If you haven’t read Part One, you can find it here: https://echo11am.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/my-ordeal/
Last month, I realized my appointment for the second EGD/Colonoscopy was coming up! Immediately, I started to worry. My anxiety level went up. I started obsessing over what was going to happen. I was having some digestive issues for months and I started to wonder if there really was something wrong with me. Could my doctor have been right all along?
I Googled my symptoms – bad idea – and thought I might have Crohn’s or Celiac. Maybe it was Ulcerative Colitis or Diverticulitis. The information I found was telling me that many people don’t have symptoms or maybe just one. I kept going around and around with my thoughts. I was arguing with myself. I was no longer having low iron issues. I hadn’t been retested BUT I was no longer experiencing extreme fatigue or insomnia. My diet had improved since my hernia repair surgery and I had stopped taking the iron supplements. If I had blood loss inside, as my doc said was a possibility, wouldn’t I still be extremely fatigued on a daily basis, especially since I stopped the iron supplement? Then I thought of the dreaded “C” word. I prayed every night for weeks, “Please God, don’t let it be cancer. Let it be anything else, but not cancer.” All the research I did, all the talking to myself, all the worrisome thoughts I had, did me no good at all. I had myself worked up into a frenzy by the time the procedure date came!
When the hospital contacted me for registration/admit information, I was instructed not to take my pain medication. Here we go again! I told the woman I had already spoken with the doctor and he said I could take it. She argued with me. “Oh no, ma’am. You can’t take that medication. It’s an NSAID.” I told her, “I know what it is and I already talked to the doctor about it. He told me I could take it. In fact, I had just a few days prior to this called him and verified that as fact.” This went on for a good ten minutes. I told her to call him and ask him herself! She said, “We aren’t allowed to do that ma’am. You will need to contact him personally and verify.” I was getting a little – ok a LOT aggravated – and I said firmly and probably a little too loudly, “I already have!” She dropped it and we went on with the registration/admit process. Thanks for adding to my anxiety, you argumentative twit.
Procedure day came. Stressed and ready to run, we headed on to my appointment. I knew they were going to put me completely under. I had had my surgery just a few months ago and didn’t have a problem with anesthesia. I shouldn’t be worried about this! The nurses were nice and tried to make me comfortable. They assured me it was going to be fine. That’s what they said the last time and look what happened!
Another nurse came in and proceeded to tell me about the “twilight” drug. I screamed inside my head. I told her right away that I was going to be put completely under with anesthesia. She argued with me. I told her I wanted to talk to the doctor. I also told her, “If they are planning on using the “twilight” drug then I am leaving!” She told me the doctor probably won’t see me before the procedure but I can talk to the anesthesiologist. Better than nothing, I suppose. I don’t have to do this, I kept telling myself.
After they took me to the holding area, the doctor DID come in to talk with me! Boy! Was I relieved! He said he remembered my case well and he told me that I was going to be completely asleep. I told him that I needed some assurance that if I wasn’t completely asleep, if I woke up, or if I cried out then he would stop immediately! He said he would definitely stop but he didn’t think we would have any issues. I explained how traumatic it was for me the last time. He understood. Whew!
The anesthesiologist came in next, and I verified again that he was going to put me completely under. I wasn’t going to chance that they were both on the same page!! Thankfully, they were on the same page, and then they rolled me to the procedure room. I’m still screaming inside! I’m scratching from the inside out, trying to find a way out of this! I couldn’t believe I was willingly going to let them do this to me again!!
It wasn’t long before my lights went out. Thank goodness! I’m not really sure how long it took. I lost track of all time. I woke up coughing, coughing, coughing. I didn’t think I would ever stop. It took awhile to get that ‘stuff’ out of my lungs! Oh, and the gas! The wonderfully loud flatulence you get afterward! (They have to pump air into your colon so they can see better!) I really didn’t care how loud I was. They did this to me, they can suffer the consequences!!
They took me back to my room after I was completely awake and aware. I was relieved that this was finally OVER! I wondered how I got a bit upper lip though. Curious. It was puffy and hurt like hell. If that was the only damage, then I was ok with that! But, I hadn’t asked about the results. I was afraid to ask. Should I ask? Dad was there and I knew the doctor had talked to him afterward. I had to ask him what they found, as scared as I was to know. Just as long as it’s not cancer!! I finally got the courage to ask. Dad told me the doctor said he didn’t find anything whatsoever! Not even one single polyp! Most people my age usually have a couple polyps. Not me! No biopsy had to be done. No cancer, no colitis, no diverticulitis, no Crohn’s, no Celiac. No inflammation. No bacteria. You know that part of me that was scratching from the inside out trying to find a way out of this? I was now jumping for joy as if I was on a trampoline!! Now, where’s my clothes? I’m going home and you can’t stop me!
I slept like a happy, fed, and dry baby that night! Never woke up once. The problem was, when I woke up the next morning, every muscle in my body hurt! It hurt to laugh, to cough, to sneeze. It hurt to move! I wondered if I was really under full anesthesia and maybe I just didn’t remember anything. Did those rat bastards use a “twilight” drug on me after all? Why would I be so sore? If I was completely asleep, my body must have still known what was “up” because it seems as though my muscles tensed up in reaction to the procedure! Why else would I be this sore? I can understand my ribs and abdominal muscles being sore from the coughing. But my calves, thighs, shoulders, neck, and arm muscles too? The procedure was July 7. Today is the first day I feel normal again!
I go back to my regular doctor this week for a follow up. She will be checking my iron level. I will be telling her, “I told you it was my diet!” I will admit however, two things: One, maybe the para-esophageal hiatal hernia was preventing me from absorbing the little bit of iron in my diet, and Two, if it weren’t for the first horrifying EGD/Colonoscopy experience I would have never known about my stomach and had it repaired. I still think, and I will tell my doctor, that she should have at least asked me about my diet, and perhaps rechecked my iron after a couple of weeks…instead of scaring me half to death with worst case scenarios!!! Seems that doctors these days think they know us better than we know ourselves! Ha!
I’m thankful to be as healthy as I am. I have chronic pain from severe arthritis but I can deal with this most days. I’m thankful I don’t have cancer, or any of those other digestive diseases. Maybe I’ll live, after all.