My hand felt as if I'd stuck it in an electric socket. Or since, I never did that, how I imagined it would feel if I were stupid enough to do that.
I was at HUG, Hôpitaux Universataires de Genève, for an endoscopy to see why my esophagus throws temper tantrums.
The male nurse had tried twice before to find a vein.It was the last try that produced the faux-shock. My veins are tiny and he said they rolled away. He finally found Nicholas, his superior who managed to do it but agreed I had rolling veins. The image of my veins moving like waves amused me.
The department does an average of 40 endoscopies as day, they told me.
Despite becoming a pin cushion, I love HUG. Their care for me with cancer was exceptional. Although it could be fine tuned, the Swiss health care system is excellent and affordable.
Although I had elected not to be sedated, they wanted the access in case I needed to be.
Nicholas was adorable, smiling, reassuring as he rolled me down to the room where the doctor awaited. He said he couldn't imagine doing anything but having a job where he could help people when I asked why he'd chosen to be a nurse. He also said he loved my accent.
I was hooked up to oxygen and blood pressure equipment. My throat was sprayed. It went numb.
Until now everyone had spoken French, but the doctor spoke English telling me what he was doing as he shoved the tube down my throat. It went down easily. "Just a couple of more minutes," he said.
Nicholas was behind me, rubbing my back. When I wanted to choke his voice was calming.
Then it was over.
No reason they could find for my problems. Good news.
I was rolled back to where I'd started from. Another male nurse knelt at my feet to withdraw the unused tube. "You are the patient of the month for all the pricks," he said.
I asked if my photo would be on the wall.
Can you spank a bad esophagus?