So since I live about 1.5 hrs away from the doctor/hospital, I tried to cram as much into today as I could. I'm glad I did with one minor exception which I will get to.
First up was the nutritionist. Good news, I lost 12 pounds since last visit 4 weeks ago. Bad news, I have to cut 200 more calories from my daily intake. Sigh. I knew that I couldn't stay at 1500 and I have had many days below that...but I thought with what I lost it might only go down 100. Not sure why this is freaking me out so much...but 1300 just seems like so much less than 1500. Also have to cut anything made with flour...entirely. While I haven't had any pasta (a known trigger for me) I have had an occasional piece of toast....I feel silly mourning a piece of toast but I am.
Next was the EKG. Pretty easy. Kept clothes on, hooked up with sticky pads one on each lower leg, one on each arm just above the elbow and then right around the left breast. Lay still. Done
Then it was off to get the upper GI. For this one I had been fasting since 600 the night before...not even water! So after being sent to the wrong area twice I got checked in and found out that they were doing a chest xray as well. So off with the top half of the clothes, on with an ill fitting (like didn't even come close to closing in the back) hospital gown. The chest xray room had to be no warmer than 60 degrees...it was really cold. After I finished the tech gave me a warm blanket for my shoulders/back which felt awesome!
The Upper GI was not horrible, but not fun either. First you drink a fizzy drink like alka seltzer and they tell you not to burp....which you really want to (or at least I did). The fizzy drink is to introduce some air into your empty stomach so that the second drink ( a really thick barium drink) will be able to coat your stomach. They use the barium to provide contrast when they take the pictures. I am using a teaching hospital so I had a newbie doctor...being coached by an experienced one. It was soo funny, I was trying really hard to not follow the coaches directions, even though it seemed silly because I could hear everything she said.
So you are standing on a footpad with a bed attached and as you drink the thick drink they start taking fluoroscopy pictures following the barium down the esophagus, into the stomach. After a couple of swigs of the thick stuff, they start to lower the bed which is kind of a weird feeling until you are laying on your back.
Then it is roll over time, which was not easy for me because 1. I'm a big gal, 2. the machine actually taking the pictures is right on top of me and 3. that ill fitting hospital gown got stuck....but I got all the way around...first left side, then tummy, then right side, then back to the back. This is all to literally roll the barium around in your stomach. Then, while laying, they give you a cup with a straw and a thinner barium and this time they are watching it leave the bottom of the stomach.
One more position, on the tummy with the left leg bent to check for a hiatal hernia and then I was done. Whole thing took about 30 minutes once I was in the room.
The only bad thing was I had planned to have breakfast in the hospital cafeteria...but GEESH. Would it kill them to have a healthy option....I guess it was between breakfast and lunch but the choices were small to none.
Cardiac clearance was last, she took a cardiac history, asked about exercise habits, asked if any cardiac symptoms....all in all about a 20 minute talk and she said I was low risk and she would send a report to the dr. Yay!
So , all in all, pretty efficient, arrived at 0800 and left at 1215....That's all the pre insurance tests...one more monthly visit to the nutritionist and I should be ready to submit!