Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Severely, severely scared about standard procedure

(55 Posts)
whimperinginacorner Thu 15-Nov-12 15:49:36

Just putting this out there because I am so scared I frankly don't know what to do with myself (honestly not exaggerating) and need help/collective wisdom of Mumsnet/coping strategies.

I know I need a large kick up the arse but I have delayed having an endoscopy/colonoscopy since October 2010 out of extreme fear.

Since then the symptoms have got worse (I have many of the symptoms of cancer of the oesophagus and am convinced I have it. My father died of it. My cousin is currently dying of it sad. And in addition to nausea, regurgitation/acid reflux, I can now feel something at the back of my throat and a fortnight ago, spotted a creamy white patch or lump behind my right tonsil.)

So I have made another appointment (in 10 days time) to discuss the above and already have a space booked for the endoscopy/colonoscopy at the beginning of December, but despite the fact that the fear of not knowing is almost approaching the same level of fear about the procedure, I honestly don't know if I can go ahead with the latter.

If this was the history of someone else I would be screaming at them "of course you must go and have it done you nutter" but I am so terrified at the thought of having a tube put down my throat that I am currently a gibbering wreck; I don't seem to be able to focus on anything else and am almost paralysed with fear - can't function normally. Just making the appointments on the phone caused extreme nausea, shaking, sweating. How on earth am I going to get through the actual thing?

jalopy Tue 18-Dec-12 14:41:23

Whimper, how are you? Did you get an appointment for the procedure?

Movergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 17:02:11

Whimper, please don't panic. I had some white patches on my tongue a few years ago and completely freaked out. I went straight to the dentist who reassured me that it was completely harmless "frictional keratosis". Ever since have been hyper- vigilant about my mouth, and I too noticed a creamy white patch on my tonsils. I panicked- again-, but couldn't bring myself to go back to the dentist. Fear I suppose after I'd been so stressed out first time. I watched it and waited- and it disappeared after about 6-7 weeks. Then it reappeared the next time I had something very minor like a cold or something- and stayed again for 6-7 weeks. And it still does. Never mentioned it to dentist, and she's never mentioned it either. It's very easy to worry- am very prone to that, but I'm sure you'll be fine. Thinking of you all.x

jalopy Thu 06-Dec-12 16:12:01

Well done for attending the appointment. See, you're incredibly brave and managing the anxiety so well.

Well done to Minty too.

Sounds like you have a fantastic, understanding consultant. I'm glad it was a positive consultation. Just one more appointment to go.

Try not to worry about the oral problem. Your health anxiety is heightened at the moment and every bit of information is worrying you. As you say, no point in wasting energy freting about something that you might not have. Hopefully, the specialist will have a good look on the day and will allay your worries.

Good luck. Chat to us if you get wobbly on the lead up to the appt.

mintyneb Thu 06-Dec-12 14:56:44

hey whimper, well done for going through with your appointment smile. You've got over that first major hurdle and so you will with all the next ones. It sounds like you've a good consultant who is taking your fears seriously so that has got to help.

Don't feel ashamed, it sounds like you have every reason to feel worried about what the consultant might find. Please try not google any more!

I think I'm starting to relax a little now that I've got yesterday out the way. I probably won't relax entirely until the biopsy results are through though.

My consultant is actually lovely (I think i might even have a bit of a crush on him blush) and I do trust him. I actually overheard him say to a trainee dr on Monday 'I feel sorry for people with duodenal polyps as the treatment options can be quite risky' so I don't think he's bad at his job just that there are hugh risks involved.

Anyway please come back and keep us posted about your appointment. I want to hear that you've come safely out the other side!

PS I didn't get the job I went for, have no idea whether that was because I was still full of heavy duty sedation and didn't answer the questions properly or whether I just wasn't the right person!

whimperinginacorner Wed 05-Dec-12 09:24:44

Hi Minty hope you are OK - good to hear that you came through the worst of it relatively well yesterday - and I hope that there have been no ill-effects from the procedure.

I feel quite ashamed reading your post - mine is so straightforward compared with what you have been going through. No wonder you were worried about the procedure given what happened before!! I'm so sorry you had to go through all that 2.5 yrs ago - I'm amazed you trusted the same consultant to treat you a second time!! It was v. brave of you to go ahead with it in the cirumstances.

Hope you can take it steady today and that you have been able to reschedule your interview!

