Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So it was nothing!

"My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old....and we don't know where he is." (E-mail excerpt)

I had a medical appointment recently which I dreaded, for an esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD. The reason I didn't look forward to this procedure was the only experience in this line was what I heard a few years ago and an illustration of the mechanics. The doc said all there was to it was a tube down the throat and maybe a snip of tissue for examination. "It doesn't take long and we put you out so you can't feel anything. Your throat may be a little sore afterward for a day or two." But the illustration I saw made it look like something from the dark ages, where the patient is shown lying on his back with his head over the end of the table and a metal tube about three feet long sticking out of the mouth. I thought that I'd never survive that spectacle because when I tilt my head back like that, I can't breathe very good, if at all. How the heck can you breathe with something like that covering your throat from bulkhead to bulkhead?

Well, we arrived at the appointment a good forty-five minutes early since only thirty minutes was required. Traffic wasn't bad. I filled out a few papers plus the ones I had to turn in, signed my name three or four times giving all the money I didn't have to somebody or other or something, and we took a seat in the lobby to await the summons. I read through a Time magazine, picked up a Reader's Digest and read all the jokes, and talked to the wife about this and that. She had to come with me to drive me home, if I survived, "You just can't drive home or do anything else the rest of the day" they told me. And we waited until finally we were called in to the prep room where I answered more third degree questions and settled back with a device in my arm for whatever they decide to feed me. And we waited some more, until the nurse pushed my bed into the inner sanctum.

The doctor made his appearance after about ten minutes of more hooking up and prep and asked me how I was doing. "Turn on your left side and we'll start the sleep medicine," he said.
And the next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and saw my wife sitting by the bed. I asked her when are they going to start. "They're finished," she said. "You can go home as soon as you get fully awake." Of course, I thought she was just pulling my leg, but the nurse came to the bed and said, "Would you like some apple juice or something to drink, and you can go home in a couple of minutes. I was totally amazed, didn't feel a thing, couldn't believe the doctor had done anything, but he showed up right away while I was still groggy and related all the pertinent facts to us, and left.

By the time we reached home my throat was a little sore, but I thought by golly they sure done that slick, and I was just as happy as a pup and ready to start writing something!

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