Awful endoscopy experience today

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I went in for my appointment today at 3pm. I asked to be sedated for my endoscopy because I was worried about gagging. I had a young male nurse who tried more than 3 times to put a drip in which left me feeling like a pin cushion.sad anyway, I got called in and they asked me some questions.. they put oxygen around my head and into my nose, then strapped some weird contraption around my head and I had to bite on it. I then lay on my side and he put the sedation in. I felt a bit drowsy but was totally aware of what was going on. They then stuck this thick tube down my throat and bam, I started to choke and then was sick over the two female nurses. They let me calm down for about 10 sections and shoved it down again.... Same thing happened except I was literally struggling to breathe and was choking on my own vomit. After it was done and I felt the entire thing.. I was taken to recovery for about 30 mins. Another hour and a half of waiting for the results they told me I had a hurnia and sent me on my way with a leaflet. My throat is now absolutely killing and feels like they have got a razor blade down there and taken off a layer of skin. I'm now on the sofa trying to drink which I'm finding pretty difficult. I will never have that done again. I'm traumatised. Ask for double sedation AND throat spray if you are having this done. It really is not pleasant.

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  • Posted

    I think you were just very unlucky, I prefered to be aware and so was not sedated, just had the spray, didn't like the feeling of my throat feeling as if it was closing up, but the nurse was lovely and she showed me on the moniter that my breathing was fine, The first time I felt a strange feeling in my stomach and just concentrated on deep breathing, hopimg it would be over soon and it was, i did gag, but not as much as the second time, gagged all the way through, I wouldn't want it done again but if it gives people peace of mind it is worth it for a few minutes of discomfort, Hope you are feeling ok now!!
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    • Posted

      I agree I was really unlucky. I didn't realise the tube was quite as big as it was. And they didn't give the sedation enough time to kick in.

      I did go a bit funny in the recovery room and was trying to get out of bed and take the blood pressure thing off my made me more agitated than anything.

      I just hope this sore throat goes away, it really does hurt and I've taken 6 strong Pain killers with no effects. sad

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  • Posted

    Hi Becky,

    I had a bad experience too. I was 69 at the time and they only give a half-dose of sedation to the over-65s because of possible cardiovascular side-effects. The effect on me was to leave me totally conscious, remembering the whole thing just like you, but not in control of myself. It took six people to hold me down. I would have gouged the nurse's eyes out if she hadn't been kneeling on my arm.

    I totally sympathise with your trauma. I don't think they should proceed if the patient is clearly conscious and resisting. It's an assault. However, I'm a former nurse myself and I know that the medical view is that the patient won't remember anything afterwards because of the sedation. I was still temporarily off my head after the procedure and was kneeling up on the bed as the nurse was wheeling me out, screaming in her face because I was so angry. I remember clearly that she laughed and said I'd crash out any minute and not remember any of this. Well... judge for yourself.

    I can only advise you to try and put this behind you. Don't worry about the raw sensation in your throat. There won't have been any permanent damage. It will heal in a few days and you won't have any lasting effects. You may have bad dreams and flashbacks for a few months but the memory will pass.

    I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. My own experience made me realise how wrong I was in my nursing days to assume that patients wouldn't remember anything. I too will remain traumatised by this experience, but in my case I feel it's a kind of poetic justice.

    Be kind to yourself for the next few days. You may find that warm liquids go down better than cold. In my case I couldn't swallow tea or coffee for a few days but could manage hot water sweetened with a bit of honey.


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    • Posted

      Hi lily, it's nice to hear I'm not alone in this experience. I'm 26 and I went in a little nervous but overall felt pretty confident about it. I feel now the sedation just didn't kick in. I came home and was really agitated and have only had about 3 hours sleep. I'm not sure if it's the effects of what they gave me but I feel awful today. It's now 5:27 in the morning, I've just dragged myself out of bed to make myself a warm milky cup of tea. I do find it much easier with something warm than cold. Throat feels worse today as well, I can hardly talk.

      And I probably feel even worse because of all the injections to try and put the drip in. Feel battered and bruised. And like you the nurse held me down and I was choking on my own vomit. :-( just feel so upset today. Wish I didn't have it done now x

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    • Posted

      Hi Becky,

      I suspect you may be suffering from what is known as a paradoxical reaction to the benzodiazepine drug they gave you as part of the sedation. This is more common in elderly people but can happen at any age. Although these drugs are strong sedatives, in a few cases they can have the opposite effect and make people hyper-agitated. If ever you have to have sedation for any procedure again (other than a general anaesthetic, which is quite different) you should tell them about this.

      I was exactly the same as you. I'd hardly slept the night before the procedure, then I was absolutely wired and didn't sleep for 30 hours after it either. This is how a paradoxical reaction will affect you. It's not you being hysterical, it's the reaction to the drug. During my procedure I remember being aware of where I was and what was going on but it was as if the sedation had damped down the thinking part of my brain and left the primitive, "fight or flight" part in the driving seat.

      I suspect part of the throat soreness is due to the vomiting, particularly as some of it may have gone down the wrong way in the struggle. It's unlikely, however, that your lungs will have been damaged as the nurses would have been using a sucker to remove the vomit from your throat. The sucker itself would also have done a bit of damage, but neither will be permanent. I was at least lucky in that I'd been unable to eat and barely able to drink for a day or so before the procedure because of my condition, so I was pretty much empty.

      I would say, however, that if you start getting a cough or a temperature in the next few days, you should go and see your GP, as it's just possible that you might need antibiotics.

      Once again, I'm so sorry you had to go through this. It makes me feel guilty for having put other people through it when I was a nurse, but I genuinely believed the party line at the time - that they wouldn't remember any of it afterwards so it didn't matter. It was only when it happened to me and I did remember that I realised how wrong I'd been. I've rationalised my nasty experience by viewing it as "payback" but I realise you're going to feel violated for a long time.

      All I can suggest is that if you ever have to have a repeat gastroscopy you try opting to have it done fully conscious, just with throat spray. I think that's what I'd go for in the future, though I admit I've been so put off the whole thing that I don't know whether I'd have the courage to do that. I think if I'd been "all there" during the procedure I might have been able to


      I'd just like to point out to others who might be getting scared reading this that this paradoxical reaction to sedation is extremely rare, especially in younger people. The vast majority of those who have gastroscopy under sedation come out of it with no memory whatever of the event. And no memory = no emotional trauma.

      Get well soon, Becky! xxx

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  • Posted

    I am so sorry for your horrible experience.  I believe Lily is right about the paradoxical benzodiazepine reaction.  I never have IV sedation for any endoscopic procedures because my unpredictable reactions to benzodiazepine drugs.   One normal dose could work as needed, undersedate or oversedate me, compromising breathing, or do the exact opposite.  Only the older antihistimines, the ones that cross the blood/brain barrier, are the only medicine that has a consistent slight sedating effect on me.  Having an anaesthetist for your next procedure would be advisable.
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