Friday, January 20, 2012

Yep. Freaking Out Now.

Ugh. I feel like crap. I have all day. Been mostly sleeping.

So you may remember that I went to the doctor's last week and he ordered an upper GI. Tonight I suddenly got the urge to look up what exactly happens during an upper GI. Upon searching, I found two different types of tests: an upper GI series and an upper GI endoscopy. They're both pretty much used for the same thing. The only difference is that an upper GI endoscopy is safer for small children (less radiation, I guess), is more thorough, and can actually do something about the problem instead of just identifying it. So I decided to read the descriptions of both procedures on WebMD.

An upper GI series is pretty much just x-rays. You have to drink barium (which, let me tell you, is freaking disgusting), but that's pretty much the worst of it. And at least you only have to take sips of it, and it'll add up to one cup of the stuff by the time you're done. I had to drink it for some other test a couple of summers ago, and it was worse then. I had to drink an entire quart of it, half the night before and half the morning of. I couldn't eat or drink anything or even brush my teeth for the twenty-four hours before the test, so I had the taste in my mouth for the longest time. The x-ray table tilts and changes positions, which actually sounds kind of cool. I mean, there's the risk of getting cancer from the radiation, but whatever.

Honestly, I would rather die than have an upper GI endoscopy. You can't eat or drink for the six to eight hours before the test, which is fine. Part of the reasoning, however, is not. I'm okay with the fact that they want to see the results more clearly. I'm not okay with the fact that they don't want you to eat because not eating will reduce- but not eliminate- your chances of vomiting. If you vomit during the test, there's a good chance whatever's in your stomach will end up in your lungs.
So you go into the lab or whatever, probably hungry and thirsty, as well as paranoid that you'll vomit, which doesn't help someone like me who often throws up because of anxiety. You'll probably have a blood test done to make sure that you don't have clotting issues or a low blood count or something, because there's a chance of internal bleeding during the test. Then you'll get an IV which gives you pain meds and a sedative. Okay. Any test that I need pain meds for, I am not okay with.
You'll lie on your side on the table with your head bent forward. A mouth guard will be put on your teeth to protect them from the tube that will be inserted into your mouth and then shoved down your throat, which, to my knowledge, is much softer. If my teeth are in danger from this thing, why am I swallowing it?
Once the start of the tube is in your esophagus, you can't swallow. You're supposed to drool all over the table. Because that's not humiliating.
You'll sit there with this tube inside of you, moving through your digestive system, for anywhere from thirty to forty-five minutes. You'll most likely be gagging, nauseous, and in pain. Even with the pain meds.
So yeah. Sounds like a fun time.

Even if it is a series that needs to get done, if a problem is found, they'll probably get a closer look at it with an endoscopy.
Someone kill me please.

I don't even have a song of the day today. Too busy trying not to have a panic attack to pick a song. Sorry to disappoint.

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