Ok, so no one likes having any kind of procedures, and an endoscopy/gastroscopy is one of the easier ones. Still, I have to say it was the best medical experience I’ve ever had.
The nurses were lovely, and caring. They laughed that I brought my heated throw, but last time I was there, the poor guy two slots before me had serious complications, and we were all pushed back almost four hours. That kind of thing can’t be helped, and I didn’t complain because the other guy was in much worse shape than me, and the nurses were working hard enough. But oh how I wished for my heated throw that day, as the RA pain kicked in. Nothing went wrong today for anyone, and they all were kind and efficient.
The anaesthetist was friendly and happy to talk and answer questions. He even had a sense of humour (anaesthetic is usually VERY serious business…LOL)
And my gastroenterologist is a truly classy, intelligent lady, who had a full schedule, but also didn’t rush at all, and takes the time to greet and chat to all her patients before the procedure.
So what I know so far is that I needed the dilatation done again. That’s the second one in 18 months, which is not a good sign. There are only so many times I can get my oesophagus dilated, the tissue will only stretch so far and so often, and the prednisone, while reducing the inflammation, makes the tissue less elastic and more likely to tear.
I was again at the point where I could only really swallow liquids and purees, and even then, sometimes water felt like razor blades. But tomorrow I should be able to swallow solid food again, though I need to be careful and chew very thoroughly.
The strictures and closing up of my esophagus was likely caused by Eosinophilic Esophagitis, which is thought to be caused by allergens. Mostly foods (common culprits dairy, soy and wheat) but sometimes environmental. I believe all that damage was done during my prednisone taper, as I became unable to eat anything, even my ‘safe’ foods, once the prednisone got down to 7mg or so.
Future treatment? Not sure. A lot depends on what the biopsies show. She took multiple biopsies from my stomach, oesophagus and duodenum. I have obvious haemorrhagic gastritis and inflammation in my duodenum, as well as my poor old oesophagus. She’s made a follow up appointment with me for six weeks, to give me time to recover from the hysterectomy next week, and by then she will have the biopsy results. She said she did suspect there would be inflammation right throughout my digestive tract, small and large intestines, but no point speculating until we have the biopsies back and talk through what we definately know so far.
And I have a peptic ulcer, which has been bleeding. Finally, the cause of my ongoing anemia, despite iron supplements, is likely found.
The ulcer is likely from the daily aspirin I take as a stroke preventative, and the risk is higher if I don’t take it, so I’m told to continue. Also, all those NSAIDs over the years probably haven’t helped. She prescribed Pariet, a proton pump inhibitor, which will reduce the amount of acid in my stomach and allow the ulcer to heal.
I’ll need a repeat gastroscopy in 6 months to make sure the ulcer has healed. And that’s it! That was my day. Lots to digest (sorry, couldn’t help myself) but I had excellent treatment, and a really, really good sleep. So I can’t complain 🙂 #hurtingbuthappy