Sunday, 14 November 2010

Facing An Ordeal

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.



33 comments:

Mimi said...

"Not that I ever learned by someone else's mistakes."
Maggie, I roared laughing at this bit! you're so funny!
I'm glad you did face up to the fear, and that it was ok. You had me worried until I saw the result.
This reminds me of a saying "worrying is not pointless, cos most of the things I worry about then don't happen".!!
Have a lovely Sunday.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Glad to hear all is well Maggie, what a good job you took the plunge and got it sorted out. It is the unknown that gives us the most concerns and worries. A x

TechnoBabe said...

Well said, Maggie. I too have found that my fears keep me from learning or doing something and then when I finally do it I almost have to laugh at all the drama I caused myself. I am so glad you found the inner strength to have the procedure, and even more glad for you that you now have an answer and it is not as bad as you were thinking it could be.

Akelamalu said...

An endoscopy saved MWM's life, in a manner of speaking, recently! He suffers badly from reflux too and has been taking Lansoprazole for a few months. He has been scheduled to have an endoscopy twice recently and for one reason or another has had to cancel it. Last Monday it was scheduled again and he went. They wouldn't do the procedure because his BP was dangerously high and told him to see his own doctor, which he did last Wednesday. His doctor was extremely concerned and upped his medication immediately. The point is we were due to fly out to India for a holiday next Tuesday. Of course flying with high blood pressure is extremely dangerous and we have cancelled the holiday. The point is, if he hadn't gone for the endoscopy we would have taken the flight oblivious of the danger and ANYTHING could have happened!

I'm so glad the outcome of your endoscopy was good Maggie. x

imbeingheldhostage said...

So glad you got a good report Maggie! I wonder how many of us put off tests that would bring so much relief?

Betsy said...

Well, yes...hernia is better than cancer any day! So, what will they do for that...surgery? I'm sure it's such a relief and so nice to know exactly what the problem is!

I take omeprozole. :)

Lakeland Jo said...

I had an endescopy last year. I am no coward when it comes to medical procedures usually but the thought of the endescopy SCARED ME WITLESS. I was in the waiting area and had a panic attack. The surgeon/ doctor who did it said he would medicate me so I remembered nothing and he was right. Found out it was rohipnol!! Would def ask for that again. Hate being awake for procedures. Yak

Celia said...

They have to knock me out too for procedures. So glad yours revealed nothing more than the hernia. Yea!

Twain12 said...

glad too for the good outcome

Valleys Mam said...

oh I so agree Maggie , but do you know I dont always learn from me lolol.

Nora said...

Then who's mistakes are we going to learn from, dear Maggie?

I'm glad about the outcome. I hope I never have to have that procedure done. You are a true hero in my book.

Nessa said...

I am glad you had a good outcome and you give very good advice.

Bernie said...

So happy for the outcome Maggie. A great lesson to be learned by this post Maggie, thank you for sharing....:-)Hugs

Rose said...

Good for you for making up your mind and going through with this test, Maggie. So glad there was nothing seriously wrong. My father and aunt both have these hiatal hernias, and I'm not sure if there is anything that can be done about it. Sometimes just knowing what is wrong can relieve your anxiety and help to alleviate the discomfort.

I feel the same way about tests, especially colonoscopies, of which I've had a few (ugh!). But a good friend's husband just passed away after a bout of colon cancer, and I know that going through a diagnostic test and finding problems early is so much better than finding out too late.

Jeni said...

You know Maggie, if cancer doesn't do anything else for us, it definitely does, I think, make us a hell of a lot braver in the long run! I know the discomfort of which you wrote here as it is one of the niggling things I'm dealing with now with the chemo. So far, I'm keeping it fairly under control with maalox liquid that I take a tablespoon or two after eating and before I go to bed. Doesn't cure it but it makes it a whole lot more that I am able to endure it anyway! Glad you got the test done and now, you eliminated just one more worry!

Eddie Bluelights said...

So glad there was nothing really nasty lurking.
Can they repair the hernia?
What did they say?

You are very brave and I'm proud of you ~ Eddie x

secret agent woman said...

I'm sorry you had to go through the worry and unpleasant procedure, but so g;ad it's only a hiatal hernia.

RNSANE said...

I am so glad to be out of the hospital after my three day stint. I will have a colonoscopy in a month - my last one, about three years ago, wasn't really too bad but they want to repeat it after this colon infection with campylobacter.

I am glad your exam was benign and that you are not having to undergo any serious procedures!

Suburbia said...

You were very brave, especially after all you have been through recently. Glad you sorted it out. I took my mum for the same investigation years ago. I have always dreaded having to undergo the same thing. Sorry that you remember some of it.

I have a niggle, I am ignoring it!

Ayak said...

Maggie you're so right. It's silly to ignore these niggles. Much better to get it out of the way and I'm very pleased it wasn't bad news for you xx

Expat mum said...

You're right - it really is silly not to have something checked out if you think there is a problem. I realise that procedures are scary, as are the possible results, but it's better than the alternative.

Glad you're OK. x

Suldog said...

True words, Maggie May! It's always better to get done what needs to be done, rather than put it off and dread it.

Gail said...

How right you are and how wise, Maggie. There is a lot to be said for taking the bull by the horns.

Wendy said...

I take my hat off to you, Maggie. You are a strong person. And I'm so glad that everything turned out right for you.

I must admit, I'm walking the same path, but with finances and paperwork. I keep putting it off and now there is a huge pile that really needs my attention. David used to do all of this.

I have also decided I just need to "do it" and it will be over, but I still procrastinate. I think now, following your good example, I'll get on with it.
Sending you hugs.

indicaspecies said...

Glad your mind is at rest. I wish peace, joy and good health to you Maggie.
~celine

PS: Reached here from David's yeti poetry.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Maggie - there's an award for you over at my place! (It's a one off BTW. Just for you. :)) Glad everything went well. Hugs Hadriana xx

Brian Miller said...

good job being an example in facing your fears...

Reasons said...

Good message. Glad all is well.Had to laugh at the last part, so true, we don't learn by other's mistakes! x

Hilary said...

Good for you, Maggie. I'm the kind of person who puts things like that off all the time. Partly fear.. partly believing it will just correct itself. I'm glad the cause of your discomfort was nothing sinister.

Will you have the hernia repaired now?

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I imagine it was an ordeal. I'm a total wuss when it comes to hospitals and I put things off too. I suffer from heartburn but it's mainly due to my diet, which I know needs to be changed.

Glad you're okay.

CJ xx

Life with Kaishon said...

Absolutely brilliant advice. Why DO we live with fears so long? I am glad you overcame yours and I am so thankful you are well : ) What a blessing. Sending you love today Maggie. Lots and lots of love!

Jules~ said...

Me too...I don't learn well from others but it is a trait I am working on. That was so good of you to be transparent with everyone. Thank you for that.
After my dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer I learned that reflux was so much more than I had thought it to be and I got started on a pill to make mine easier. I also hounded my brother until he did the same. Turns out our mom also has acid reflux, IBS and a hiatal hernia. So we must really listen to our bodies.
Thank you for the loving encouragement to not bury our heads in the sand.

sallylwess said...

What a relief. I understand your fear and your pain. I suffer from the same ailments: fear, pain, esophageal problems, heart burn. I must, whether I like it or not, go in about every six month for an endoscopy. It is a relief to know things are not showing those signs we are just sure are there. Take care.