Hello everyone! Happy Friday, it’s finally time to say TGIF. I don’t know about anyone else? But this week for me has been extremely exhausting and I am so glad that it is over.
Yesterday I had to go to one of the bigger Universities we have here in Michigan for two procedures. The first procedure is the one that I want to talk to you guys about. This one was horrible, to say the least, I wanted the tech to stop before she even got started. Have anyone of you ever had an esophageal manometry done? Well if you haven’t and you want to know what it keeps reading. This test I don’t think I would wish on my worse enemy! Although while I was enduring all of it and sitting there trying not to think about it. I thought about you guys, what I could do to help someone else that may have to endure this very same thing. Just to walk you through my thoughts, my feelings, the physical aspect and what you may feel as well as what to expect before you go.
This procedure can take anywhere from a half hour to an hour just depends on how well you go through things. This procedure truly felt so much longer than an hour. You know when you sit and patiently wait for something but your counting down the hours because it feels like an eternity and forever long. I kept asking myself “is this test ever going to end”?
The first step of the test is just sitting down in a chair that kind of resembles the chair you would sit in at a dentist office. The tech then talks you through the whole thing, what to expect and all your medical conditions. The first thing that my tech told me was “this is going to be very uncomfortable, it will hurt and you will hate it. The first 10-15 seconds are crucial and if you can get through those then you can do the rest of the test. I will talk you through the entire test, but I do not want you to quit.” The only thing I could think to myself was “keep yourself calm, keep praying because you know God’s got this!’
Now it was finally time to start the test, the tech grabs a long wooden stick and dips it in the lubricant and stick’s it in my nose. Then she applies pressure and pushes it far up into my nasal cavity. This hurts! This hurts so bad and by this point, my eyes are watering, I want to take off my clothes because I am starting to sweat like crazy. I want to pull this stupid wooden stick out of my nose right now, but I know I can’t that’s not a good Idea and I do not want to start this part over again.
Then the tech does the next part, the long NG tube that will then be placed through my nose into the upper part of my stomach. You will absolutely hate this part! I know I did, and the tech told me that “absolutely everyone that does this, hates this test. This is one of the least favorite tests that we have here in this hospital.” The tube will be inserted, it gets put into your nasal cavity into your throat, swallow it before it hits your gag reflux. You want to try and talk yourself through this part “15 seconds and its over, this will all be over soon.” Well, I spoke way too soon, the gagging is starting, I want to puke but I can’t then now I feel like I cannot breathe. I had to grip my hands to the chair and white-knuckle them to do anything I could from pulling the techs hands and ripping that tube out of my nose. I kept telling her “I can’t do this, I cannot do this!” I had to fight every urge in me to get through this, the tube is finally down and the tech tells me “the hardest part is over.”
No! No way! It was not over, having this tube in my nose was uncomfortable and felt like a huge straw just stuck there. I was all over uncomfortable and had to keep talking myself out of things! The test hasn’t even started yet. I just kept having to swallow and was told that I am not so supposed too. But when you have something in your throat, it is like your body tells you to swallow to get things to go down. I just kept praying and singing the song
“Oceans” By Hillsong in my head. Focusing on something else was the biggest thing that helped me.
Focus on the steps:
- Do not let yourself get worked up. Talk yourself down as much as you can, being anxious will only make things worse for you. For me, I kept singing in my head and distracting myself from what was really going on. Praying God would get me through this test, and guide the technician’s hands through it all.
- As the test begins, just know that yes it is going to hurt, but when it’s over you will be so happy that its over.
- Additionally, the next part of the test you have to try incredibly hard not to swallow. Now, this is so much easier said than done. This is a huge mind over matter, believe me, you are going to want to swallow because you will feel like something is completely stuck and needs to work its way down. So start counting every 30- 50 seconds and do not swallow until told to do so! The tech will push solution into your mouth. My biggest advice after this is to take the biggest gulp you can, try not to leave any spit in your mouth, or any of the solutions. If you swallow again after having the nasty solution put into your mouth you will have to start over again. No, I am not kidding. You will have to start right back at the beginning. Start the countdown in your head 30 seconds and then stick your tongue to the roof of your mouth, bite it or grit your teeth. Anything you can do to keep yourself from taking another swallow at that time.
Finally, this whole test is 3 steps, and you may be different and you may not go through all of this. God created our bodies all different and we all cope differently. Although for me doing some of these steps helped me and I am hoping it will help you. The first step is the 5 squirts of solution into your mouth, this liquid is nasty and you will be sitting up, again do not swallow for 30 seconds after each one. Hold it in! You can do it. The tech will lay you completely flat and take the vial and put the solution in your mouth 10 times. Do the same exact thing! Start the countdown. Pray, sing, think of yourself somewhere else do everything you can! You will then be sat up and the first step is repeated 5 times simultaneously, that’s it the test is finally over!
Side Note: If you are on oxygen your nose will be very dry and it will be harder for the tech to get the tube through your nasal cavity. Also if you have a deviated septum try and remember what nostril you breath better through. One last time I want you to know this test is so unpleasant, uncomfortable and may cause your throat to be sore. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time because you are strong and I know you will overcome it. God’s got us all in the palm of his hands and will get us through every trial.
When it comes to remembering surgeries, procedures, appointments, everything can really just blur together. I want to be able to help you with this and by doing that, I have created a planner with checklists, medication lists etc. This is all FREE!