23.6.09

CT SCANS AND SPIES

Due to the alien that is still residing in my abdomen and making its presence quite well known, I have been doing a fair bit of driving. As I live in a village (therefore; I am a villager) our health clinic and hospital are lacking in some of the big equipment that isn't used ALL THE TIME by the villagers of my village. Some of this equipment includes ultrasound machines, CT Scanner machines, MRI coffin-machines and a swanky cafeteria filled with jello and Tim Horton's doughnuts (we have jello but no doughnuts). Because we lack these wondrous diagnostic image creators, and because the alien is giving me hella pains, I have to travel an hour and a bit to be scanned and poked and prodded at my family physician's request. I book the day off work and I try and do some shopping while I'm out there, but sometimes the hospital processes leave me in not so great a mood to be schlepping my tired self around an under-construction mall.

I woke up this morning with loads of energy and I was feeling pretty good about my CTscan appointment, scheduled for midafternoon. I had one a few years back and it was no big deal, so I knew what to expect. My dear mother accompanied me on the long drive to the bigger, newer, glassier hospital and even did all the driving, which was excellent because I kept getting toe-cramps which made me flail.

Anyway, she drove me to the hospital in the city (small city) and we arrived early enough to get almost lost in the demolition site of a parking lot. We walked toward the main entrance, passing many a sign stating that the entire property is SMOKE FREE. I also spotted a man who was, I kid you not, squatting below a window to remain undetected as he sucked on his cancer-stick.

As I'd been to this hospital (which is entirely new as of the past year) not 2 weeks earlier, I knew my way around. I led my mum to the Main Entrance and chose to bypass the revolving doors, opting for the much less stressful AUTOMATIC CAUTION doors. My mother followed me past the gift shop, library and doughnut cart (all of which I named aloud as we passed them, for no particular reason) and down to Diagnostic Imaging. I checked in and we were directed down numerous hallways to the CTscan waiting room where we sat and waited.

A nurse came out and asked me if I have allergies (hayfever and melon), asthma (mild; in conjunction with the hayfever) and whether or not I take some medication I do not recall the name of (I do not). Apparantly, for this CTscan it was required that I have some kind of dye pumped into me via an IV. I was displeased to say the least. I'm not a big needle person. They make me giddy. I cry and laugh and make odd noises and my mum gets quite frustrated with me and the nurses call me 'Sweetheart' and 'Hon'.

So I went in to the next room to get the IV started and that was just a messy experience. There was dizziness and nausea and pain and needles being poked in both arms and bags of liquid attached to me by tubes that were taped to my arm hair (which, if you recall, I have a fair bit of).

The CTscan itself was easy peasy. For anyone who doesn't know, they put you on a stretcher that moves back and forth through the centre of a giant metal doughnut (I'm realizing there's a lot of fried dough in this post. Forgive me.) while they take pictures of your insides. What I was not expecting was my reaction to the dye. The technician lady (who was very nice) told me I'd feel warm all over, and probably get a weird taste in my mouth that would go away quickly. Oh, and I might feel like I'm wetting my pants. But I won't be, it just feels that way.

I thought this was a weird little turn of events that I would likely not experience.

The scan starts and the automated voice of the doughnut tells me to "Breathe IN.... HO-ld it!.......... breathe." and I start feeling warm inside. Like I'm drinking hot chocolate. Through my fingers. It was weird but not unpleasant.

Then I taste paper and what glue sticks smell like. It was both weird AND unpleasant. I swallow a few times and get over it.

My other arm is feeling really warm too and I wiggle my fingers to make sure they're still there and OH MY GOD I'M PEEING MY PANTS.

But I wasn't. It just felt that way.

I LOLed right there and then felt a bit sick so I was quiet until the whole ordeal was over and I got to go sit in the waiting area again while they made sure I had no adverse reactions to the dye.

As I sat in my chair, connected to the ceiling by my inner elbow vein and some clear tubing, I became aware of the elderly woman who was sitting next to me, veiled partially by a curtain. I used my less-than-imppeccable peripheral vision and gathered that she was also in that end waiting stage like me, and that she was looking at me a lot. I made eye contact and smiled and she smiled back. She then jerked her head toward her IV tube and says to me:

"It's just like we're wired with surveillance mics."

That struck me as much stranger than the peeing sensation. Why would the mind of this sweet older woman go immediately to espionage? Could she be from an agency of sorts? Was she giving me a tip? Was I reading way too much into this and remembering that my sister was studying the Cold War for her history exam the night before? I decided it was most likely all three things in combination.

In case you were worried, there were no adverse reactions to the dye other than slight wooziness and complete lack of desire to shop. I did eat a Big Mac though, and that might have had more to do with this condition than anything else.

3 comments:

  1. CHRIS! (it wouldn't let me use my LJ to post. how lame is that?!June 23, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    Siobhan... you lucky girl you experienced CT Contrast Dye.

    I am terrifically allergic to it, and ALTHOUGH I tell them this information all the time, I have experienced it TWICE. The peeing sensation is quite strange, I must agree.

    We need to be friends, and soon!

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  2. This ate my comment....I'll try and recreate it. Frig.

    Cancer-stick. Flail. Schlep. Abundant arm hair.
    I fricking love you.
    Also, I had a CTscan during reading week, and they assured me I'd feel like I was peeing, and I was most disappointed when I didn't really.
    xo

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  3. You guys are great. I love you.

    ReplyDelete