Saturday, June 09, 2007

A pain in the gut

. . . 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!

6 comments:

Marc Peter said...

my usually weak stomach was surprisingly unaffected by your story. however, i did find myself feeling really badly for you. hope you feel better soon.

cheryl said...

wow, matt, sounds crazy...i'm glad you survived though. praying for you

Mindy said...

Hi Sharon! A brief note here .. found your blog & love knowing how things are going! Also takes me back to so many things! Hope you're feeling back to normal, Matt! The mundane takes on new meaning in these contexts, doesn't it?! Mindy

Mindy said...

Morning...just got yours! mdanylak@hotmail.com. I'm running out the door to the dentist but will write back when I have your email. Happy day! M

Melissa said...

wow... yeah... let me just say that EVERYONE I know who has had that procedure talks about the myth that circulates about it being mildly unpleasant. :-) way to go and tough it out! I would expect nothing less!

Ian Durias said...

The whole nose/spoon thing really helped prepare you for stuff like this.