So today, as many of you will know, I had another gastroscopy. Apparently, it was longer than I thought since my last one – two years, the supervising doctor said. Whether he’s rounding up I’m not sure – I know my last one was in February, but was it 2008 or 2009? I’ve had this condition so long now and seen so many doctors about it that it’s little wonder all these GP and hospital visits are blending into one.
Anyway, today’s was much longer than last time for some reason. And more painful. Unlike quite a few others attending at the same time I chose to have it without a sedative. A couple of minutes in I was beginning to regret that decision.
Three biopsies (lower oesophagus, upper and lower stomach) later and I was done. I won’t get the results for those back for another week, but I did find out that my condition has changed somewhat. I know have something known as Barrett’s Oesophagus, a condition whereby the bottom of the gullet develops cells similar to those found in the stomach. Essentially, it’s caused by regular and prolonged acid reflux, and most commonly occurs among over-50’s. Which made it all the more perturbing when, during the operation, I heard the doctor claim that two years between gastroscopies wasn’t really long enough and they’d see me in three.
While in one sense you might think it’s a good thing that they aren’t too concerned with my condition – despite Barrett’s Oesophagus noticeably increasing your risk of developing oesophageal cancer – I do wonder why, given that I’m not anywhere near fifty, and I’m not massively overweight (a little chunky perhaps, but still) why questions aren’t being asked as to why I’ve developed this illness. Particularly given that it’s only really meant to occur in cases where acid reflux has been an issue over several years. My hiatus hernia is a major part of the problem, but there’s been absolutely no suggestion that they might want to try and sort that out.
I guess I’m annoyed at the fact that it’s reached the stage where my condition has been allowed to develop into something potentially more serious. And why it’s taken two years to get to the point where something is being done about it. But is it, though? The suggestion that I merely have to put up with this for another three years and go back for another gastroscopy to see if it’s any worse (and I can guarantee it will be) doesn’t exactly fill me with joy.
So it looks like I might have to look at getting yet another second opinion. Though it’ll be more like the fifth or sixth this time.