Monday, February 16, 2009

Say Cheese

It's not even 11am and already I've had a CT scan. On the plus side, it's out of the way and I can enjoy the rest of the day. On the minus side, I had to drink 2 of those barf-inducing smoothies. Ugh. I get the dry heaves just thinking about it. If you've never had to have a CT with oral and iv contrast, let me lay it out for you (sadly, the picture to the right is a good approximation as to the phoney cheery face I put on the whole time. Luckily, my favorite tech was on today, so it really wasn't too phoney. The tech is a SPITTING image of Anthony Edwards, so all I can think is that Dr. Mark Greene is giving me my CT scan.):

*You drink 2 bottles of this lovely stuff. One at bedtime (whereupon you realize you won't be eating anything until AFTER your appointment and are suddenly ravenous after you started drinking the contrast.) and one the next morning. You take a swig. You think, "This isn't as bad as I remember" and proceed to try guzzling. After the first prolonged guzzle you feel woozy trying to get past the sensation that this stuff is coating your insides. You whimper as you trying thinking "chocolate milkshake, chocolate milkshake" to no avail. You try all sorts of breathing techniques while drinking, but realize it's not the taste, but the texture and no kind of breathing will get you past that. (This is of course after trying to add chocolate syrup to it thinking that will surely help. It doesn't.) You slog down the first bottle and go to bed. The next morning you dread that second bottle. It stares you down. You open it up and just the sight of that viscous while stuff is enough to make you cringe. You shudder as you force it down.

*You get to the CT scan place and sign in and fill out the same paperwork for the umpteenth time.

*By this CT scan, you've wised up and wear nothing metal so you don't have to change.

*You go into the freezing room where the machine is and glug that last bit of contrast down. (By this point you're ready to pass out if that stuff touches your lips again.)

*A few passes through the machine.

*Then a nurse (if you're lucky) comes to hook you up to an iv to administer the iv contrast.

*They start the iv and you get a hellacious taste in the back of your mouth, reminding you of the disgusting taste you'd get when you had the chemo.

*Then comes the flooding warmth through the lower half of your body.

*Then after the pass with the iv in your arm (still hooked to the machine as seen in the picture to the right), they remove it and you lay on the table for 15 minutes with nothing to do but stare out the dirty skylight. If you're lucky, there's clouds in the sky that day. (Today there weren't.)

*Then one more pass and you're free to go wait in the waiting room for the disk with the images.

*Disk in hand, you are on your way.

Repeat again in six months.

Luckily, these are to make sure I'm still healthy. But it still dredges up the same emotions and feelings and memories from back when I had my first CT scan when we were trying to figure out what was wrong with me. So even though this morning was quick and (relatively) painless, it still sucked. Not to mention the lovely things the oral contrast does to my digestive system. *Ahem*


Big Pissy said...


Thank goodness that's over with! ;-)

buddha_girl said...

I'm so glad you don't have to do this more often! I've only had to do it once and thought I would shoot myself.

You're a trooper, Girlie!

cgda said...

My wife went through that, and she never really talked about it. Now I see why. But I did appreciate your laying the whole thing out. I hope you stay healthy.

Curly Glamour Girlie said...

Pissy - Yeah, it's always like, "Whew that one's done" but in the back of my head I know there's one waiting for me in 6 months.

BG - Believe me, when it's just a part of life, you just suck it up and try to smile through it or you drive yourself nuts.

CGDA - My take on my whole cancer experience is that you never know who you can help by talking about your experience. (That and I'm a Leo, so I'll talk about myself any chance I can get!)

Diane said...

You really should write that book, missy!