View Full Version : Endoscopy tomorrow (second attempt)

17-07-14, 09:15
Hello NMP peeps

I have my Endoscopy tomo, and I am freaking out. I have a cold and I'm scared I won't be able to breathe with the camera down. I am frightened of being out of control so not sure about the sedation, but am terrified of having the scope because I was badly traumatised by forcibly having my stomach pumped after a suicide attempt when I was 17. I am so close to cancelling this. I can't bear this hanging over me though. :(. I feel such a coward. I feel like I can't cope with anything. :(


I called the Endoscopy department and they said gave my GP refer me to have it done with general anaesthetic, but I don't want to take unnecessary risks with that either. Also my GP flatly refused. I just can't face this. I know I am a coward, but all I want is reassurance it isn't cancer. I don't actually feel that unwell. my burning chest discomfort, back pain and urge to cough completely disappear when I feel happy. all I want is someone to tell me I am okay, that this IS anxiety related and to not worry so much (worry makes the burning sooo much worse).

I have until this afternoon to make my decision. I am also waiting for a call from my GP. Maybe they will do the breath test or the barium swallow instead? I really am freaking about it.

17-07-14, 10:16
Hey, you're definitely not a coward! I've had to get an endoscopy done for over 10 years! 10! But I'm finally getting it done in a few weeks.

I'm going to try to do it without sedation because I'm also terrified of being out of control. But that's your decision to keep right until the very moment of the test!

We gotta stick together on this :) You believe in me, and I'll believe in you! We got this! :hugs:

17-07-14, 14:18
thank you. I just spoke to my GP and he is really pushing me to have this. I am freaking out even more now, (WHY SO IMPORTANT etc!) although I have decided to go and hope I can cope with it. All I can do is hope for the best. :(

---------- Post added at 14:12 ---------- Previous post was at 12:48 ----------

Now I'm panicking again. :( I can't stick to a decision.

---------- Post added at 14:18 ---------- Previous post was at 14:12 ----------

I really don't want this!

17-07-14, 20:20
He's probably insistent for a couple of reasons. It rules out anything sinister and it offers you the reassurance you're seeking. In all likelihood, this is anxiety related, especially in light of the way you describe your symptoms. Besides, your doctor probably wants you to put that worry to rest as well ;)

Suck it up, get it done and be done with the worry. Then speak to your doctor about treating your anxiety.

Positive thoughts

17-07-14, 21:12
My GP has ran out of ideas with anxiety, I think. Or he's fed up with me! I've been super anxious on and off since 2006. Bouts of OCD since I was seven. X I've had so much counselling and meds, but nothing sticks completely because of the sleep deprivation and worry for my daughter. Things have helped, like Claire Weekes, REBT, recent therapy, meds don't seem to help me and make my behaviour a bit odd. X I have really thrown myself into therapy a few times and it helps but it "wears off" if that makes sense. X

17-07-14, 21:30
I have really thrown myself into therapy a few times and it helps but it "wears off" if that makes sense. X

I've come to learn that certain afflictions we can heal from but we're not quite the same as before. With myself and my cancer treatment, I'm healed but there are side effects that mean I have to do swallowing exercises for the rest of my life or risk losing the ability to do so. Sometimes with a mental affliction, you have to keep working on the things you've learned (CBT techniques for instance) and practice them in order to maintain the progress you've made or, as it seems you're saying, it "wears off".

Positive thoughts

17-07-14, 21:36
I know what you mean. :) You are really good to talk to. Thanks so much. :) I find my thinking slips out of the right groove, but it doesn't go back in easily, or without help. I can't seem to access CBT or similar until I can see *around* my obsessions. They take over when I am floopy. X Just out of interest, and if you don't mind, how do you exercise swallowing? X

18-07-14, 11:10
Just back from the Endoscopy. It was a nightmare. Had the gas and air, throat spray AND the full lot of midazolam. All it did was make me forget what (didn't) happen. They had to stop the procedure. I didn't know what I was doing obviously, as it was my biggest fear, but I kept sitting up during the procedure and pulling out the tube. The sedation didn't really work for me, in terms of making me sleepy. I wasn't at all sleepy and was really 'keyed up'. Panicky. So I went through all that, getting there, having the spray (really not bad at all) having gas and air (good stuff) and sedation. (didn't work effectively on me - but that's happened before with general. Takes a lot to knock me out) Soooo disappointed, went through all of that, they tried the tube twice and I ruined it. Now I have no idea what's wrong and am really upset and scared that I might have ruined my chance at spotting something early.

If I hadn't had the sedation I think I would have had a better chance of controlling myself. :( Waiting for GP to call. Feel like such a failure. :(

18-07-14, 13:25
Just out of interest, and if you don't mind, how do you exercise swallowing? X

Sorry to hear the procedure didn't go well. Speak to your GP and figure out another way to get to the bottom of things. My gut is telling me it's stomach related due to your anxiety and the proper PPI would help. I was having stomach issues (had for years) and add to that some "scanxiety" and I was not doing too well. I was prescribed a PPI and within a week, no indigestion, no chest pains... all gone. I haven't chewed an antacid in months!

