"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The EGD Adventure!

I made it!!! And it really wasn't bad at all, just like everyone reassured me it wouldn't be :) I'm a lucky girl to have such a wonderful support team of friends and family who love me so much!

I spent the morning trying to stay as calm as possible as I showered and got ready and everything. I think I did a reasonably good job actually. Then Trevor gave me a blessing, and we got there a little over 5 minutes early for my 12:00 appointment. A couple sheets of paperwork and about 15-20 minutes later my wrist was tagged and I was changed into a gown and lying on a hospital bed in my own little room. I spent a lot of time just waiting and waiting. The nurses or techs or whatever their exact title is were really friendly and happy, which was great because I wasn't exactly. They took my pulse, blood pressure, and set up my IV and then I just waiting for what felt like forever (45 minutes maybe?).

One of the patients I help with at my internship works for doTerra, and when he found out yesterday that I was having this done and how nervous I was, after we were done with his physical therapy session he went home, got me some samples of 2 different essential oil blends designed to help you calm down, and drove all the way back before my shift ended just so he could deliver them to me. He even brought me his diffuser from home to use, and made a second trip to drop off some empty gel capsules that he forgot the first time. This world is full of so many wonderful generous people, it just blows my mind! I put some of that on under my nose so I could smell it and hopefully stay calm while I waited. My legs were shaking and I was freezing - especially my hands - but I was successful in not working myself up into a nervous tizzy and making myself sick like I was afraid I would. Yay!

I was hoping they'd let Trevor come in with me and hold my hand or at least be touching me or something. He makes me feel safe. But he had to go to campus to meet with someone about figuring out taxes, and they wouldn't have let him in the room while they were doing the EGD anyway.

The waiting was the worst. Just laying there in my room alone for what felt like forever. I brought a book to read, but I decided I'd rather put all my energy and concentration into staying calm. When I get stressed and agitated my pulse starts racing and adrenaline gets pumping and I get nauseated. So I just laid there and tried not to think about the itchiness and overall weird feeling of the IV in my left elbow. Thinking about blood and veins and injections and bodily fluids makes me woozy. The nurse that put it in also gave me a heated blanket so I could stop shaking. It felt so good and reassuring! It cooled back down after a minute, but I was definitely still glad to have it!

I spent some time looking at the blue plastic hospital bracelet/band around my wrist too. It had my name and a bar code printed in black, and then my name again, birthday, age, and some numbers in raised letters like a credit card all on this little plastic military dogtag looking thing slipped into a little clear sleeve in my wristband. Nurses had asked me my name and birthday like 5 times already, and every time I almost accidentally said my maiden name. I really hoped that if they asked me while I was drugged up, I wouldn't say the wrong name and mess things up, or that they would at least check my wristband to figure out what was going on. In hindsight was kind of a stupid thought. Of course they know better than to put all their stock in a drugged patient! And of course they knew who I was. And I'm not even quite sure what I thought I would mess up by telling them the wrong last name when my charts and everything were all around anyways.

Mostly I just stared blankly at the pattern on my gown and tried to force-calm myself and smoother any anxious anticipation by telling myself over and over that I was ok, and everything was going to be fine.

Finally a new nurse lady came in and said they were ready for me! Gah!! Then she started asking me questions everyone else had already asked me and I had already answered in the paperwork. My name (I said the right one :), birthday, what I was having done (that turned out to be a good question...she asked me to confirm I was having a colonoscopy. haha um, no). As she was talking to me she pulled up the sides of my bed like a crib, and wheeled me out down the hall to the room where the EGD would be done. haha It's a good thing I wasn't nauseous since she wasn't the best driver ever and my bed went a little crazy and ran into the wall on the way.

And then she asked if I was allergic to soy. Yes I am. I hadn't written it on the paperwork though since I had already included a nice long list of allergies and it didn't seem relevant. Well it turns out that was a problem. The sedative they use has soy proteins in it. Soooo we could use it anyway and run the risk of me having an awful allergic reaction or not being able to breathe or something awful like that, or not use it and try something else instead. And the sedative was the part I was most worried about to begin with! More force-calming and dissociating with the situation to try to stay OK. She said we'd wait and discuss it with the doctor when he got there.

The lady that wheeled me in and another girl pushed my bed into a corner with a big monitor and a lot of hospitaly-looking machines and they put me on oxygen, put three sticky pads on my chest and attached some clamps connected to wires, put a pulse clamp thing on my finger, and I think they put a blood pressure sleeve around my arm too. One of the machines beeped with my heart beat. I could tell exactly when I started getting more nervous because it would beep faster. I tried to breathe slowly and deeply for awhile to slow my pulse back down, but it ended up racing while I was breathing in (breathing deeply while on oxygen for the first time is kind of weird) and then beating slowly while I was breathing out every time. It was kind of funny actually, and I almost laughed but I wasn't really in a laughing mood.

