This past Friday I was scheduled to have an Upper Endoscopy performed for some digestive issues I’ve been having for a while now (and when I say awhile I mean years, I just hate doctors so I kept putting it off). I won’t gross you out with the details of said “problems”, but the initial thought is that I may be allergic or have an intolerance to gluten (which is found in wheat, among other things). So while the Doctor said that there was a blood test they could do to test for a gluten intolerance, he said in the end they would most likely have to do the Upper Endoscopy anyways so they might as well just skip the blood work and go right to the big guns. I honestly didn’t mind since I don’t go to the doctor very often so I figured this test would also rule out any other major issues I may have going on in my stomach/small intestine, so we might as well just go balls out.
I was definitely a little nervous about the whole procedure since I haven’t had anything “major” like this done since I had thoracic surgery on my lung about 10 years ago… Yep, I’ve had 4 spontaneous pneumothoraxes, aka partially collapsed lungs for no reason, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss. So despite the doctor telling me that this procedure is nothing to worry about and that it’s very routine, I was still pretty nervous when he told me that I wouldn’t be knocked out, but rather in a state of conscious sedation. Just the idea of having a large tube with a camera on it, pushed down my throat into my stomach and small intestine just made me cringe, especially knowing that I would be conscious during the procedure. He tried to tell me that they would also be giving me something to make me forget and relax me, but I still had the idea in my head that I would be totally aware of what was going on around me and somehow I would then forget it… but how could I forget it at the time of the actual procedure?
Well, the doctor didn’t lie, I don’t remember anything. I obviously remember going to the hospital, I remember being prepped and talking to the nurse… a lot (I tend to get very talkative when I’m nervous), I remember her starting the IV in my arm, I remember joking with her asking if the tube they were putting down my throat was the same one used for colonoscopies… cause that would have made me uncomfortable (it’s not in case you were wondering), she got a kick out of that. I then remember being wheeled into the actually procedure room by the tech, who did not find my colonoscopy joke as funny. About 10 minutes after being wheeled in there the doctor came in and made me sign my life away and then he started the medicine. I remember him asking me to lay onto my left side and then I told him that the medicine was starting to work…. and that was it.
The next few hours are a blur. I vaguely remember bits and pieces of the rest of the day (until about 4pm, appointment was at 10am), but I’m not 100% sure of anything that happened during that time. I don’t remember putting my clothes on and I sure as hell don’t remember the purple hearted thong that some how ended up in the bag with all my clothes… I mean I know I’m irresistible and the cute nurse was kind of eying me before the procedure, but I don’t have any recollection of how a thong would have ended up in my bag…. I didn’t even have to take my pants off for the procedure so I know it wasn’t mine. My girlfriend then decided it would be funny to take a picture of me in my half-sedated state and post it on Facebook for the world to see, which I barely remember. I was also apparently afraid to get off of the recovery bed as I thought the ground was way too far away.
Once I was safely on the ground, we made our way to the car and I called my mom to let her know that everything went well… I don’t remember the conversation and she called back later in the day to make fun of me. When we got back to my apartment I kind of remember sitting down on the couch, turning on the TV and the Playstation 3 to start a movie, but that’s about it. I know I didn’t finish the movie and my girlfriend said she got up to make a sandwich before she was to go back to work, and before she made it back to the couch I was fast asleep. I hope she checked to see if I was still breathing at least…. I slept for about 3 hours and when I woke up everything was fine. My throat was little sore, but that was about it… then I started to have weird thoughts about what the doctors were doing to me while I was out. Would pictures show up of me with all sorts of medical instruments jammed in my mouth while I’m knocked out? The thought if it is actually pretty funny, but it got me thinking about something else.
So if this was supposed to be conscious sedation, was I actually responding to the doctor when I was getting the test done? I obviously can’t remember anything about it, but it seems weird to me that I may have been alert enough to react to directions from the doc. So other than a few questions and a sore throat, the procedure was a piece of cake. I had no bloating feeling from the air that was blown into my stomach, I had no pain from the biopsy of the small intestine, I had no nausea from the drugs, no pain from the IV, nothing but a slightly sore throat (which wasn’t even that bad). The only thing that I’m a little upset about is that my girlfriend didn’t video tape me after the procedure to catch some of the ridiculous things I said and did… I would have liked to see how far the ground actually was from my feet while I was sitting on the bed. It’s a video like that that made “David after Dentist” a huge internet sensation… Oh well, if this test doesn’t show a gluten allergy I will have to go in for more tests (colonoscopy), which I’m not nervous about in the least bit [now], but if that’s the case I’ll make sure to bring my Vado and record it all…
Update: This post was written almost 8 years ago and I can tell you now that I was diagnosed with IBS which I did absolutely nothing about until last year. Last January I decided to go on an elimination diet called the Low FODMAP diet, where you remove foods with High FODMAPS from your diet for 6 weeks, then slowly reintroduce high FODMAP foods to see which ones trigger you. I can honestly say this diet has been a life saver and has made me feel 1000x better.