So... swallowing exercises. Even for someone without swallowing issues this is hard! For me, it's extremely difficult, especially the Masako Maneuver. I do these during the day when I take a sip of water or swallow in general and like you would with any exercise, my throat and back of tongue get fatigued. I still get fatigued when eating a meal and have to stop because of it.... Eh.... It helps me control my weight ;)

So here is a list of swallowing exercises that I do. Many H&N cancer patients must do these to maintain their swallow. Use it or lose it as they say!

Swallowing Exercises

Falsetto Phonation or “Sirening”

Make a siren noise from a low pitch to a high pitch. Use a “ng” sound. Hold the pitch for 2-3 seconds. Repeat 10X, 3 sets, twice daily.

Masako Maneuver

Protrude tongue slightly between your front teeth. Hold tongue in this position by bearing down gently with your teeth. Swallow while keeping tongue protruded. Use this technique several times daily when swallowing your own secretions (water if you have no saliva). Repeat 10X, 3 sets, twice daily.

Effortful Swallow

Keep your mouth closed and the tip of your tongue elevated to your palate. Swallow as strong as you can, focusing on squeezing with your throat muscles (like you have something stuck in your throat and you have to get it down), repeat 10X, 3 sets, twice daily.

Mendelsohn Maneuver

Place fingers gently on your neck to feel how the larynx/voice box rises when you swallow. When you feel your larynx rise to it’s highest point, try to hold the larynx in an elevated position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10X, 3 sets, twice daily.

Positive thoughts

18-07-14, 22:08
Thanks FMP. I actually tried all those exercises. :) Really tough!

Thanks for the kind words re my failed endo. I couldn't believe I would do anything so risky. I wasn't myself from the sedation and have no memory of it. My GP doesn't want to refer me for general anaesthetic unless he has to (even though my consultant told me to have it).

His plan is to leave everything for a month (because medical tests make my acid symptoms worse) and if not any better by then, the GP will arrange a whole series of tests.


18-07-14, 23:27
I understand exactly how you feel Claire as the same happened to me.

I read on here about people saying you wouldn't remember anything with the sedative they give you. I was fully aware of all what was going on and didn't feel calm at all. Like you they tried twice with me. I couldn't stop gagging and tried to pull the scope out. They took it out then calmed me down and tried again about 5 minutes later, I freaked out and kicked out and sent the doctor flying.

3 years later I still don't know what's causing my reflux. I don't get it in the day or after eating, I just get it in the night and can taste it when I wake and my throat burns. I'm on 20mg omeprazole and 300mg ranitidine. I was recently upped from 150 ranitidine to 300mg. If this doesn't stop the night reflux I don't know what my GP will do next.

I hope you're ok now after today's events and that your GP can sort something out for you xx

19-07-14, 07:51
Hi, it's great to hear from someone else who this happened to but at the same time I'm so sorry it didn't work for you too. I think I must have been the same, flailing and fighting, but I have no memory of it at all. Everything is a blank, I only have what they told me I did. The thing is I know that sitting up and pulling the tube out would be dangerous, so it's shocking to me that I did it. My nature is to avoid danger at all costs! Everyone else who had the scope that morning did just fine, even the very nervous sedated ones came round happy and the ones who just had the throat spray seemed ready to go home straight away, in just a few minutes, then there was me, a total mess, mascara everywhere, apologising, crying my eyes out and begging for them to try the scope again. :(

I do have trouble with anaesthetics, so maybe that's why. Takes a lot to put me under. I felt half of my c section and diazepam and the like have never made me feel sleepy, or calm, just very depressed after taking them.

So now I am feeling miserable. All that worry and effort to get there, having the scope down past my throat (the hard part) and then me ruining it all because I wasn't in control of myself.

I have a month now to see if I improve, I'm doing all the reflux things, raised the bed, taking gaviscon advance last thing at night, not eating big meals or 3 hours before bed etc. My reflux is a burning feeling in stomach and chest after eating, burping a lot, (odd tan coloured poo - sorry tmi), gnawing pain between my shoulder blades (mostly right side of spine, but rarely the left too) and discomfort in my right ribs, under my right ribs and sometimes in my side and around the back. I also sometimes have a stingy dry throat in the mornings. I always wake up feeling fine, and my symptoms reduce when I am happy or very busy. Lansoprazole helped a bit, but I found the side effects harder to deal with than the reflux (back pain). I find gaviscon advance liquid helps me the most.

Hope your GP helps your reflux. It is horrible. The worst part for me is wondering WHY I have it and WHAT IF it's something *bad*. :( xxxx

---------- Post added at 07:51 ---------- Previous post was at 06:36 ----------

I have to say for anyone reading this about to have an Endoscopy, my experience of it clearly isn't the norm, and my consultant and the nurses were absolutely fantastic with me, no rush, I could have the scan done in my own clothes, could have as much gas and air as I wanted to calm me (made me giggle a bit). I was in there an hour before I attempted the scope. (Took me 15 minutes just to sign to consent form). It really WASN'T that scary, it was just that I couldn't control myself with the sedation and my previous experience with anaesthetic and also having my stomach pumped has obviously traumatised me. (It was pretty awful)