Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


There was a bad man with a tube

I will never whine again (maybe) about a leg waxing after what I went through yesterday. Back in 2001, I had a gastroscope procedure done in Texas. They hooked me up to an IV, injected me with drugs, and exactly half a second later, I woke up and the procedure was over. I went home and had good, long nap. Not bad right?

I do not want to use my blog as a forum for complaining about various personal ailments, but I will certainly have to vent about my first and-if-I-have-anything-to-do-with-it LASTLASTLAST Italian hospital experience.

Hhhaaaaah. I know it is not necessary to point out the fact that things are different here, but things are very different here. I went down the private hallway where there were 2 examination rooms and the gastroenterologist's office at the end. He walked out of his office to greet me while asking if we minded that he smoked. By the open window, he asked me a few questions, while smoking--in the hospital. Classic Italia.

I was quite nervous, having been told already that there would be no shots of sleepy drugs and no anesthetic to kill my gag reflex, but I was assured that the scope was very small and that it would be fast. Small is relative.

Relative to a drainage canal, the scope was indeed small.

I won't go into the details, but having a finger-sized tube shoved down my throat into my stomach for 7 minutes with all reflexes fully functioning is something I will unfortunately never forget.

Even though my brain knew that the tube had to stay in just a little longer, my basic survival instincts guided my hands toward the scope to pull it the hell out of my throat. The doctor even yelled at me, can you believe that? He yelled! Dr. Smokinginthehospital yelled at me. He told me to calm down and BREATHE. If I were able to BREATHE I would have told him exactly and precisely and not so gently where he could shove that evil scope. The only problem was that my entire throat was almost closed by a tube that was causing me to vomit.

Ok, that was a little graphic. But WHY did I have to be conscious? At least the nurse was with me, letting me squeeze her hands as tears streamed down my face. I'm such a wuss.

Although he was doing his job, and surely doing it well, I just might do it all over again for a chance to be alone in a room with Dr. Smokinginthehospital.

Just him, me, and a waxing table.


Blogger miss tango in her eyes said...


4/21/2006 2:26 AM

Blogger nyasha said...

ma è pazzo?

4/21/2006 2:46 AM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

si, è proprio pazzo

4/21/2006 2:48 AM

Blogger Speaka said...

That sounds like a horrible experience!

4/21/2006 3:02 AM

Anonymous TC said...

I've had that procedure three times now, the last without a shot (which you now apparently have to specify if you want it).

Not pleasant.

But no one shouted - lucky for them!

Next time I will specify.

4/21/2006 5:10 AM

Blogger ViVi said...

Dude, you are so NOT a wuss. I've had the same procedure done, and WITH the drugs I woke up gagging in the middle of it! The doctor said I was the worst patient for that procedure he'd ever had (at least I've distinguished myself at something!). I don't know how you got through it, because I would have turned around and left!!!

4/21/2006 5:19 AM

Blogger Eduardo said...

Not your week, obviously. What do you have scheduled for tomorrow?

4/21/2006 6:11 AM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

tc--was is as ugly as mine?

eduardo--root canal followed by a colonoscopy ;)

4/21/2006 6:15 AM

Blogger Yael said...

Try having a baby here...Its like being in the third freakin world.
I can imagine what you went through chick x

4/21/2006 6:35 AM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Oh Lordy! I'm sure that the doctor's nasty cigarette breath didn't help your gag reflex. I hope everything's o.k. with your tummy.

4/21/2006 6:55 AM

Blogger Sicilian said...

Tell me that at least the one good thing about the procedure was that it was free. . . . which would account for the lack of use of pain meds. . . cost savings measure I'm sure. . . . Kmart GI DOC . . . come Tracie give a gal some hope that there was something good in that mess.

4/21/2006 8:19 AM

Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Tracie B. I hope you feel better. What an awful experience.

4/21/2006 9:17 AM

Blogger Dayngr said...

If you are a wuss then I am a double wuss. I'm glad to see you can find the humor in it.

