Friday, December 16, 2005

Using the whole fist there, doc?

Okay, so I don’t like going to the doctor. I never really have. I’m not afraid or anything, I’ve just never been a big fan of going to the doctor, nor of taking medication. Which is weird as my father is a doctor, my mom is a nurse and my uncle is also a doctor. I also work with doctors and nurses every night. I have always felt that I have better things to do and have never really needed to go. Until recently, that is. I started having digestive issues about a month and a half ago. And it has been more than just heartburn from eating spicy food. So I decided to swallow my pride (It’s not spicy.) and went to my doctor.

I have had this doctor for just under a year, and this was the second time I have seen him. The first time was for a nasty cold. Now, I really like this doctor, he’s a very nice guy, so I don’t hold any animosity towards him for what I was subjected to today. I know (I hope.) that he was acting in my best interests. For the possibilities of acid reflux or ulcers, he ordered an upper GI. In order to rule out gall bladder trouble he ordered an abdominal ultrasound. I was lucky enough to schedule these tests one right after he other in order to get the results more quickly. Yeah, lucky me.

As prep for the tests, I had to refrain from eating or drinking anything for six hours prior to the tests. I scheduled the tests for the morning so that wasn’t a problem. But I have never woken up so thirsty. I swished water around my mouth and brushed my teeth and off I went.

First up was the abdominal ultrasound. Now, it’s just my opinion, but, if you are going to smear jelly all over my chest and stomach and then prod me with electrical equipment, you should at least talk to me. Especially if your first words to me are “Take off your shirt and lie back on the table.” Maybe I’m just old fashioned. Anybody who knows me will tell you that I am A) Not quiet; and 2) Not shy about talking to people or asking questions. If you are rubbing warm jelly into my stomach, I’m going to have a few questions. I was laying to where I could see the monitor. I wanted to know what parts of my innards I was looking at. I might have to identify them later. And, since they aren’t in color, like in my anatomy texts, I needed help.

So, I got to see my gall bladder and my kidneys and the blood flow through the whole area. Kind of cool. No baby, though. I told the guy if he found one that we’d be rich. He didn’t even crack a smile. Oh well. He finished up and walked out, leaving me there with a puddle of sticky jelly dripping down my side. I’ll bet he doesn’t call. I towel off as best as I can and pull my shirt back on. If you haven’t ever had an ultrasound, you can’t just towel the jelly off; you really need something to wash it off. But there was no sink.

Next stop was for the upper GI. I am lead into a small dressing room by a rather tall medical assistant, who tells me to sit down, then looms over me and asks, “Have you ever been scoped before?” Of course I reply, “Miss, we just met. I don’t even know your name? At least buy me a drink first.” She laughed. Praise be! A human! Next she asked if I knew why the doctor had ordered these tests. My response? “Because I have insurance to cover them.” I am now two for two and feeling less apprehensive about the impending examinations. She tells me that I am going to have to drink some fluid, they will take some pictures and we’ll see what we find.

My next instructions are to take off my pants and shirt, place them in a bag, then put on a gown, with the opening towards the back, then have a seat on the bench outside. No problem. Clothes folded, into bag, robe on…oookay, robe not covering anything back there. Out the door and onto the bench. I can only imagine what I must look like in my fedora, gown and casual boots. I did duck back in for a second gown to cover the backside. (Those benches are cold!)

Luckily I didn’t have too long to wait before I was whisked into a room that looked like it belonged in the engine area of the Enterprise. The tech was a strikingly cute brunette, who smiled. Two humans in a row, I am already doing better than the last stop! The doctor introduced himself to me and had me stand on a platform with my back against a panel. I am told that they are going to take some shots while I am standing, then lay the table back.

Whee, I can hardly wait.

They close a panel in front of me and I am handed a medicine cup full of crystals and another half full of water. “Toss the crystals in the back of your mouth, then wash them down with the water. It’ll make you want to burp, but don’t.” They weren’t kidding. Then I get to have my first drink of barium solution. Okay, if you read back, you’ll notice that I was told that I was going to be given some fluid. This was not fluid in the same way that a brick is not a good thing to drop on your toes. It was what happens to chalk when it gets melted with cherry flavor and cold mud. I drank it as fast as I could so that I wouldn’t throw it up. Or belch, because there was certainly a bit of gurgling going on in my stomach.

