So...I have some things to fill you in on. My health was sort of a roller coaster this week. That barfing I mentioned in my Emerald City Recap was, unknowingly at the time, related to the crap I dealt with this week. After eating lunch on Monday, I felt like I had food stuck in my throat that just wouldn't work it's way down. I kept drinking water and it didn't help. Soon after, I was getting a little bit of chest pain but nothing crazy. After work, on the commute home, I got this intense sharp, stabbing pain in my chest behind my sternum. It was the most pain I've felt since child birth. It lasted several seconds and went away. I got this pain periodically through the night and noticed it was worse when I ate food. I was a tad bit scared but was confident it wasn't cardiac related which is why I did nothing about it.
The next morning, it was still there. I decided to call one of the nurses I work with to get her opinion. We discussed the situation and decided I should call my PCP. Fortunately, I was able to get in that morning. After discussion, the doc confirmed my suspicion of an esophageal issue. They did an EKG (the doctor admitted it was to cover his a$$...seriously, he said that to me) and wrote a referral for an EGD. I was basically stressed out to the max until Ohio Gastro called to schedule the test. I was just worried about having to take off work, rearrange my schedule...and will I be able to run?! They finally called me in the late afternoon and I was scheduled for a Friday afternoon appointment. Until then, I was told I could only eat soft foods and liquids (whatevs!) and, of course, no food/drink a certain amount of time before my procedure.
I was able to do my speed work and my easy 7 miler on Wednesday and Thursday. I planned to do my long run on Friday morning but knew I would have to rearrange since my diet had changed and I wasn't getting the calories I would normally eat. My instructions were to stop eating after midnight on Thursday and to only have clear liquids the following day. I also was supposed to stop taking anything into my body 2 hours before the test. Surprisingly, this was tolerable...mostly because I slept as much as I could that morning.
The hubs dropped me off at 2pm and I was supposed to get prepped, get the anesthesia, and, finally, have the test performed. They brought me back promptly and began taking my health history. When we started discussing meds, I told them I wasn't on birth control because I was trying to get pregnant. I assured them that I had my period starting August 10th and that my cycle has been 31-35 days all year long. They felt that was too close to potential ovulation and wanted me to take a pregnancy test. Sounds pretty basic, right? NOT FOR LISA.
I am known to get stage fright when it comes to peeing in a cup. Every drug test, every pregnancy test, every OBGYN appointment when I was pregnant....I cannot pee on the spot. To make matters worse, I hadn't had any fluids in my body for 3-4 hours and peed before leaving my house. I tried and failed for my first go round. They hooked me up to IV fluids since I wasn't allowed to drink anything. I'm not sure how many ounces are in each pouch, but they ended up giving me two of them! I tried to pee after the first and failed again. Same story for the second. They said I could not follow through with the procedure if I didn't pee. They had to confirm that I wasn't pregnant. UGH!!! I was so frustrated. I couldn't help but cry. Any normal person can piss in a cup...why couldn't I do it after 2 bags of fluid?!
The doc came in to talk to me about it and tell me my options. He said I could reschedule for next week. I told him that was not an option for me. I just couldn't rearrange my schedule for this. I wanted answers today! My other option was to do the test without anesthesia. WHAT THE WHAT?! ARE YOU F'ING SERIOUS?! PEOPLE DO THAT FOR AN EGD?! I was blown away. He told me that it isn't common but is very doable.
The only thing I could think to say was "I gave birth without any meds at all. How does it compare?" The doc laughed at me and said "Let's suit up." He said if I can give birth au naturel, I can do this. There was no part of me that was scared. I just thought of this pic that my BFF sent me recently:
Basically, they put something in your mouth to keep it wide open (think of any procedure you've had done at the dentist...your mouth is so wide that you can hardly swallow and you just drool everywhere).
Then they put you on your left side with a drool towel under your face. He explained that I would initially feel like I was gagging then he would ask me to swallow to help get the tube down. OMG...I cannot describe how uncomfortable it was. It did not hurt but who likes gagging?! It was the absolute worst sensation ever. He said it would take 4-5 minutes.
|That's not me. ;)|
I'm not going to lie...after it was inserted, I was so scared. I know I was crying only because I felt the tears rolling out of my eyes and down my cheek. I couldn't speak, I could barely breath. I just continuously gagged and vomited. I could feel liquid coming out of my mouth and felt I had no control. I prayed so hard that it would be over with. I'm getting teary-eyed telling the story. IT WAS SO SCARY. I knew I was in good hands, but that didn't help me in that moment.
I had the sweetest nurses and doctors trying to comfort me through it. The doc gave me a "break" halfway through which really meant that he didn't move the tube up or down for a few seconds so that I could try to control my breathing. They kept instructing me to breath through my nose. It felt impossible. How does one breath through their nose when their mouth is wide open?! Anyway, just imagine gagging, vomiting, and struggling to breath for 5 minutes while a tube is down your throat.
I was so relieved when it was over. I told them I was sorry for crying and gagging! They thought I was crazy for apologizing and said they were shocked at how well I tolerated it! You guys, I do not wish this upon you. If you ever have an EGD, I urge you to take the drugs if you can! Again, it didn't hurt... it was just so scary.
As for now, my throat is sore and that's about it. I did shart when I got home! My results were normal. He biopsied my esophagus just in case (results in a week). He said he suspects it's just GERD. The diagnosis was frustrating because I've dealt with heartburn for many years. I just haven't had it since I was pregnant. Heartburn was never one of my symptoms. I just feel like I have food stuck in my throat 24/7...like it's not going into my stomach. The doc told me to start taking 150mg of Zantac daily. We'll see if that helps. Hopefully the sensation goes away because it's just not comfortable. Fortunately, the sharp chest pains have subsided.
Thank you for all of the prayers and kind messages! You know who you are!!