Want Some Kielbasa?

I'm a little worried, a little scared, a little concerned, because who really wants a Polish sausage down their throat? Bet you don't get asked that question every day.

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.


dizzblnd said…
I can't believe they didn't knock you out! My daughter had one done last month and she was out cold. DEMAND to be knocked out this time or tell them you will be squeezing balls or boobs if they don't!
Ugh, I hope your procedure goes well.
Lauren said…
Mary, let me tell you something as I have a lot of experience with doctors professionally as well as personally, if you go to a doc, any doc they are going to want to do their tests and procedures...that's what they are about. But most likely, but not always the test etc...is to rule out, not rule in favor of and is a waste of time and your money and insurance. If you've had this problem this long it isn't cancer, you'd already be dead. They can do a sonogram of your stomach, they can also do a CAT scan of the entire cavity and see whatever it is they need to see. Here's the kicker on THAT one, insurance probaby won't cover THAT which WILL show everything more easily unless you let them shove this shit down your throat. Take your health back into your own hands. Hope your feeling better soon.

OK my word veri is COMAS!
Gaston Studio said…
OMG, I would totally freak out! They would have to put me out and just shove it down there because there's no way I'd be able to swallow it!

Hope results are negative. Keep your chin up.
kel said…
ah! I can't read this! I am way too squirmish!!
You poor thing! My mom has issues with the size of her esophagus, which causes her to not be able to swallow much of anything, and she's had to have it stretched (which she described as having a sword pushed down her throat) several times while awake! Sometimes I think doctors forget we're human and not some med school dummies! Good luck and feel better soon!
darsden said…
OMGoodness Mary, I woudn't be able to stomach that either...Oh MY... Good Luck hope it isn't as bad as it seems..take care
Ouch! I had a signoidoscopy 30 years ago (camera up the butt), and was shaking,literally, beyond belief. Like you, I had had stomach pains for years, but they found nothing. Sent me for upper GI, only found a small hiatal hernia and esophagitis, nothing that should cause me so much pain (so I must be a big baby). Need to relax. Watch what you eat. Etc, etc. You'll be fine.

Still had severe pains. Gynecologist wanted to do tests. Stopped my periods for a year. Finally decided to do a hysterectomy because pain was so bad. (and I did have cysts and fibroids)

Pains did not stop. Realized one day that the pains were most severe when I ate my cereal in the morning. Hmmm. And when I drank a glass of milk. And ice cream. Hmmm again. Could it be? Yes. I eliminated MILK products from my diet, and added lactaid tablets. What a surprise! Problem solved!

So. I had all those tests, was basically told I was a big baby, had a hysterectomy at age 30 ... for lactose intolerance.
LiLu said…
Oh my lord... I think I probably would have run headfirst into the wall to knock MYSELF out. You are a brave lady... I'm so sorry you have to go through this (again)!
Oh, shit, Mary! The Housewives of the Scandalous variety are rooting for you to get through this!
mo.stoneskin said…
My gosh, I feel for you and hope it goes well with the Dr.

On the up side, this is the first post I've read with the word 'gastroenterologist' in it, and what a word!
Bee said…
Please let us know how it goes. I’m very interested because I’ve been putting off an endoscopy for 2 years now. Eep!
Kathy said…
Good luck.
Do you have to drink the berium first? That really sucks.
And I agree with Lauren. I went through enough tests to pay off all the doctors' student loans just to "RULE OUT" stuff. And they found NOTHING. And I'm not dead yet. And I still drink Alka seltzer like water, which I know isn't good.
Dingo said…
I know this is about your endoscopy but this? "I'm talking big needles in the eyeball" almost undid me.

I say you demand to be knocked out. Is it procedure you really need to be awake for? Do they need you to bellydance or something? If no, then tell them you want two pills and wake you up in the morning.

Good luck today. And don't forget to get video of your exam and post it so we can all see what a large intestine looks like from the inside.
Michel said…
Jesus, Buddah and Allah!! That post was like a horror movie -- but I couldn't walk away!! AND THAT LAST PIC!

Don't you have a duty to warn in this case?!?!?! You know I do not like to discuss innards!!!

However, snaps for knowing how to spell gastroenterologist.

I hope it all goes well (that you don't post any pics of it) and that you get better soon!

That sounds HORRIBLE! I hate polish sausage!!!
Can you insist that they put you in a coma? With your last, um...Encounter...it looks like they would WANT you knocked out!
I hope it all goes well. Keep us posted!
3 Bay B Chicks said…
Oh, Mary, you are all about the details, aren't you? Can I tell you that I sometimes have to read your posts with only one eye open. It helps. I have a weak stomach.

Take care of yourself.

Fragrant Liar said…
I'm pretty sure I pass out after I swallow too.

Nice boobs, btw. That picture probably doesn't do you justice.

Sorry you have to endure the endo. They really should knock you out. If they don't, hold your breath until you do it yourself.
I'm with dizzblnd -- I can't believe they didn't knock you out! I had one and was knocked out cold! Good luck.

(Thanks for the caption on the photo. Wandering minds went immediately to the gutter...)
Ann's Rants said…
No thank you on the endoscopy and I'll take a pass on that kielbasa while I'm at it.


Hope you get some answers at the very least...
pam said…
There is nothing worse than GI exams, it doesn't really matter from which end.

Good Luck!
Demand the drugs, Mary!
OMG I have heard about this procedure and I think you deserve a Medal! ack!

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