They told me there was a high school student who came to observe and asked if it was alright with me. I saw him out in the hall a minute earlier while the lady was explaining the soy dilemma and crashing my bed into the wall. If I remember correctly he had nice thick mop of dark brown hair and thick framed glasses, and looked pretty chill as he looked at something on a board in the hall. I told them it was fine, as long as I didn't die and nothing terrible happened to me. They laughed and said nothing would.

Then the doctor came in. He seemed pretty happy to see me and asked if I was Alice's daughter. It turns out he is my mother-in-law's doctor! That was comforting, knowing I was in good hands :) He asked if I ever drank soy milk; I told him no. Then he told the ladies what to do about the sedative. I think he said to use something else, but I'm not really sure. I was just trying to stay calm. Then they had me roll over onto my left side and they put the white plastic thing in my mouth to hold it open. My lips and mouth were really dry, probably from fasting for over 12 hours and being nervous. The plastic thing made it hard to swallow since I couldn't close my mouth. The lady that put it in told me they were going to start putting me to sleep and that I would want to clamp my teeth down on the plastic thing as the drugs started working, but that I needed to not do that or it would pop out and she'd have to wrestle it back in and it wouldn't be fun. I closed my eyes and tried to relax and not bite down, and she held it in my mouth while the other lady was doing something that must have involved touching my hand, which were tend to start to close stiffly into fists when I get nervous. I remember her saying "aww she's so scared! Just look at her hands, they're so cold and clammy! Poor thing!" as I laid there with my eyes shut trying to be calm and not worry.

And then Trevor was there! And there were yummy drinks! And all the doctors and nurses and techs and machines and the high school student were gone and I was back in my little room again! And I wasn't scared anymore! And I wasn't sick! It was awesome!

I tried to talk to Trevor for a bit, and then I got a text. Trevor handed me my phone and it was a notification from facebook. Some people had commented on a picture, but my phone wouldn't show me the picture. Trevor pulled up facebook on his phone and showed me two pictures of a girl in a hospital bed.

I didn't get why it had notified me of someone else's picture and I asked who it was. Then I realized it was me and I was like "what?! When did you take those?!" Apparently I had asked him to take them just a couple minutes earlier. Haha oops. Drugs. He said he kept telling me to smile for the pictures...but I had a hard time...apparently.

My memory of the next bit is a little fuzzy. I know I told Trevor about the soy fiasco, the doctor also being his mom's doctor, the student observing, the white plastic thing, and that that I asked him how the taxes meeting thing went at some point. I also remember drinking lots of grape juice, and that as a nurse lady was leaving I asked her if it was ok for me to go to ballet that night, and if I could keep my plastic wristband identification tag thing.

She smiled and told me yes, it was mine to keep, and after she left Trevor just started laughing at me and said I had asked her that 3-5 times already. Haha apparently I really really really liked that wristband! So in honor of my drugged-up self's request, I still have it on :) Me and Trevor stayed there for a bit and talked while we waited for the sedation to wear off more. Every time I told him something or asked him something he'd laugh and tell me how many times we had already had the exact same conversation, I had just forgotten already. We took another picture too, since I didn't really remember the first ones.

My eyes are still pretty dead from the sedation, but at least I remember this one better :)

Then we went to Zupas for lunch! I was doing a lot better at being myself, but looking back I was still pretty drugged up. I kept looking at the menu and getting really confused, so I finally just ordered something. Fortunately it was something delicious!! My grape juice was basically gone, but I still took my styrofoam cup in with me and kept sucking on the straw. I remember thinking I should tell the guy behind the counter making the food that the drink was mine, I didn't steal it from there, and that it was empty anyways so he shouldn't worry...but I didn't. Thank goodness! I think I did run back down to where he was while we were checking out to tell him something because I was afraid he was going to make me too many sandwiches or something. I'm not quite sure.

Then we went back home and I drifted in and out of dreams while watching a couple episodes of Bones with Trevor. He's such a good sport :) I love that guy!

So yep, there is my long recount of my EGD adventure! As far as results go, they're still waiting for results about if I have Celiac disease, but everything else showed my body is perfectly healthy. No answers. Just a lot of worry and money for nothing :/ But all in all, I'd say the experience was much more in line with my best case scenario than my worst case scenario. And now I can say I faced that scary situation and conquered! PLUS I got a yummy cup of grape juice for FREE!, now I have an awesome plastic wristband thing with my name and birthday on it, I got an excuse to have a hospital date with my Trevor and get a delicious meal from Zupas, there are some awesome/awful drugged up pictures of me on facebook for all the world to see, and my shiny new Nikon d5100 is in the mail headed towards my house at this very moment!!!

I'm definitely glad I got that over with, and, now that it's done, it really wasn't bad at all :)

1 comment:

  1. Karin! I hope you are ok! You are so positive I love it. And I had to laugh at your drugged up thoughts. hehe :)