27 October 2003

Longest 5 minutes of my life

Had my OGDS (oesophagoduodenoscopy) today. The gastroenterologist offered me sedation, but an upsurge of heroism seized me.

'I should feel what it's like for other patients. I'll tough it out,' I said courageously.

'Great!' he said and proceeded to shove a rubber hose down my throat. I gagged and retched furiously for a half minute while his assistants pinned me down, cheek flat against the sheets and mouth puckering like a goldfish. He ignored my frantic gestures that were supposed to convey, 'Pull the damned thing out you...'

Of course, like I would do with my own patients, he watched me retch, writhe and groan for a few minutes to finally ease into acceptance. After a while it simply felt like, well.. there's nothing quite like it. Deftly my innards were viewed on technicolor, photographed and biopsied. Lovely. All it took was the longest five minutes of my life!

I left chirpily with a sore throat, a photograph of my stomach and the reassurance that, 'Except for a few erosions in the antrum, there's no ulcer. Continue the medication you're taking for another 6 weeks and you'll be fine.'

Sometimes treatment of our illnesses is worse than the disease itself.

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