I went for a follow up visit to the gastroenterologist today. I had an endoscopy aka an esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD last week. I was having some GERD issues. Don’t know what that is? I feel like everyone I know has it. If somehow you don’t really know, GERD is a fancy name for heartburn. But it is usually chronic and if it is bad enough it can cause damage to your pipes. It is stomach acid after all. Anyway, I was referred for an EGD. I did not want to have it. I had been referred for one before. Months ago. But I did not do it. I did not want to. I still did not want to but this was the second time I had been referred to get one. I figured maybe it was time.
The first time I went to see the gastroenterologist, I told the
girl (yes, I want to call her girl. I am of the age where if I am dealing with someone potentially young enough to be my child, they are girl or boy. However, I will change this in the spirit of not being a jerk) woman taking my information that their forms were ridiculous. They wanted to know when I had started drinking. I’m sorry, I’m fifty, I am lucky I remember what I had for lunch. They wanted to know when I started working at my current job and how long I had been there. I put from here to eternity. It didn’t help that the forms looked like they were typed in 1970. The woman defended the awful forms and gave me that look. A look that is the look my mother has railed against for many years. That look that made me feel like I was being an old pain in the ass. It was hard for me not to hold that against her.
Anyway, I had the EGD last week. It was awful but it was fine. My follow up with the gastroenterologist was today. He is an odd one. He pauses too long before speaking. He reminds me of a cross between Brian the dog on Family Guy and this character actor whose name I don’t know but who has been on Law & Order SVU as some sort of offender. The worst part about the EGD is being in the waiting area before. Wearing a hospital gown. Stripped down. The IV needle stuck in and attached to tubing that goes nowhere at that point. Gross. But I digress.
When I showed up at the office, the same woman who had given me that look welcomed me into the back. I had decided that I would run to the appointment and then run home. It killed two birds with one stone. I got a bit of exercise. I used less fuel. I did not have to pay for parking. All good. I was wearing my Hapalua half marathon shirt. After taking my weight, let’s not talk about that, she sat me down in an examination room and began telling me that she had done the Honolulu Marathon this year with no training. That she had registered under the kamaaina rate and figured she had a year to train but didn’t. How she was doing really well for a while. And then she hit a wall. And the man who ran with a tuba passed her while she walked the end. I told her that the Hapalua was good and that maybe I would do it next year. And we had a moment.
She left me alone a while in that room while I waited for the gastroenterologist. When he came in, he told me that all was well. He told me that they had biopsied the tissue taken from my esophagus and stomach and found NO abnormalities (he underlined and circled that on the paper he gave me). Then he told me about additional disgusting tests they could do. One involved snaking a probe down the nose where it dangles in the throat. If the person experiences any symptoms like coughing, they press a button on the thingy that is outside of the body but attached to the dangly throat thing by a wire. It records the level of acid while the symptom is being felt. Gross. Then he told me about this esophageal disease where the flap to the stomach seizes up. The esophagus gets filled with food. And it can smell bad. Even more gross. Generally, none of this had anything to do with me personally. I think he just liked talking to me.
But after I left and ran home I was thinking about meeting number two with that woman. How today was like we had just started over. Like the first conversation didn’t happen. It was like she saw me today for the first time. Maybe she was having a bad day last time. And for me, I was like, “ugh, you again” when she spoke to me at the desk. But maybe I saw her for the first time today too. We had a small connection. Maybe it’s hard to see at first with certain people. But it’s there. And maybe it needs more than one chance. Because, there is probably something. There is almost always somewhere to meet. Some common ground that exists. And that always feels better than “ugh, you again.”