I'm off to my first appointment with a gastroenterologist this afternoon, to start trying to get to the bottom of my gastrointestinal malaises that have plagued me oh so much for what seems like three lifetimes, but is only really about five years. Maybe six. No more than eight. Tops.
Okay, so I've been very hesitant to get this thing investigated properly. Why? Well, it's not like it's a pimple on my cheek that needs a good squeeze, or an ingrown toenail that needs trimming, or even one of my many other ailments that are not so fun to have, and yet, not as bad as my tummy woes. This, folks, this is the real thing, the honker of illnesses, the kowabunga of killers. Because I know what the doctor is going to say, and this is what I dread. He is going to say I need a very invasive procedure called an endoscopy, whereby they pass a flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end of it down my gullet and take a gander at my insides.
And this, folks, is where I die. I know this is what hell must be like.
I've been through a lot of stuff in my life: lots of surgeries, very invasive procedures (I'm talking big needles in the eyeball, guys), even the camera up the poop shoot. But nothing really compares to the endoscopy, unless, of course, we're talking about the lower GI endoscopy, which is where they thread the camera up your butthole, in which case, I really shouldn't complain. What I should be talking about is that test, but really, you might faint if I start describing it, it's that awful, so I won't.
And that is why I decided instead to discuss said upper GI endoscopy, because it is just as invasive, and yet, not quite as unpleasant when being described. You're welcome.
I know the doctor today is going to tell me I need this because I've already gone to another specialist for this same reason, and that is what he told me. And you know what, guys? I freaked out, my rectum started twitching, and I ran home like a scared puppy dog with my tail between my legs.
I've had this test done once before, when I was actually in the hospital, having had a major attack where I was doubled over in pain, screaming, "I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die!" as the firefighters (oh my god, they were hot, and too bad I looked like complete crap), and then these two butchy female paramedics arrived and told me to be quiet (actually, they demanded I be quiet) as they loaded me into the ambulance and took me to the hospital, where I stayed for a week. And in that time, I had my first endoscopy, which I really didn't appreciate. The doctor didn't want to knock me out, and I'm pretty sure he laughed in my face when said knocking out was requested.
I remember lying on the table, and a nurse hooked me up to all sorts of monitors, and I could hear her say to the doctor, "Umm, she's really tachy, doc," which I think means my heart was going kind of wonky, with all these extra beats, and it was going really fast. She sounded pretty worried. And the doctor said, in all his wiseness, "Yeah, yeah, she's okay," and told me to open my mouth and swallow the mother of all tubes with camera attached.
You have not choked until you've had one these babies shoved down your throat. And somehow, you're supposed to continue breathing through all of this, as they fiddle around with said camera tube, and jiggle it to and fro to get it to go into all your intestinal nooks and crannies. Just imagine a huge kielbasa being forcefully pushed down your maw. Now you begin to get the idea.
This is a kielbasa, also known as a Polish sausage. I know what you're thinking.
Of course, I don't remember much of it. They had to give me some giggly juice before we went in because I was so nervous, and I think I passed out right after I swallowed.
Anyway, as you can see, it wasn't a pleasant experience, and I shudder to this day when I think about it. And that happened 10 years ago.
I'll let you all know what Dr. I-Want-To-See-You-Dry-Heave says, but I'm pretty darn sure I just told you. Excuse me while I go feel sorry for myself.