Photo Copyright: Maggie May
For four years I put off having a gastroscopy (commonly known as an endoscopy.)
The very thought of it filled me with horror, so I opted for a barium meal by mouth test, which didn't reveal anything wrong.
The years rolled by and I was taking regular medication for the painful symptoms of reflux when I tried to sleep at night and when I bent down to pick up anything off the floor.
Taking Gaviscon and Omeprazole seemed to hold it at bay, but it was always there lurking ready to pounce when I forgot my medication.
My recent chemotherapy seemed to make the situation very much worse and even when that was finished, the symptoms escalated in a horrible way and I had the niggling thought, "Could it be cancer?" I had, of course had many CT scans because of the other cancer that I was suffering from, and nothing had shown up then.
I decided to take the bull by the horns, a few months ago and asked my doctor if I could have an examination under sedation.
This was easily arranged.
I didn't think too much about it until the evening before it was due to happen and I didn't sleep that night. I arose next morning feeling slightly relieved that it was happening that day and that I was facing up to it.
There was a relative calm that over took me as I approached the hospital.
The sedation for the test was supposed to calm me down and make me forget. However, there are some aspects of the examination that I can remember very well and will never forget.
One of the good things that I remember is when the lady who did the gastroscopy said there was nothing really bad there.
Later on, a doctor came to talk to me and he gave me a printed letter saying that they'd found a small hiatus hernia. That was the cause of my problem.
Well I skipped out of the hospital. (Well not quite....... ) as I was very tired from the drug but I am sure you know what I mean.
So although it was an unpleasant examination, it did put my mind at rest.
I suppose I am writing this account because I now think it silly to live with a real fear for so long and not do anything about it. Some times, facing up to some thing horrible is better for a person in the long run. So if there is anything that you're not facing up to then do question it. Not that I ever learned by someone else's mistakes.