I had a CT scan on Friday, and it was freaking scary.

I don’t like to be poked and prodded in a medical sense (or any other sense, really), and so usually when I have to do some sort of medical procedure I’ve never had before, I do a bit of research so I know what to expect. But last week being the insane week from Hell at work, I didn’t get around to it, so I went into the CT scan blind.

First I had to drink what seemed like a gallon of some substance called Readicat. It’s a barium sulfate suspension, and it’s thick, white, and tastes like lemons gone wrong. I probably had to consume only about 12 ounces of it, but it was hard to get down, no doubt. Then, when I arrived at the imaging lab for the procedure, I was handed another 8 ounces of the stuff to choke down. Yum.

I also didn’t realize how freaking huge the CT scan machine actually is. It was this big, white O, basically, and I was told to lie down on a bed that moved in and out of the O. I was about six inches or so from the top of the inner circle of the O, and there was a little black window from which I could see a red light peeking out. The label affixed directly beneath the window read: “Laser Aperture – Do not look directly into beam.” Of course, that is where my eyes naturally wanted to go, so I spent a good portion of the 10 minutes trying to look at something else.

About halfway through the weird ride in and out of the O, one of the nurses came back in to administer the contrast agent in the IV stuck in my arm. She explained I’d feel a warm trickle in my throat, which would then move through my entire body. Yep. And it totally felt like I had peed my pants.

Peed. My. Pants.

Of course, I didn’t actually, so that was ok. But it was weird, nonetheless.

Mostly, I felt like I was sort of in some Space Odyssey adventure – everything was white and sterile and clinical (as it should be, for a medical procedure), and I was nervous and a bit scared. Ugh. I’m just glad it’s over now.

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