Jalopy I have to say that I was so scared yesterday (and the fear sort of built up throughout the day ifyswim) that I nearly rang and cancelled but (a) having just given my dd a little talk on facing fears straight on and not avoiding things she dislikes, it occurred to me that I had to follow through on that one myself!! and (b) I knew all you lovely lot on here would be asking how it went - therefore I went ahead - so thank you again for all the support!!

The appointment went really well tbh. It was at 6pm and I was the last one on the list so it was all very calm at the clinic and I only had a very short wait. My consultant is absolutely brilliant too - very accommodating, calm and reassuring whilst being very competent at the same time.

We talked over all the issues and came to the conclusion that we are just going to do an endoscope this time. He also prescribed anti-anxiety meds to take just as I am leaving home so that I can actually get to his office!! He is going to give me a first appointment on a Wed afternoon so that I don't have to wait and he even said that he wouldn't force me to do anything and if I get there and can't go through with it, he will understand and perhaps then he can think about admitting me to hospital etc etc (although I would prefer not to have to do that obviously). So, all in all, a very positive experience.

Don't know when the appointment will be yet as I have to speak to his secretary this week (she had gone by the time I arrived yesterday).

Only slight blight on the day is that I happened to come across a medical programme (Dr Oz show) while I was de-stressing and surfing the tv channels late last night and he just happened to be discussing the current rise in oral cancer and what things to look out for etc etc. I have to say that what I have looks remarkably similar to what he was describing and is in one of the places where he says it often occurs ... so back to worrying .. although no point in doing so I suppose until we know for sure what we are dealing with.

Sorry (again) for the essay! Good luck to those of you undergoing the same or similar procedures soon!!

mintyneb Tue 04-Dec-12 20:02:33

PS - Roxy, your post did make me laugh yesterday morning before i headed off to hospital! Now I know why my team looked quite relieved when I told them my last meal had been the night before smile

mintyneb Tue 04-Dec-12 20:00:44

well I survived! I'm feeling completely washed out though this time, I'm sure it never hit me as bad before sad.

So I have to go again in two years time and probably two years after that so I get to enjoy this wonderful experience again!

Whimper, I think it became more apparent to me this time that my treatment is a little more unusual than the norm and so hopefully what you'll go through will be so much more straightforward.

I basically have a duodenal polyp which according to the consultant is relatively rare. It's currently benign but is the sort that could turn cancerous and as duodenal cancer has few symptons and low survival rate he wants to keep a close eye on me.

He had a go 2.5 years ago at removing it via endoscopy and whilst the operation was a success I ended up collapsing 2 days later (in front of my two year old daughter) and being rushed to hospital. I was basically bleeding inside becuase of the op and i ended up having a blood transfusion and a 5 day stay in hospital.

Yesterday was the 2nd endoscopy since then and he is still cutting away polyp so its not going to go quietly. I have everything crossed that i don't end up back in hospital like before and if I get through tomorrow OK then I probably won't.

I don't want to fill you with horror stories but as I say I think I'm an unusual case. Provided you get lots of hand holding and you take all the sedation they can give you then I hope you'll have a good experience (apart from the bowel clearout beforehand, the trumping afterwards etc etc!!)

Oh and don't go for an interview the day after as I've discovered its not that good an idea!!

I hope I haven't filled you with more dread. Try and keep positive and you WILL get through it OK

jalopy Tue 04-Dec-12 07:46:20

Poor Whimper! Cant believe your bad luck with the appointments. You have been so brave too.

Let's hope your appt today goes without a hitch and that the specialist can reassure you. It would be such a shame to pull out now.

We'll be thinking of you. Let us know how it goes.

whimperinginacorner Mon 03-Dec-12 16:54:56

Btw Roxy arf at your ultrasound experience!! grin Went through something similar post c-section when going home was dependent on how much one had pooed and peed and involved intense (embarrassing) monitoring and measuring of liquids and er, other matter etc etc blush Mortifying ....

whimperinginacorner Mon 03-Dec-12 16:50:28

Thank you also to Jalopy and Diggerd for all the support and sorry to get back to you so late.

My progress so far has been a bit disastrous as everything has been delayed (a) owing to illness and (b) turning up to second appointment (the one that had been delayed previously) to find three people waiting and one couple just gone in. The secretary informed me that it would be (at least) and hour and a half to two hour wait and I'm afraid I couldn't stand the anxiety for that long and fled. (It was really wierd because I attended an appointment with my dd the same morning and that was running late by 2 hrs and postponed as well!)

My next appointment is for 6pm tomorrow evening so we'll see what happens then. (Endoscopy appointment has been cancelled for 5th but hoping to reschedule before Christmas but might have to have cardiac appt before then - long story!!)

