Urg, yesterday was another horrible day at the hospital. Thankfully today I was able to leave the hospital not exhausted and on the brink of tears. The cause of my exhaustion yesterday was the '24 hr pH study' which was the official final procedure of my three month testing.
The 24 hr pH study is designed to look a persons acid reflux and heartburn post-transplant. I was told this study became necessary when post-transplant people with no prior history with problems were randomly found during broncs to be aspirating during the nights. When they found enough food in people's lungs, they decided to test everyone as a proactive measure against aspiration pneumonia.
Understanding the reason for the testing did not make it any easier. How it goes is that the technician shoves a tube up the nose and threads it into the stomach to study. It was horrible. At least with the NG tubes I had inserted in the hospital, I was unconscious or semi-unconscious so it was clearly a much better experience. This may have actually been worse than the bronc by ranking of 'traumatic medical procedures.' There was no sedative involved as it's a "super easy procedure!", there was a small amount of freezing squirted up the nostril but I'm not sure it helped.
It seemed like hours for her to get the tube into my stomach (Isaiah claims it was 10 min at most), during which time I managed to throw up the small amount of water in my stomach, dry heave, and continuously gag while unsuccessfully holding back sobs and tears.
Once it was finally in, I had to drink sips of 'special apple juice' (that's what she called it) while she measured..something. I assume a baseline pH level but I really aren't sure and didn't care at that point. I was suppose to just swallow once but my body was reflexively trying to get rid of the tube and I could not stop swallowing. I'm not positive she got any good results.
For the second part of the study, the first tube was pulled out and a second smaller one was inserted. Thankfully it went down much better, I think mostly because my nose and throat were too sore to care any longer. The tube was attached to a small machine that I carried around for the rest of yesterday and this morning.
I was suppose to eat and drink normally to get an accurate recording but my appetite was pretty much shot for the day once I was done there. It didn't help that it hurt to swallow or talk or when I moved my head to quickly in any direction. It was a very unpleasant night, made worse by the fact that I got a call informing me of a scheduled bronc next week. Argh! Something to think about all weekend.
I was quite happy today to be able to return the machine and have the tube yanked out. I was given the promise that the study will never have to be repeated so I'm holding them to that promise if they ever want to do that to me again.