Gastroscopy timeline (educational but not so fun)

Oversharing warning!!!

Description of an unpleasant medical procedure on a health anxiety sufferer – Get out now while you still can and go read about puppies instead!

Ever wondered what it’s like to have a camera down your throat? Well, it’s about as fun as you imagine it to be, but it’s not painful, and it’s not deadly and even a freakshow like me can go through with it whilst conscious…so…I reckon pretty much anyone can do it.

Here’s my timeline:

T-6 hours, breakfast and 1mg diazepam 

T-2 hours, last water plus 2mg diazepam

T-1 hour, leave for the hospital

T,  taken for blood pressure and pulse check 

T+45 mins, still browsing the oatmeal for amusing distractions, wishing i’d taken more valium

T+50 mins, taken to the theatre

T+55 mins given lidocaine throat spray and description of what will happen, seriously wishing i’d taken more valium.

T+60 mins, mouth guard in, tube in, and around 4 mins of weirdness and wretching while I hyperventilated and set off the heartrate alarm and the consultant took a video and three biopsies. I wasn’t allowed to watch the screen while they did it 😦 

T+65 mins, breathing and heartrate returning back to normal, results explained (stomach polyps, no sign of reflux), and released home.

T+4 hours, unnecessary irrational concern that the sudden rise in heart rate might have caused damage. 

T+13 hours, wake up overheated, wander around looking for thermometer in case I have a deadly fever. Cant find one, go back to sleep because it’s probably just the valium wearing off. 

T+18 hours, eat breakfast but discover mild vague stomach soreness and consider perforation, cancel horse riding, even though it’s probably muscular pain from the wretching.

T+20 hours, order myself a cute handbag as a reward for being so brave yesterday

T+24 hours, observe dull heartburny chest discomfort that I worry is either my heart or some esophageal tear. Take gaviscon, it gets better.

T+30 hours, starting to get a grip because I’m not displaying any dangerous symptoms…still checkimg temperature and avoiding exertion :/


I’m intrigued as to the biopsy results but expect them to be normal..Someone could have told me they were going to check for celiac because I’ve been gluten free for over a month! I also anticipate another day or so of vague discomfort while my insides heal from the bruising and the little fleshy chunks they cut out. Lets be honest here through, even if these mild and largely non-worrysome symptoms don’t improve overnight I’ll still be on the phone for some medical reassurance as soon and the department opens tomorrow! I like to get my money’s worth out of the NHS!

Phew! What an adventure. I’m glad I did it, but I’m not voulenteering for another any time soon. I highly recommend the sedative that I declined this time. If there’s a next time I want to be out cold (as long as I can control my tube pulling-out reflex).

A little argument with my stomach

Me: Hello stomach, thanks for agreeing to talk to me
Stomach: erm Hi…so what’s this all about?
Me: well, after many happy years of working together, you’ve developed a bit of an attitude problem recently.
St: go on…
Me: you are getting less and less tolerant of my choices and are just grumpy all of the time and I’m not standing for it.
St: I see what you are saying but let me explain from my point of view. I’ve tolerated your weird food and drink choices for years, and agreed to your ridiculous unidirectional digestive tract rule, but you haven’t been keeping up your end of our bargain. Don’t get me started on those anxiety fits you keep promising you won’t have…then, you infected me with some godawful bacterium…
Me: we both know I didn’t do that on purpose..
St: fine, but it made me feel crap and yet you still insisted on feeding me black coffee and rum so is it any big shock that I got moody?
Me: hey, I felt crappy too..
St: ha! Good! Anyway then you bombard me with antibiotics that you know I don’t like…
Me: there wasn’t really another way…
St: You would say that, and what about those proton pump inhibitors then? What kind of sick punishment was that? I was busy trying to get through the antibiotics when you damned well inhibit my acid producing ability…that’s just not cricket! How was I supposed to do my job?
Me: sorry but that was a necessary evil
St: oh yeah, I bet it was…it took me weeks to upregulate my proton pumps so that I could make enough acid.
Me: that’s why I had to increase the dose
St: bitch.
Me: but you adapted again didn’t you?
St: I certainly did. I rose to the challenge, it was all under control until you removed the proton pump inhibitors.
Me: I did taper
St: ok then I’ll taper the floods of excessive acid I now have.
Me: fab!
St: I was being sarcastic. gimme the damned drugs again, I think I might be dying without them.
Me: I’m afraid I can’t do that, it’s for your own good..though it does feel like you are trying to dissolve my whole body from the inside out.
St: on your head be it. You’ll have to wait for me to adapt again and don’t you so much as look at a pint of cider or so help me, I’ll show you exactly how grumpy I can be. Let’s see of we can’t involve oesophagus in the party…
Me: right…so…would you like a cup of tea?
St: make it chamomile and then get out of my sight, I’m busy trying to deal with all that cheese you insist on swallowing….not that it’s any of my business but you are aware what lactose intolerance means, right?

That didn’t quite go as planned. I guess I should give my stomach a break.
Quite a fiery fellow though eh?