"Upper GI gastroscopy"
About: Kingston Hospital Kingston Hospital Kingston Upon Thames KT2 7QB
Posted by AV
After quite a few visits to the doctor with symptoms of chest pain and some acid reflux, one of the doctors in my practice actually had the foresight to send me for this test. I was pleased because it would be immediately diagnostic... and I was right. Despite the horror stories that I had read the night before I was determined to have the procedure done without sedation so that I could cooperate with the medical team better. It is always at the forefront of my mind that the more you facilitate a medical team to do their job, the smoother the ride will be for you. I am scared of gagging and was very apprehensive. I arrived a little early and was called in immediately. The receiving nurse was pleasant enough. Soon after the doctor came to have a word with me and put me at ease immediately. I did however mention that I was nervous so they put down in their notes that although I had opted for the numbing spray, that sedation may be required. The medical team has two nurses in the endoscopy, I can't remember one nurse's name, even though they mentioned it to me, but this was a real sweetheart. I was taken in to the surgical area. I had done my homework the night before and was familiar with the equipment that I saw, if I had seen the tube for the first time, I might have been startled. The doctor sprayed the back of my mouth, it tasted like bitter banana and took effect immediately. I was laid on my side and the doctor showed me a football hand, a red cardboard cut out. He said if I wanted him to slow down to raise my hand half way and if I wanted him to stop to raise my hand and leave it there. I was given the mouthguard and it helped me to focus on my breathing, deep breaths and I managed to swallow as the tube went in, taking deep breaths, I gagged a bit, but each time the nurse re-assured me and I regained my focus on my breathing. As the tube was probing and oxygen pumped, I gagged 3-4 times, but each time the nurse reassured me and the doctor helped me control my breath. Three biopsies were taken. The nurse was so very good at their job. Quick and precise. Then the tube was removed and it made my eyes water. I was so pleased that the procedure was over and elated that I got a diagnosis (3cm sliding hiatus hernia) and the doctor drew up his report and I was given a copy along with an information leaflet. The discharging nurse explained everything to me and I left with a massive sense of having overcome what I dreaded. It was an unpleasant experience but this is how I overcame the unpleasantness: - Strict fasting, not even water, from 6pm the previous evening (my appointment was 10.25 next morning). Had there been anything in my stomach, I may have panicked by vomiting. - Listening very carefully to the staff during the procedure and following their instructions - Concentrating on breathing and keeping calm - Being grateful to have this procedure and getting a diagnosis