Thursday, June 03, 2010

Annual medical check up

Each year around this time, I look forward to going for my annual medical check-up... it is quite fun, actually.
The Japanese have a name for it... 'ningen doc' (literally, human doctor).
Been doing this since 1996, without fail.
The check-up is quite detailed, I must say.

First, no more eating from 9:00 pm the night before the check-up.
No problem for me as I am always getting ready to hit the sack at this hour.
On the day of the check-up, no breakfast... water and clear tea is ok... no milk or sugar...

For the last two years, my wife has been joining me to do this.
We are early birds and for the fun of it, we try to be the first in line.
This time, as in last year, we were number 2 and 3...
Normally, there are about 20 people doing it in a day and the hospital that I go to does this throughout the year.

So there we were... taking our urine samples, having our blood drawn, and our body height, weight, mass, eyesight, and blood pressure checked.
They tested our hearing power on low and high frequencies, and the 'hardness' of our eyeballs...
We had some kind of 'scope' checking on our abdomens, and had electronic cables clipped onto our limbs...
A nurse tested us on our inhaling and exhaling capacities... we had to breath in fully and instantly exhaled the air into a machine... interesting this was...

Chest x-ray was a breeze... but each year, I dreaded the one most horrible liquid or is it solid drink that this year, I made up my mind to avoid it... barium... yaks... This is the stomach test where they have you initially stand, leaning your back against a flat bed... the medical staff then turned you upside down (am I exergerating?), left and right, here and there while commanding you to rotate your body to face up, then down, then left, and then right... and as if this is not enough, you get poked, lightly and slowly though, on your abdomen as tens of x-rays I think, are taken of your stomach.
You then have to excrete out that horrible whitish solid/liquid when you return to your office or home... uuuh, yaks...

This year, I opted for the endoscope test.
Had done this once with the doctor putting in the camera through my mouth.
This year, it was through my left nose.
The thought of it was quite scary.
The nurse dropped some kind of liquid into my nose.

Moments later, morphine... and again, morphine.
I was ready for the camera....
Was asked to lay on my left side... the doctor introduced the camera into my left nose and slowly pushed...
He asked me to swallow once, and twice... did that, and the camera was inside my stomach....

See Part two


  1. Anonymous6/03/2010

    To be continued ... SCARES ME! Eewww! Why did the endoscopy through the nose? Never done that before? Was it to check for nasal cancer as well? Shudder at the thought of it. (SM)

  2. to have guts to go thro' all the tests esp the OGDS and be one of the earliest in line for that..?? i must salute you, sir!! :)

  3. Anon... actually, it is quite scary if you stop to think about it... I tried doing it through the mouth many years ago (in 1998?) and the experience was uh... noisy(?) due to uncontrollable grunting because the throat was 'irritated' by the passing tube...

    syan... I must look up the meaning of OGDS... I am learning from you here...

  4. Hats off for you and your lovely missus...been a very obedient patient haven't you?...hehe...

    Oh by the way syanashwa, OGDS? Errmm...need to look up on that too.

  5. Vincent Ong6/04/2010

    Barium taste like cement,Yucks i really hated it too.
    Done the endoscope at Malaysia before it was awful because the tube was much bigger than the one they use in Japan and they did not gave me a good anesthetic instead just spray some kind oral anesthetic that wear off when the camera still in the stomach.Puked several times after that.It was really awful.The last time i done the endoscope test at Japan,i did not even notice when the test was finished.There is a test for the intestine that need the camera to enter through the anus.Wonder whether the test is legal in Malaysia.LOL Must felt like been sodomize after the test. LOL...

  6. ibunoor... you said it, been quite faithful to the annual checks... reason is, I aim to extend my life a little so as to enjoy my potager garden...

    Vincent... you are right on the dot... barium is really like cement diluted in some liquid... the intake is yuks and the release is equally disgusting... I can imagine how you puked then... I almost, thank god I didn't... as for the one coming in from the behind, yeap, did that as well, many years ago... and, hahahaaa, LOL with regards to its 'legality' in Msia...

  7. Oh, by the way, found an interesting blog by a doctor on (oesophago-gastric-duodeno-scopy) OGDS, through the mouth rather than the nose... pretty informative...

  8. oppss. sorry.. just noticed you had the procedure done thro' your nasal this time.. you had the meaning right and that is a very interesting blog.. :)

    my husband been thro' that procedure many years back and shared with me how horrible the experience was!

    and i shud remember not to use short terms next time! ;)

  9. your husband... once bitten, twice shy? I imagine the tubes to be much thicker some years ago...

  10. It is really very informative! Actually, I have to go thro endoscopy, but i still withstand not to opt to have it first. REading thro here, I think the medical Tech is far better in your home country like mine!

    Thanks. Perhaps have to go to Japan, Taiwan to do such tests!

  11. Thank you... it is good to go for a check...