It's gastroscopy time!

Added on 30 Mar, 2007 . There are .

My long awaited appointment for a gastroscopy has arrived. Basically as I understand it, they sedate me, then poke a tube with a light and camera down my throat into my stomach and have a good look around. At that time they also will take a biopsy for coeliac disease.

Hmmmmmmmm... this sounds like fun... not!

Having once bitten my dentist, not on purpose I might add, but as a reflex action when he accidentally touched too far back in my mouth, I'm not real keen on having a length of plastic tube poked down my throat.

So this morning when I woke up I wasn't exactly unstressed. And I was so thirsty. Normally I don't really suffer from thirst, which of course is a bad thing, because unless I consciously make myself drink water continuously throughout the day I dehydrate. I have a little pile of coins, each time I drink a full glass of water, or anything else, I shift a coin from one pile to the other.

But because my brain knew it couldn't drink water or eat after midnight, I woke up gasping for a drink, and so hungry I could have chewed off a finger.

At least with an 8am appointment, I wouldn't be food and water-less for too long. So arriving at the hospital I was pretty soon taken through the paperwork and then into the Gastrointestinal unit to get ready. My husband wasn't allowed to come in, so off he went looking for a coffee and snack fix, after being told to come back for me at 10am.

Hospital gowns really aren't the most stylish of things, they are usually thin, short and just plain nasty. However my gown was a nice surprise. Thick, new looking, and long, plus it had all it's modesty ties still on the back.

After disrobing, although I was allowed to keep my underwear on, I got into a comfy bed, though a bit on the short side, and was immediately pounced on by a nurse on my left taking details, asking health questions etc, and a nurse on my right putting an IV into my right hand for a drip and the sedation.

Now I was getting really worried. You just know that when they say "just a little prick" it's going to feel like they're putting a milkshake drinking straw into your vein. Then the blood pressure check. Now my family doctor says I have the worst case of white coat syndrome she's seen, and hence gets me to check and record my blood pressure at home between visits. My blood pressure in normal circumstances is usually under 120/80, in fact well under a lot of the time. But today my blood pressure was 145/95. Okay, so I'm a little stressed right?

After that was done the consultant came for a chat, and loads more questions. For example, why was I having problems with wheat, what symptoms were they, how had they changed, if at all, over the last 9 years, etc etc.

My blood test results taken a few days earlier showed no sign of coeliac disease. However that's not a foolproof diagnosis, because according to the consultant, if a person has been avoiding gluten for any period of time because of problems before the blood test, then the blood test won't detect any. So I repeat, if you suspect you have a problem with wheat or gluten and your doctor sends you for the blood tests, tell them you haven't eaten gluten for x amount of time first, because the blood test won't show any problems if your body has been gluten free for a time anyway.

Off went the consultant saying that I was the first up for the day, so he'd see me in a few minutes.

Then the moment I'd been dreading, the nurse arrived and wheeled me away, into a cosy little room filled with screens and other stuff. After signing the second part of the consent form, the consultant did a bit of stethascope listening, then a bit of abdominal prodding and poking. Boy do I wish I'd lost those few too many pounds of belly fat that I'm carrying now.

Then the nurse put a hard plastic thing in my mouth and said it was to stop me damaging my teeth. All I could think was, if I bite this hard green thing forcing my mouth open I'm going to damage them anyway.

I watched her put two syringes of something in my IV, then she tighted a large green elastic band around the back of my head so I couldn't spit the green thing out. I watched her put a third syringe of something into my IV...