everything off just from the waist up, while colonoscopy patients need to remove all clothing. They even had a little diagram on the wall showing two drawings of a person with their pants on and pants off.

Soon enough it was time to wheel me into another room. The specialist was still on lunch so I was just going to be prepped for the scope until he came back. I didn't have my glasses on and I was dozy from the meds now in me, so the room looked a little blurry. The assistant was really comforting and said I looked frightened so she went to get me another warm blanket which stopped me from shivering and then proceeded to tell me exactly what was going to happen in a few minutes.

So first she took my blood pressure and attached me to a heart monitor. After that, she numbed my mouth with this terribly bitter anesthetic spray. Not once, but twice just to make sure it was completely numb. Then I got the "aww you have such a little mouth!" Then she wrapped around a mouth guard just to protect my teeth during the procedure. It looked similar to a latex bdsm ball gag, the only difference was that where the ball would be, this one had a full opening and I was biting down on plastic. Then the oxygen tubes in my nose, which was really uncomfortable, but I do have to breathe, so that's a good thing. After that, she pulled down the scope (it looked like a long black hose with a camera on the end) and showed me how that would be inserted in me and I would have to swallow a few times to get the scope all the way down.

The procedure itself would take about 10 minutes maybe more depending on what they needed to do, and then I would have about an hour or so in recovery.

After she finished telling me about the procedure, she told me to roll completely onto my left side and would see if the doctor was back from lunch. There was complete silence except for the beep---beep---beep of my heart. I tried to relax as much as possible because I knew if I was tense that could complicate things. The doctor came in and took one look into my eyes and gave my hand a squeeze and said everything would be okay. He then proceeded to tell the assistant "we will definitely be giving her 5" so I was think that meant the level of sedation or something similar. The last thing I saw was the black scope coming down on me and before I realized I needed to say "hey remember I'm wearing pants!" I was out like a light.

I woke up later completely disoriented. I didn’t realize the scope was done and when the nurse saw me open my eyes, she told me it was all over with. Here I thought we were just getting started. I couldn't remember anything, which was probably a blessing. I looked down and realized my jeans were still intact so whew... no wrong procedure done.

I got dressed and the nurse said that everything went well overall and confirmed with myself and parents that we were seeing the doctor on Oct 22nd for full results.

Now I was the patient walking through those big automatic doors and getting a glimpse of the other side...endoscopy or colonoscopy?