Sorry for long boring essay! None of these delays are helping my nerves so really appreciate everyone' s posts!!

RoxyRobin Thank you for lightening the mood with your post grin I promise to lay off the oat cakes (my version of porridge) the day before the procedure!! It's great to hear that all went well though and that you were able to cook 4 hrs later - that's really encouraging!!

Thanks again everyone ... still whimpering but desperate to get this thing over with at the same time. Having said that, still not sure I have the balls to go through with it!! Contradictory or what???!!

Minty forgot to say - good luck with your job interview tomorrow!!

whimperinginacorner Mon 03-Dec-12 16:38:32

Hello everyone!!

Apologies again for only posting on here intermittently.

Particular apologies to you Mintyneb as I managed to forget that today was the 3rd - had intended to wish you well beforehand. Hope it is/has gone well today and that you are OK - and that it wasn't too much of an ordeal - and please come back and tell us how you got on. Hope your dh is sufficiently recovered to give you some support too x

RoxyRobin Mon 03-Dec-12 11:32:36

Had my gastroscopy at 2pm last Tuesday. Had been intending to do without sedation, but on the day I was told they might want to perform a certain procedure while they were in there which would prolong the process, and that induced me to go for sedation after all. In the event they didn't need to do anything but have a look, so I missed my chance of looking tough for nothing.

Was slightly embarrassed - I'd last eaten at 9am, when I'd had an enormous vat of porridge to sustain me throughout the day. A mistake - it decided to just sit in my small intestine and expand instead of moving on, so I was crammed with poo! The doctor remarked, "I got a good view of your breakfast." Rather him than me, I suppose.

This came on top of my ultrasound experience of a few weeks ago. I'd just come back from holiday and as ever after a trip I was constipated. The day before the scan I ate lots of porridge (!) and figs and apricots - but none of it emerged at the other end. Honestly, I felt as if I was stuffed to the armpits with shit. I looked six months gone. The radiographer couldn't get a clear picture because of all the air that was trapped in the mix and had to fetch the consultant radiologist no less to take over. Was mortified - he was really gorgeous in a greying-at-the-temples sort of way. He got me into an undignified position so he could come at things from a different angle; I was praying I wouldn't emit an explosive fart with all the effort.

DH says I will become known as 'the Poo Woman' at the hospital.

I hope you're bearing up, Whimper. I was fine (although I know you've got the other end to think about, too). I soon shook off the sedation and was making DH's dinner four hours later hmm. I didn't fancy any - I was still working on the porridge!

And good luck to you as well, mintyneb.

mintyneb Mon 03-Dec-12 10:25:05

Just a couple of hours til I'm due at hospital for my appt. Nerves have definitely kicked in!!

Not sure what I'm scared about most, the actual procedure, what they might find, hearing what I must have done at the last one for them to want to completely knock me out this time .....!

I know I will be fine but I can't help worrying. It's not helped by the fact I've got a job interview tomorrow!

Whimper, I hope you're still holding up ok for weds

digerd Sat 01-Dec-12 11:24:33

Whimper
Been lurking until you have the gastro endoscopy, as have a funny story to tell. Not had a colonoscopy.

Hope all goes well, and awaiting your experiences.

jalopy Fri 30-Nov-12 21:16:47

Whimper, hope your appt went ok today.

whimperinginacorner Wed 28-Nov-12 15:31:21

Hello! Thanks again for responses. Sorry - only looking on here intermittently atm!

Marshmallow gulp - that's a bit scary about sedation not working immediately but good to know that you didn't feel anything during the procedures. I don't think hypnotherapy is widely practiced here but don't worry - entire clinic will be aware of my fears by now I should think!

Arf at AlreadyScone and suggestive responses!! I am hoping the sedation will be delivered by injection as I am not remotely scared of those thank heavens. I'm exactly the same re: the dentist by the way - avoidance being my watch word.

Jalopy thank you again for the reassurance. I actually managed to forget my list last time so hopefully won't make that mistake again. Will report back and thanks again!

jalopy Tue 27-Nov-12 17:02:12

Whimper, well done for getting to the first appointment. Even through all that adversity, you managed the first hurdle.

I'm sure the next appointment on the 30th will be fine. Don't let yourself panic about it. Remind yourself that you were brave enough to turn up at the first consultation. Perhaps jot a few questions down on a piece of paper just in case your mind goes blank on the day.

