. . . Warning. . .this entry was written for my friends and family who have an interest in the medical field. . .
Well about 2 weeks ago I ate some Lithuanian pancakes for breakfast and my stomach freaked out and was cramping up the rest of the day. The next day was worse after eating and I was laying down part of the day in intense stomach pain. The rest of that week it hurt on and off depending on what I ate.
Then a week ago on Saturday I was feeling curious so I tried the pancakes again to see what would happen and lets just say it wasn't the best idea. I had more severe cramping and then started throwing up every 2 hours. Not many fond memories of that day. It did however make me realize I should go to see a doctor.
I went to a clinic last Thursday that specializes in diagnosing problems. They ran me through several tests for 3 hours but I must say the best was the endoscopy. I knew they were going to stick a tube down my throat and take pictures of my stomach but what I didn't know was that I had a choice of i.v. anesthesia or not. I was told it would be 2 minutes of "uncomfortableness" if I didn't get knocked out. So, being the adventuresome and somewhat frugal lad that, I am I opted for toughin' it out.
The nurse smiled as I told her and then had me put on a huge thick t-shirt. She sprayed a little topical anesthetic in the back of my throat to numb my gag reflex. I then proceeded to lay on the test table on my side. She put a plastic piece in my mouth so I wouldn't bite down on the instrument and then the fun began. The nurse got the tube in position, which was about the size of my pinky finger, and said "Swallow." I did and she shoved the endoscope vigorously down my esophagus. The next two minutes were, lets say, interesting as I essentially had no control over my responses. I laid there gagging, drooling, and burping uncontrollably as snot flowed from my nose. I just tried to breath as they found the problem area and took a biopsy. Afterwards, I was a mess, as half my face was covered in mucus hence forth the huge thick t-shirt.
In all, it was a fun and memorable experience. They said I have an inflamed area in my esophagus just above my stomach. So with some drugs and an extremely lame diet it should be fine in a month.
And for all of you wikipedia fans, I must say it isn't always factual. You see I looked up endoscopy and it said, "Many endoscopic procedures are considered to be relatively painless and, at worst, associated with mild discomfort." Mild discomfort? It sucked!
However, I also must say it was amazing to just walk into a clinic and only three hours and 5 tests later, be able to receive my test results, diagnosis and five prescriptions for medications and all at a very reasonable cost! There are definitely pros and cons to receiving medical treatment overseas!