The New Senior March 2015
By T. Myers
Medical concerns are commonplace with seniors. I am no different than anyone else. During the past few months, I have had to go in for several tests that are baselines for my senior years.
I had a colonoscopy three years ago and am scheduled for a new one in midmonth. This time I went in for an Upper GI. What do they do that for? The medical professionals look through your upper digestive system Esophagus, stomach etc., to see if you have ulcers or a bleed site and further into the small intestine to look for open sores or for inflammation of the walls. It is all to try to find out what is causing other problems with your health.
Since I never had an Upper GI, I decided I would write about my experience so you could prepare for what to do.
First, there are certain medications that you need to stop taking several days before the procedure. They do not want you loaded with NSAIDS like Ibuprofen or other blood thinners. You will have top fast the night before and not even drink water. A pre-surgery nurse will call and go through a list of questions with you and confirm your check in time. There are several places where these procedures are done in Central Oregon. Mine was at the hospital, so I checked in an hour before my appointment.
Usually there are no delays. You go to the admissions area and go through the same battery of questions you had gone over on the phone and then you go to the area where the surgery will take place. After the nurse gets you situate, the Doctor will come to introduce herself/himself because most of the time these procedures are referrals. If you have an anesthesiologist, that doctor will come in to answer questions. There will be paperwork to sign and waiting for your time in the procedure room. They will wheel you into the procedure room and you will be surrounded by medical assistants and the doctor who is ready to take a look at your gut.
Each machine is designed to be a specific part of the procedure and by the time you are in recovery, you will be presented with full color pictures that show you what they saw! With me, they were looking for a bleed because I am losing iron and finding nothing of note other than a little inflammation in the small intestine, they scheduled a new colonoscopy.
These medical tests should be done when there is a real reason for doing them. They are costly and at best, cause you to miss work or take away a day from you.
What they reveal can be instrumental in making a more pinpointed diagnosis when you have a medical problem and can lead to treatments that can help you feel much better in the long run. Your job is to ask questions about why the test is needed and what it means when they give you the results. Hopefully, you will have good results and they can rule out obvious things by doing these tests. Attached find pictures of the process!
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