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led astray

January 2013

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led astray

medical ick

Yesterday, after not eating for over 12 hours on the orders of the hospital, I went in for an upper endoscopy.  Don't know what thet is boys and girls?  Let me explain.  It's when a doctor sticks a long, wide tube all the way down your throat into your stomach so he/she can take a look.  Sound painful?  It probably was.  But I was happily sedated for most of it, with Percaset, Oxygen, and some amnesia drug I forgot the name of. (I woke up in the healer's guild with an hour missing from my memory!)  I do remember a couple flashes of trying to swallow, being completely unable, and being told I was doing fine.  I imagine that when this happened, they gave me more drugs to calm me back down, as I imagine trying to swallow with several inces thick of tubing down my esophagus caused me to panic some.  It also probably caused some of the swollen hurting that my throat and chest currently feel.

They gave me a piece of paper before I left, after making sure that I could stand and that I had a ride home.  On the piece of paper were followup instructions and a number to call if any of the following happened, blah, blah.  I skimmed it, as the percaset allowed for little more.  Then, having not eaten for so long, I thought I would treat myself.  So Tammi and I got chinese food and sat down to watch some Babylon 5.  I got about 3 bites into my food and felt woozy, so I went upstairs to lay down.  When I got there, I discovered it was more about vomiting than laying down, so I hurried off to the bathroom to do just that.  I thought it might have been the meds.  But lo, there in the toilet before me, amidst chunks of sesame shrimp, was blood.  Hadn't that been one of those things on the sheet I was supposed to call them immediately for?  So I got the paper and called the number.  And no one answered.  I thought maybe someone was using the bathroom and would be right back, so I left a voicemail.  10 minutes later, I start thinking that if this was something I was supposed to call immediately for, then I should talk to someone soon, so I called the GI unit.  Not only was there no answer after 2 solid minutes of ringing, there was no voicemail.  WTF??  Panicking now in my drug haze, I called the medical center where the doc who referred me for the test works.  I got a nurse who talked to the doctor and told me to go to the emergency room right away.  And I thought fine.  She's a doctor, she must know what she's alking about.  So I called A and got her to drive me to the ER.  They kept me there for several hours accomplishing little more than a chest X-ray and a pepcid drip.  The final word was that during my endoscopy, the biopsy they took of a bump in my stomach must have been irritated and bled a little and that it had come out when the food hit it.  If someone at the number I was given, or someone in the GI unit had ANSWERED the PHONE, maybe I wouldn't have had to spend the evening in the ER to find out that I was fine, not getting food again till i begged for some crackers at about 7:30pm, then finishing my chinese at 8:30 when I got home.

Today.  I got up this morning with no breakfast again.  Went straight to the hospital because I was scheduled for a CAT scan.  Ok.  I had seen these done before because mother is an RT and used to take me to work.  They gave me 4 cups of thick white, viscous liquid to drink.  It tasted faintly like watered down pina colada.  I'm not sure what it was, but I was sure having trouble holding it down.  And it didn't help that it hurt to swallow from my bruised esophagus from yesterday's endoscopy now that the pain drugs are fully gone.  One every 15 minutes.  As soon as I choked down the last swallow, they called me in.  Great almost done.  Oh no.  That would be too easy.  Of coures, by this time, I am freezing, even with my little fuzzy sweatshirt on.  I get in the room and the nurse asks me to take my sweatshirt off and pull my pants down below my knees with only a thin sheet to cover me.  *sigh*  By the time he comes around with a needle to stick in my arm, I am shaking.  This was unexpected.  I dodn't know I was going to be getting contrast.  I wish people would tell me what the fuck is going on when they start doing things to my body!!  This guy sucked.  It has never hurt so much to have an IV in, and i've had a lot of them recently.  Then he kept pinching it in and was going fast and jus not caring at all that I could feel what he was doing.  Bastard.  Anyway.  they hook me up to this machine.  Oh.  I almost forgot.  When I got in the room they gave me another cup of the goo to drink.  So the scan begins.  Then the machine i'm hooked up to starts humming and lighting up.  My IV tightens, and next thing I know, there is clear liquid running down my raised arm and onto the pillow and into my hair.  So the awful nurse comes in to fix it, further pinching the IV and messing with it and hurting me.  By this point, I wanted to cry.  I was cold, hungry, sick from the goo I had to drink and this fucker had gotten goo in my hair and then gone back to hurt me. (I know he didn't mean to, but he was inept.)  Test finishes this time with the goo going IN my body.  Then I noteice that my face is warm and itchy.  The jackass nurse comes back to  take out the IV and asks if I am itching.  Oh, boy.  It seems whatever they gave me broke me out in hives.

Bonus round.  I got home and released all 5 cups of the nasty goo.  And not through the bladder.

Tonight I am going to play DnD and try to forget about all this.


Many hugs

Ah, the joys of gastroenterology. The amnestic drug they gave you is Midazolam (also called Versed). It's an interesting drug, but it can lead to some severe nausea and general head screwiness. Endoscopies aren't much fun, because since they have you so drugged it's hard to remember not to talk or swallow (or in my case knock out one of the nurses), and the biopsies leave your tummy very sensitive to everything you put in it.

The pina colada of doom and destruction was Barium. It's horrid stuff, and it will almost certainly make you nauseous. Your body knows that something like Barium isn't supposed to be inside. They give you the second dose of it so they know there will be plenty of fresh Barium in your stomach for the CT.

The IV contrast is usually Iohexall, which a *lot* of people are allergic to, but never know until the first time they give it to you.

All in all, the whole thing is almost designed to make you throw up for the rest of the day. The belly and guts full of Barium, being forces to lay on your back for the CT, the IV contrast that makes your body feel like you're on fire, the sore spots in your stomach from biopsies, and then on top of it all high doses of radiation from the CT.

I feel sorry that you had to go through the crappy tests I do every couple months. They're never any fun, and they're always horridly scary going through them. I only knew what was coming in my tests because I used to administer them to cats and dogs (try to give a dog barium!). So I'm sending you lots of big non-belly-squishing hugs.

And next time you have to go through some more tests, I'll try to come down and go with you through them - I can give you lots and lots of warning as to what they're going to do and how it feels. That and I can kick your docs in the shin for being ass-hats :)

If you haven't released the Barium by mouth, be warned of the mighty white poo. It's like Moby Poop. ::sigh:: The joys of Gastroenterology indeed.
> The pina colada of doom and destruction was Barium.

Barium is TEH NASTY!!! ::shudders:: Not good at all.

Oh man, what a colossal drag. *Hugs*
I really hope you are well! and that all of this poking and such leads to your healing. Poor thing! :(