Saturday, 9 June 2012

Goodbye PEG!!

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I think it was a bit of a mistake, but yesterday I went to an early screening of Prometheus. I thought a nice trip to the cinema might take my mind off the ordeal to come today - namely having my feeding tube removed via endoscope.

So I settled down with some popcorn and watched as several of the characters were attacked by aliens shoving a tentacle down their throats. Hmm not the best choice of movie - haha!

I came home and had a nice soak in the bath to try to take my mind off THAT!

Anyway I did manage to sleep a little before having to get up this morning and head over to the hospital for 11am. I was quite excited as we were going into the Main Building for the first time. it is pretty awesome - really vast space with check-in screens, a desk and some staff just walking around ready to help anyone who looks perplexed. There's also a WHSmith's where we purchased a newspaper and some milk on the way out :-)

 I tried to check-in - but it said I didn't have an appointment. I asked a floating receptionist and she told me the way to the Endoscopy department, where it seems I had to speak to the reception there. We went down some stairs and found it easily. There were only a handful of people in Reception. It seems it is a good idea having a Saturday appointment. I sat reading the notices on the wall - all about cutting down your alcohol intake. Then glanced up at the telly where they were showing Saturday Kitchen and it was a feature on choosing wines!

I didn't have many minutes to wait before a nurse came in and called my name. I was feeling quite nervous but she was very chatty and made me feel a bit better. She was also called Bernadette, so I asked if she was from a Catholic family too. She said no - her dad was called Bernard so she was named after him. She took my blood pressure and asked me a few questions. She told me about the procedure, they would lie me on my left side, introduce the endoscope (that sounds so much more polite than "shove it down your throat" :-), then put a noose down the endoscope which they would use to lasso the internal part of the PEG, Once they had that caught they would cut the external part off and pull the internal part up through the endoscope. "It's a five minute jobbie!" she proclaimed cheerfully.

Then she noticed on my notes that it said that I was off on holiday soon. I told her we were going to Slovenia and she told me about her holiday she once had in Bulgaria. They got moved from their 3* hotel when the toaster broke and they couldn't have any breakfast (the staff said they couldn't afford a new one so the holiday Rep moved them to a 5* hotel)  She had a wonderful time but was slightly unnerved when she asked about the black marks at the bottom of the swimming pool. She was told that it was because the local mafia liked to use it for target practice. Hopefully not when it was full of holiday makers!

She then took me round to a cubicle and I sat on a bed. There was a gown and blanket there so I wasn't sure if I was supposed to get undressed. I sat there a while - it seemed that I was to be done after a patient who was coming down from one of the wards. It seems that they lost him though - as they were frantically trying to get hold of the porter bringing him down, on the radio, They decided he must be in a black spot for communications and took me in first.

I just walked into the treatment room and they just lifted up my top to get at it. I lay down on my left side, after being liberally sprayed in the mouth with local anaesthetic. I think they'd tried to make it banana-flavoured but the underlying taste was too strong to be masked! I had a bit of trouble swallowing the endoscope - but they eventually got it in, then I watched as they fed a really long wire down it into my stomach. Then they had a few goes at trying to lasso the internal PEG, until the doctor shouted "We've got it" and just cut the outside bit and literally whipped the whole lot out in a flash and I was done. The nurse put a bit of gauze over the hole, stuck it down with tape and asked me to jump off the bed.

It was all done in just a few minutes. I had to get up and walk (rather shakily) back to my cubicle where I was given a leaflet  and sent on my way.

I thought there might be stitches or something - but it seems that it heals over in just 24 hours. I can't drink anything for four hours or eat anything for six. Nathan said it was because it would be like on cartoons when someone gets shot and then drinks a glass of water - and it comes pouring out of the bullet hole!! Not sure it'd be that dramatic - but I'm not taking any chances :-)

I'm starving - as I'd had to fast from last night already. Still I'll keep myself occupied by doing the online shopping order - mmmmm fooooood.....

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