4/21/2006 9:30 AM

Blogger A Novelist said...

Oh, I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. You're a lot stronger than I am though. I don't think I could EVER do that. I can't even swallow pills, let alone a tube the size of my finger.

4/21/2006 9:40 AM

Anonymous ToTo_Too said...

Wow, can't wait to hear how that last post effects your "Keyword Analysis" in StatCounter...Hope you're on the mend.

4/21/2006 10:35 AM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

toto_too--someone came to me from saudi arabia searching "brat pitt naked." yes, that's brat with a t.

4/21/2006 10:43 AM

Blogger kigogal said...

Tracie B., I've been readin' yer blog now for about a week or two. My sis found it and told me about it since I was studying Italian (language and film) for the last couple years. I love your writing and pics AND your personal touches to all your experiences. This post was what finally made me want to send you a note to say Hi and take care!!! I don't think yer a wuss, and I think it's TOTALLY cute that your Dad responds on your blog. :-) (My Dad won't touch the thing, he thinks blog sounds like an ailment that he doesn't want to catch.) :-)

4/21/2006 11:05 AM

Blogger Ale said...

omgoodness! i would have grabbed that cigarette and put in out inside his HAND!!!!!!

4/21/2006 12:14 PM

Blogger melusina said...

It seems pretty stupid for them to do that without any kind of anaesthetic, but I guess that is the EU for ya. Here in Greece, you get drugged.

Hope the results were satisfactory. My husband has to have those regularly too. Not fun.

4/21/2006 1:29 PM

Blogger Chantel said...

oh my god, that's awful -- no way man put me out..
I hope you're OK though...

4/21/2006 2:35 PM

Anonymous franca said...

Hello Tracie.

How are you doing? Sorry that this experience was the way it was. Hopefully, all is ok with you and you won't have to go through it again.

Take care of yourself :).


4/21/2006 3:23 PM

Blogger euro-trac said...


4/21/2006 7:06 PM

Anonymous stacy said...

poor thing! that totally sucks. hope everything turns out well

4/21/2006 8:41 PM

Blogger Darbs said...

Are you serious??? My eyes started tearing as I was reading this. I just saw this procedure done on an episode of "HOUSE" (don't know if you get it/have seen it) and I thought I don't think I would be able to do that. You are a much better woman than I...glad that's over for you!

4/21/2006 11:27 PM

Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

I have three for you Tracie...
WHAT THE H***????!!! I can not understand why they would NOT put you to sleep for this. Crazy crazy crazy.

With my father-in-law in the hospital, I am getting a crash course in Italian Hospital 101. Always interesting. Always different.

Ok, I want to go home now.... Or at least before I have baby in this country! hehehe

Hope you are feeling better.

4/22/2006 1:44 AM

Blogger nikinpos said...

poor poor tracie. How about a long weekend in Pos to get over it?

4/22/2006 2:28 AM

Blogger Sangindiva said...

Awww tracie...

This sounds HORRID!! I am sad you had to go through this :(
I hope you are feeling better.
LOL@ the smoking doctor!

4/22/2006 9:36 AM

Blogger Venitha said...

As messed up as the healthcare system is in the US, its quality sure beats that of other countries. I live in great fear of a dental emergency that requires a visit to an Asian dentist!

4/26/2006 1:04 AM

Anonymous lena said...

Oh, my - I could barely get past the SMOKING doctor to properly empathize with the gagging torture. Poor you!

Next time you gear up with your hot wax and you give that bad doctor the Beckam (back, crack & sack) He deserves it.

Oh, I hope your dad doesn't read this -sorry Randy :)

4/26/2006 2:04 AM

Anonymous lena said...

...and that brings me to another thing which I hate to bring up on your post about your sad gagging experience which sounded truly awful and I would never want to detract from that, BUT...I was getting my laser hair removal today and the technician told me that roughly 10% of her clients are men wanting the "Beckam" (see last comment) FOR REAL. I am totally fascinated. Why, oh why, oh why...

4/26/2006 3:05 AM


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