Tomorrow (Wednesday), my 5-year-old son will undergo an upper endoscopy, which is an exploratory procedure that allows his doctor to look more closely at his esophagus. Our doctor is particularly interested in whether our son has eosinophilic esophagitis, a chronic condition causing inflammation of the esophagus. In individuals with symptoms consistent with eosinophilic esophagitis, an upper endoscopy with biopsies is needed for the diagnosis.
My husband and I are trying to do everything in our power to make it the best experience we can for our son, and make the information gained as meaningful as possible for us.
For example, we called and talked to our son's doctor last week to get more detailed information about the procedure, and how it might affect him. We asked his doctor when we should tell him that he will be having the procedure. Our doctor recommended not surprising him with it the day of , but rather to mention it matter-of-factly a day or two before the procedure.
We also asked our doctor which parts of the procedure would be most uncomfortable for our son, and what we could do to make it better. He said the IV will be the most uncomfortable. So we planned to come to the hospital half an hour early so the nurse would have time to apply a numbing cream on his arm before inserting the IV, which should decrease the discomfort.
We also spoke with an adult friend of ours who recently had an upper endoscopy with biopsies. We asked her how she felt after the procedure. She said she did have some abdominal soreness for a day or two. We asked her what she remembered of the procedure, and she assured us that as soon as they were close to beginning the procedure, they "pushed" medication into her IV and she didn't feel a thing during the procedure. She told us that although she was sleepy afterwards, she felt well enough to go shopping later that same day.
We also talked to another friend who is more familiar with eosinophilic esophagitis than we are. She recommended a great website, www.apfed.org. From this website, we were able to get a better idea of what the doctor will be looking for in our son.
We are by no means looking forward to our son undergoing this procedure, but feel that we have done everything we can as parents to make it as good for all as possible. That is where we can find peace before the procedure.