I'm with you on the gag reflexes. I'm on pretty strong doses of anti-anxiety meds anyway, and I suppose it helps some, but not enough (but then again, if it did help, I wouldn't be on them in the first place, now, would I, LOL). Definitely get something if he suggests it ... and he ought to be able to prescribe a small dose for you, shouldn't he? Like the dental surgeons sometimes do. Cognitive therapy is NOT the answer to everything, and isn't going to work fast enough to get you a scope done really soon, though therapy definitely has its place, and I've had friends who've done various of those kinds with great results. (Mine are more talk therapy, and have taken longer.) Also, give yourself some credit ... you're only five weeks out!! Many of us couldn't even manage a bite of real food at that point, and this guy is insisting on sticking something down your sensitive nose and down your poor raw throat. Your body is putting up the fight God designed it to, and you should be proud it works so well. (I need to use this pep talk on myself sometime, clearly.)

On a more pragmatic note, did they use numbing spray? Did they use ENOUGH? (I found out, after several visits, that other patients were getting more numbing spray than I was, and also that I kept tilting my head forward afterward, thus letting my runny nose drip it all back out again instead of down the path it needed to go. Sigh. I think it was my Mom who noticed that one for me, as my back-up driver.)

Do they treat you well in other ways? Because if they are expecting you to be an expert at this so soon in the game, another option is to find a more sympathetic ENT. Not ideal to have to switch doctors, but you don't need a doctor who patient-blames, either.

The scoping tapers off. Honestly, I don't think my guy followed up at all after a year or maybe two ... it was like I dropped off the radar. Maybe because he felt sorry for me (and for himself having to treat me, LOL), and maybe because I really was recovering well, but even then, the appointments were less frequent intervals before I stopped having to go.

Oh, and I carry a tiny travel teddy bear everywhere I go. For comfort. Started as a travel thing when I was a kid, became a comfort when I had to be in hospitals as an adult, and is now a very well-travelled, well-educated pocket-sized teddy. Just right for squeezing when I get scared, so that my tension goes into my fist (and poor Bear) rather than whatever other body part a doctor or nurse may be trying to work on. Works surprisingly well, and is a nice topic of conversation to distract during other unpleasant procedures like blood draws, too. If you're not opposed to small furry comforts, a teddy or stress ball or fidget toy might be handy to occupy the hand and the mind. (My Bear was initially a tiny Girl Scout souvenir bear, so now all my Scouts bring their own travel stuffies along with them when go on adventures, too ... I'm contagious... but it sure helps when you need one!)

Come to think of it, I'd add the anti-anxiety to a dose of Benadryl (if you weren't given orders to avoid antihistamines) ... those two should calm you down reasonably well, and take a back up driver just in case. Sleepy helps quell anxiety, truly. And if you want details on what meds I'm on, feel free to send a private message, though your doctor would know what's best for you based on history and allergies and things.

Surgery 5/31/13
Tongue lesion, right side
SCC, HPV+, poorly differentiated
T1N0 based on biopsy and scan
Selective neck dissection 8/27/13, clear nodes
12/2/13 follow-up with concerns
12/3/13 biopsy, surgery, cancer returned
1/8/14 Port installed
PEG installed
Chemo and rads
2/14/14 halfway through carboplatin/taxotere and rads
March '14, Tx done, port out w/ complications, PEG out in June
2017: probable trigeminal neuralgia
Fall 2017: HBOT
Jan 18: oral surgery