You're nearly there! Remember, the anxiety is far, far worse than the reality.

AlreadyScone Tue 27-Nov-12 08:55:23

I have had conscious sedation twice for dental work (would have happily sat there for months with my face swelling up like a painful cabbage otherwise to avoid the procedure.) it was a shot in the arm rather than a tablet. I can't remember a single thing about either procedure.

However I do remember the dentist saying "okay, are you happy for us to make a start?" and me replying "Mmmmmmm, ooohhhh, yessssss" in a frankly suggestive manner. That was some good stuff smile

Good luck!

MarshmallowFarm Tue 27-Nov-12 08:47:19

Have had two endoscopies and one colonoscopy. Was terrified. Did have sedation but with me it never works till 30 mins minimum later so I fell asleep after the procedure both times.

As others have said, the prep for the colonoscopy is the worst thing about it really. I didn't feel a thing during the procedure - was wide awake and watching on the screen! The endoscopy is a very strange sensation but perfectly fine - doesn't hurt just feels a bit strange - I was aware of everything as I didn't feel drowsy until they finished.

If you can afford it could you have a hypnotherapy session before? It would really help to manage your anxiety.

I would make sure the consultant is fully aware of your fears and knows not to start until sedation has kicked in. As I say, mine was perfectly fine effectively without sedation but since you are v. worried they should do a belt and braces thing. Good luck!

whimperinginacorner Tue 27-Nov-12 08:32:08

Hello again.

Jalopy just wanted to say "thank you" enormously for remembering the day and for your good wishes. It was really kind of you. Sorry not to get back to you before now but I started whimpering and getting scared on Monday evening, even though it was only an appt in advance of the procedure. I did see your message beforehand though and it really helped smile

It went OK thank you, apart from the fact that there was a massive strike here (will probably out myself saying this) involving tractors and we (and the receptionist and other patients and staff) were horribly late and so we only managed a five min chat and have to go for another appointment on 30th!! Added to that, I was so stressed by appointment + strike situation that my languages disappeared and I wasn't able to establish whether this means the procedure will be delayed too. Must ring them this morning and find out now I am calm again.

I must admit though - it took me all my courage to just go and discuss it. I was rather taken aback by how scared I was. Heaven knows whether I will be able to make it to the actual thing.

givemeaclue thanks for the suggestion. Really great to hear that those services exist where you are!! Sadly - I am having the procedure in a tiny day clinic (fairly standard here) but have sought out a CD by Dr Claire Weekes called "Pass Through Panic" and am trying to listen to it as often as poss.

Dopamax sorry to get back to you only now!! Definitely up for a bit of mutual hand-holding. Have you had your procedure yet or do you have an appt? Hope you managed to find someone to hold your hand to. Let us know!! BTW I'm sure they will have varying degrees of sedation available (hope so anyway!!)

Minty [gulp] didn't realise that you are aware enough to watch the screen while it is going on!!! Dh didn't mention that (he's only had the one examination btw and that was a few yrs ago now).

Thanks again everyone. Starting to feel a bit quivery again though now ...

jalopy Sun 25-Nov-12 19:25:04

Whimper, good luck with your consultation tomorrow. You'll be fine. Let us know how it all goes.

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 14:26:59

My friend is a psychologist in a hospital and she deal, with people who have severe fears that mean they put off or don't have treatment or make themselves ill with worry over it. Can you check if anything similar at your hospital?

dopamax Sat 24-Nov-12 14:19:46

oh god just read a poster said valium is the sedation....take lots of this anyway and its lost it effect....panic now.......

dopamax Sat 24-Nov-12 14:17:17

will hold your hand if you hold mine!!!!!!!! Waiting for an emergency app for tube down and tube up! Ffs cant even cope when they put the thing in to take a tooth xray!!!
Know have to have it done as blood tests came back crap oh dear!
Also finding it hard to find someone to come with me re sedation....lie maybe???
Yes its scarey but we have to have it done and sure sedation will work fine for us.
Going to brave it mon morn to see what apps. they have though would rather leave it and see....pathetic am I??!!
Lets go for it and get our problems sorted for once and get the treatment needed.
Feel free topm, not mumsnet but hugs x

mintyneb Fri 23-Nov-12 13:16:29

ah, it sounds like you are a household well used to bowel examinations! At least you have a pretty good idea of what to expect smile.

that's funny about your DHs bowel photos! Not something you would particularly want to share with a neighbour. Still, I have to say I found it quite fascinating watching my insides whilst I was in my drug induced haze

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now