Monday 10th November 2014 - Endoscopy Day
All my previous appointments had been early morning affairs but this one was set for the afternoon - 2:00pm. We arrived at St.Thomas' 30 minutes early, after a short walk up from Waterloo Station. The new Endoscopy Suite is on the first floor, with the waiting area overlooking the Houses of Parliament.
|Arriving at St.Thomas' Endoscopy Suite|
Have you got someone with you to escort you home? Yes, my wife
Do you know what is involved in this procedure? Yes, I've had it before
When did you last eat or drink? 7 o'clock this morning
What medications are you on? Omeprazole, Propanolol, Loperamide
Are you having sedation? Yes
Answering "Yes" to the last question meant needing a cannula. The nurse chose a good vein and it was inserted without any fuss. She explained that there was one other patient ahead of me but they were having both an endoscopy and colonoscopy in one go and it would be quite a lengthy procedure. I said that I hoped the two cameras didn't meet, which I thought was quite amusing, but she replied that they are done separately and I just looked stupid. That will teach me to try and be funny.
|The Cenotaph in readiness for Remembrance Day|
I was then lead into the Procedure Room where three nurses were waiting and I lay down on the bed. I explained that I had one request - "please don't put the gag in until I'm about to go under". One of the nurses, who was looking at me in a strange way, asked "what gag?" I explained is was the green, plastic object which goes between your teeth to protect them and stop you biting the endoscope. "Oh the mouthguard. When you said gag... well let's not go there!"
Time for the Xylocaine spray - a local anaesthetic that tastes of burnt bananas and deadens the back of the throat. This was the bit I was dreading as just the thought of the spray makes me want to retch. It wasn't too bad! Next the oxygen supply was positioned under my nose and I was asked to roll onto my left side.
Now the bit I was looking forward to - sedation. The doctor injected two syringes of Midazolam and Fentanyl. One of the nurses was stroking my head, telling me to concentrate on my breathing to visualise something pleasant. At this point I expected to slip away into temporary darkness....
For previous procedures I have been put out cold and then woken up in Recovery. This time I was aware of what was going on and must have been awake, although very drowsy. I managed to take a photo of the endoscope but don't remember doing it! Sad on both counts.
|Endoscopy Report - but no pictures taken|
It's left me wondering if the varices will continue to grow at their current pace and that the time between procedures is going to get less and less. A question for the doctor in 4 weeks time