I go in for my endoscopy tomorrow. Wake up at 6:45 a.m., catch a 7:20 a.m. uber, arrive at the clinic for 8:00 a.m., then head in for the procedure at 8:15 a.m. Approximately 90 minutes later I should be good(ish) to go. But no alcohol, no greasy or spicy foods, and no piloting any commercial airplanes.
The sedation protocol isn’t exactly clear. The email states “If you will be sedated…” but doesn’t mention IF I will be sedated. According to the research Akemi has done, I may have the choice of either topical numbing spray that will allow me to be awake for the 20 minute procedure or a general anesthetic (I heard fentanyl, but that can’t be right) administered via I.V. that will briefly knock me out. Akemi showed me a video of an endoscopy from a clinic in the U.K. The tube is the size of a garden hose! She then showed me a video of a woman undergoing the procedure with a topical anesthetic at a Japanese clinic. At first, they tried putting it through her nose – and it did NOT go well. Then, they went in through her mouth and it did NOT go well. So, I guess fentanyl (?) it is.
Of course, my concern is two-fold. First, there’s the anxiety that comes with having two feet of tubing stuffed down your throat. The incidents of complications are extremely low, but you can’t help but wonder: Will they damage anything on the way down? Could I have a bad reaction to the anesthetic? And then, there’s the results of the endoscopy. What will they find? Will they let me know right away or will I have to wait to talk to my doctor?
GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease): Everyone seems to be operating under this initial assumption and the meds I am taking are used to threat this very condition. And they are working, for the most part. I’ no longer suffer indigestion so bad that I can’t sleep through the night and I am no longer waking up drenched in sweat. That said, I can’t help but feel the nausea and indigestion aren’t so much being resolved as they are suppressed. My sister apparently suffers from GERD as well so that suggests a genetic predisposition, but I don’t eat late (not after 6:00 p.m.) and my dinners are rarely heavy (usually a protein shake with fruit).
H-pylori: This one is a bacteria that is very common in Japan (and often identified through gastroscopies that are actually equally common in Japan). The symptoms match, but the prescription I’ve been taking for a couple of weeks now would have cleared it up. And, like I said, I’m not feeling in the clear.
Giardia (or any other type of infection): Someone on the blog mentioned they had the exact same symptoms for the exact same length of time and it turned out they had giardia, a parasite they picked up from their dog. Of anything it could be, I’m kind of hoping it’s this as it would be instantly treatable instead of something I would have to manage. Could Suji be the culprit?
Celiac disease: This one has been suggested by several followers and while I certainly entertain the possibility, gluten intolerance feels a little…how shall I put it…bullshitty? I don’t know.
Salmonella: Akemi’s theory is that I made myself sick by eating improperly cooked flour. If this were the case, it’s been over a month and a half since the day in question. You’d think I’d be fully recovered by now.
Pregnancy: I think we can scratch this one off the list.
Food allergy: Do NOT like the prospect of developing a sudden allergy to, say, cheese or chocolate. At Akemi’s insistence, I’ve been keeping a food journal and, from what I can tell, specific foods don’t seem to trigger a response.
Gallbladder: It’s possible, but I’m not experiencing any pain, which is a symptom of an issue with my gallbladder.
Heart issue: The indigestion and night sweats might point to this. And a recurring abnormality in my annual EKG sent me in for a EKG ultrasound last year – that turned up nothing. Also, I do have an unusually low heart rate. But my annual physical (bloodwork, stress test, etc.) back in October didn’t flag anything.
Something more insidious: Can’t help but think of a relative who complained of trouble swallowing, went to the hospital to get it check out, and never returned. This is, of course, the last likely scenario – but, of course, the one that takes up the most space in my brain. That would definitely throw a wrench into my 2023 plans.
Or…it’s something else: Something I haven’t thought of like alien spores.
Not looking forward to finding out!
Sticky Butter Mochi? Yes/No https://t.co/hg8TYnyEYd
— Joseph Mallozzi 🏴☠️ (@BaronDestructo) January 3, 2023