Hospital this afternoon. Ugh… Don’t read if eating, or of a nervous disposition.


I have to tootle over to the local hospital this afternoon to have a gastroscopy. (That’s the one where you swallow the gadget, btw; not the other one…) I’ve had a hiatus hernia for years. It used to be intermittent, but apparently now it’s a permanent fixture. I normally just ignore it, but from time to time it causes acid reflux, which can be painful and irritating.

Anyway, when I was doing the Dales Way a couple of months ago I was listening to podcasts from the BBC, and one of them, Medicine Now (or something), was about a condition called Barrett’s Oesophagus. Apparently this is a condition in which oesophageal cells in close proximity to the stomach develop the characteristics of stomach cells, in an attempt to deal with acid they weren’t designed to be swimming around in. It’s a condition that people with acid reflux sometimes develop, and it can be a precursor to oesophageal cancer.

So, since I’ve had reflux acid for years, and my mother died of oesophageal cancer last year, it seemed like a good idea to consult the GP a couple of weeks ago and request a test. The BBC programme said a simple test which can be done in a GP’s surgery has been developed, but up here in the frozen climes of North West England it appears that clever new developments like that haven’t yet reached us. Therefore, I’m off to the hospital later today for the blasted gastroscopy.

(Incidentally, this means I’ve not had anything to eat this morning. Anyone who would like to send me restorative chocolate should address it to me and send it via Piglet Monster at The Sty. Heh…)

I had what felt like about a thousand gastroscopies about 10 years ago during the 2 years or so it took for my gallstones to be diagnosed. They were a nightmare, and over time I developed an almost Pavlovian response to the suggestion that I should ever have another. It’s possible to have some sort of sedation with them. I didn’t ever find that it helped much, but it’s better than nothing. It’s only possible to have that, though, if there’s somebody around to take one home. I’ve not got anyone here to collect me (Piglet hasn’t yet passed her driving test) so now I’m trying to decide whether to just lie to the nurse, and take a taxi back. That’s prolly what I’ll do.

So… I’m a bit nervous, now. Not about whether I may have some vile lurgy–that seems very unlikely–but about having yet another bloody gastroscopy. And I’m going to have to leave wee Piggly shut up in her little crate while I’m out, and she’ll get all upset and wonder whether I’m ever coming home. I’ll leave the radio on for her, and she’ll probably listen to Case Notes, or something, and demand an urgent consultation with the vet when I get back. Sigh…


13 Responses to Hospital this afternoon. Ugh… Don’t read if eating, or of a nervous disposition.

  1. Laura says:

    Good Luck with the hospital!
    Hope the Wainwright trip planning is going well – I’m jealous – just spent a week standing on a canal boat (apart from the winding bit!) so now I’m itching to walk! Have you done your TGO challenge application for next year?

  2. peewiglet says:

    Thanks re: the hospital!

    That week on the canal boat sounds good to me *g* I did some trips on canal boats many years ago, and enjoyed them.

    Wainwright planning coming along slowly, but gradually getting there.

    Haven’t yet posted Chally application but I have it in the envelope. I just need to find the cheque book.

  3. baz carter says:

    Shirl, I’ve only ever had one of these; to diagnose the Coeliac Desease that I was suffering from. Once was bad enough so I feel for you with that one. BTW I too didnt have any one to take me home so I had to have the local throat spray… The nurse who’s hand I was holding was gifted with a very good inprint of my fingers and thumb.

    Best of luck with the test.


  4. JJ says:

    I must have been lucky, my throat-spray gastroscopy was fine….fascinating in fact! I was able to see my insides quite clearly on a huge monitor. There was no discomfort, just a little ‘gagging’ as the camera made it’s initial entrance and descent.

    I hope it went ok for you!


  5. Phil says:

    Me & Miss W send all our best – hope it’s not too uncomfortable. Give Piglet a cuddle when you get home.

    Love P & Miss W x.

  6. peewiglet says:

    Baz–a pal of mine texted me earlier to say that when her sister in law had one she decked a nurse! So it seems to me that your nurse got off lightly *g*

    JJ–it was okay, thanks. I think the yukky ones I had in the past, before the equipment was a little more slimline, have left me with a lasting horror of them. That and the fact that I had a few done by GPs who really didn’t know what they were doing. Today’s bloke does 1,000 a year, so it was nice and fast and straightforward.

    Phil & Miss W–thank you ♥ I’ve cuddled Piglet and Piss-Piss, and now I have a vast quantity of food from M&S to eat. I made the mistake of going there on the way home, not having eaten since last night 🙂

    Oh, I did say I had somebody to collect me, btw. I had to escape from the ward eventually, when it became clear that they weren’t going to let me go until my minder arrived to collect me.

    It seems strange to me that this PCT should get so exercised about administering the mildest of sedatives (it didn’t send me to sleep, I didn’t have it in advance and I remember every moment of the procedure) when only a week and a half ago they managed to forget to put up the railing at the side of the bed of the 80+ year old mother of a friend of mine, as a result of which she fell out of bed in the middle of the night, broke her hip and is now fated to spend the rest of her life immobile since she’s not well enough now for an operation. It’s the same PCT that told my mother she had a clear chest X-ray last year, 14 days before she died of oesophageal cancer, and the same trust that drugged my father up to the eyeballs earlier this year and reduced him to a zombie, and wrongly told me that he was sitting on the floor staring at things that didn’t exist as a result of his vascular dementia, whereas in fact it was due to a massive over-prescription of anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety drugs. Hence my willingness to do a runner this afternoon.

    Southport and Ormskirk PCT. Avoid if at all possible.

  7. baz carter says:

    I am a mild mannered soul. Pleased to read that you got out of there without any further grief.

    BTW I’m up at Barts tomorrow PM for my bi-annual…

    • peewiglet says:

      I didn’t realise what coeliac desease actually was until I looked it up just now. I’m very sorry to hear that you’ve got it, and I hope all goes as well as possible tomorrow at Barts. Does it still affect you on a daily basis?

  8. kateC says:

    i’m diagnosing you both with ‘nimium radio4’ 😉

    …..hope all is well

  9. Dawn says:

    Hope it all goes well for you Shirl. Shall be thinking of you.

    • Piglet says:

      Thanks, Dawn ♥ All went well, and I’m sure the GP will tell me when I get back from the Lakes that there’s no problem. In the meantime, I’ve been too lax even to take the medication they prescribed. Oops…

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