They started taking pictures and asking me to hold my breath. Then the table starts to lean back. I am asked to rock side to side to coat my stomach with the barium, then to roll over a couple of times. Did I mention that the cover is still closed? It is like trying to roll over in one of those waist up phone booths, if it was lying on its side. And sized to fit. After two spins I am asked to roll onto my stomach and rock side to side again. And, joy of joys, I get to drink a second cup of barium! At least this was through a bendy straw. A few more revolutions and rocking on back and stomach and I am coated well enough for the rest of the procedure.

I am also slightly motion sick and ready to barf barium onto the tile. Luckily I am not claustrophobic.

If you have ever worn a skirt, you can imagine what has happened to the gowns I am wearing. They have hiked up and I thank my mother for making sure I know how to wash a pair of underwear. I am also glad I have opted for the full coverage boxers. In my most polite voice, I opine “You guys just do this to see if people will do anything you ask them to, don’t you?”

I have changed my opinion, the cute tech is certainly a minion of Satan, recording my thrashings on the table for some get together where they watch these films and giggle till they cough up brimstone. The doctor redeems himself by telling me that there are no ulcers anywhere to be found. However, I apparently do have acid reflux disease. So now I get to learn about that and figure out what changes I am going to have to make to my diet. If you can call the crap I eat a diet.

I am now done and able to get dressed and go home, where I will be showering off the left over ultrasound jelly. I am also instructed to drink a lot of water throughout the day. I am sure that if I don’t the barium I ingested will turn into radioactive cement in my stomach. I needn’t have worried, it came out rather quickly. (If you are currently eating, or are about to eat, don’t read the next line.) Barium comes out the color of Gulden’s mustard.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what the doctor has in mind for the next time I visit.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find out who to call to audition for my Nexium commercial.


Random fact: Do you know what do with used enemas? Bury ‘em! (Say it out loud.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the words of the Cisco Kid, I must, I must. (Pry, that is.)
Which end did the Gulden's come out of?

12/19/2005 9:38 AM  
Blogger Eric the Something said...

That would be the butt, Bob.

12/19/2005 7:48 PM  
Blogger Eric the Something said...

And that was the Waco Kid, Pancho.

12/19/2005 8:13 PM  
Anonymous geek girl said...

I am not supposed to laugh this hard at work.

12/21/2005 4:17 PM  
Blogger always write said...

Oh, dear, that was awful. ly funny.

12/23/2005 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Nexium Prescription Information said...

My name is Jon Star and i would like to show you my personal experience with Nexium.

I am 34 years old. Great medicine. I only hope that I don't become dependant on it. But as my esphogus heals then maybe I'll be able to take an OTC PPI if my symtoms re-occur and I catch them ASAP! Can't wait for a generic. BLUE CROSS of MA won't pay for Nexium unless I start on generic Prilosec, then Protonix, then if both of those failed, they would pay for Nexium. I hate BLUE CROSS! My Dr. was great in giving me 7 weeks of samples when he heard this and Aztra-Zeneca gave me a 7-day coupon I re-deemed at my local pharmacy(with a written 7-day script from my Dr.)

No major side effect. Sometimes a feeling of indigestion/bloated, possibly due to low or no stomach acid as a result of a PPI. So, I am sure to chew my food well and not to eat large portions. I have introduced foods/drinks back into my diet, that before taking Nexium would otherwise bring-on reflux symtoms. Fruit juices and citric acid containing drinks still are bothersome. But, I've eaten Pizza, and am able to drink coffee/tea, both decaf(not to excess though.) A little at a time. I do not drink any alcohol! I still limit any food intake 3 hours before bedtime and try to sleep on my left side. Nexium has given me the greatest relief as compared to all OTC H2 and OTC PPI's. I'm on week 5 of an 8 week treatment.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Jon Star

11/22/2008 2:10 AM  

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