Esophagogastroduodenoscopy – now that is a mouth full!
Pardon the pun in the title. I’m happy to report that the endoscopy that I had yesterday showed that the villi in my small intestine now look normal. This means that the gluten free diet I have been on for the last couple of years has allowed my body to heal from the damage caused by the celiac disease antibodies.
The procedure was not without some trials. The doctor suggested that to save me a poke that the anti-body blood test could be done at the same time as the IV start for the procedure (an endoscopy requires general anesthesia). Since I’ve had lymph nodes removed on both sides and am prone to lymphedema, I cannot have IVs in either arm. This means the added challenge of getting an IV in my foot (ouch).
Yesterday, I learned that a blood draw requires a thicker needle than just the anesthesia. After four pokes in my feet (two in each foot) and an inability to get enough blood for the blood test, we gave up on the blood draw and went to a thinner needle for the anesthesia. If I had known that in advance, I would have opted to just do the blood draw separately, since I can get blood drawn from my right arm (not my left because I had lymphedema in that arm). It would have saved me many sticks and meant that I was ready for the procedure a little sooner.
In addition to the endoscopy, I’m doing an esophagus gastroesophageal reflux test – which requires a catheter through my nose and into my stomach for 24-hours. I wasn’t quite prepared for the impact this would have. No one bothered to tell me that it would mean that I needed to be careful what I ate – as it is difficult to swallow anything hard – as hard foods get stuck on the wire that is going down the back of my throat and into my stomach. No amount of chewing helps. Also sticky foods don’t work. Fortunately, I just made a batch of fresh yogurt and I seem to be able to swallow strawberries – so I’m enjoying some strawberry yogurt for breakfast. I am so ready to have this thing out of me!
I wonder, though, how useful the test is when the test itself directly affects food intake, and therefore affects acid levels. It is interesting to see how the ph in my stomach changes when I eat. I hope it turns out that I did this for something useful (but nothing serious) and it wasn’t just a waste of my time and making me feel yucky for no reason.
With that self-care taken care of, I’m preparing for a return trip to Welland to visit mom for a couple of weeks. We hope that in that time she can have the cyberknife brain radiation and start preparing for the clinical trial.
Feature image public domain via WikiCommons.