I have photos on a disc from the hospital, and of course I know how to pull them off of the disc and save them (even though the program they install on the disc is supposed to keep you from doing that – yeah, uh, I worked in a veterinary office, I know how that stuff works), but they’re, frankly, too vulgar.
Yes, this is from the woman who posted photos of her uterus being stuck to her bowel. Trust me…it’s better this way.
So after a bit of a late start, I basically arrived at the hospital AT noon, which is when I was scheduled to drink the Omnipaque, which is a non-ionic (meaning less likely to give side effects) dye to coat my intestines.
I was assured by the tech I spoke to yesterday that I wouldn’t taste the dye. LIES. THEY WERE LIES. It coated my mouth and tasted almost identical to the “super-taster” test strips I used back in 2009. (I will never forget that bitterness.) It was just stronger. Anyway, so 16.9 ounces, and several belches later (seriously, the taste…ugh), and I was taken back to get my creatinine tested because I’m on BP meds. The nurse also did my IV stick, and HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS IT WAS SO WEIRD.
***IF NEEDLES BOTHER YOU, STOP READING UNTIL YOU SEE BOLD, CAPITALIZED TEXT AGAIN***
Okay, so I already know that for procedures, they use a needle to get the IV into the skin, but after that, the needle is withdrawn, and a flexible tube is left in its place. I found that out during my surgery in April, and it amused me to no end. The difference between April and today was that in April, they did the stick in my hand, and apparently that vein was like, “Okay, cool,” and took it like a man. It’s why I didn’t know about the tube – because I didn’t see it. I seriously thought I had a needle in my hand, because it hurt.
The vein in my arm today was like, “NOPE NOPE NOPE.” The nurse stuck the needle in, and the vein basically spit up on her, like a baby (except into the IV tube, if that makes sense), then just…stopped flowing. It was so freakin’ weird, because they’d JUST used that vein last week for my colonoscopy IV.
She had to use a vacuum syringe to try to get her three drops of blood (seriously, that’s all she needed), then, because the little tube didn’t go all the way into my vein, and it needed to for the IV infusion, she had to snake it in by hand. I was sitting there going, “OMG do I keep watching or look away?!?” because I’ve had nightmares involving worms in my skin, and it looked…pretty much like that. So it was a living nightmare, but REALLY cool at the same time.
My inner masochist won out, and I ended up watching the entire thing (which was less than 10 seconds, but seriously, it was…unique).
***OKAY, NEEDLE TALK IS OVER!***
I waited some more, then was taken to another waiting room, where the nurse asked me if I was from Memphis and where I went to high school. I told her, and she said, “Oh, I thought you might know my kids…you’re about their age…” I asked how old, and she said her daughter was 29, went to a high school I was familiar with (band, yo – we traveled, did honor bands, etc., so we met everyone), and played saxophone (I played French horn, so we were ALWAYS next to the sax players, since we were in the same range and played many of the same parts), and said her name. I was genuinely like, “Yeah…she actually sounds familiar.” THEN the nurse came back and showed me a photo, and holy crap, I’d been in two honor bands with this chick. Small world!
This same nurse (and a random patient in the waiting room…she was nice, and I could tell she was used to being in hospital waiting rooms to the point where she was eager to tell everyone everything…so she reminded me of me, basically…lol) told me about what would happen when the contrast dye was injected. I was told by friends to expect it to feel warm, and that was it.
Well, apparently, you’re supposed to feel like you’ve pissed yourself, and then you get a giant hot flash. These two women were absolutely emphatic that that’s what would happen, so I used the restroom ahead of time (if I feel like I’ve pissed myself, my bladder goes, “DUDE, wait for me!” and I actually DO piss myself – it’s happened twice, both times thankfully where it was appropriate to pee, anyway), and took deep breaths when I first felt the liquid enter my IV to keep myself calm.
I didn’t feel the “pissed myself,” – instead, it felt like someone aimed a hair dryer at my crotch. I could tell it wasn’t liquid, just that it was REALLY warm, and then the rest of my body heated up (mostly the extremities), but not like a hot flash – more like chemical burn, if that makes sense. The nurse in the room with me was like, “Are you okay?” and I said, “Yeah, I don’t mean to sound crude, but my crotch is burning, and I’m really hoping that goes away, soon.” It did, thank god.
They tested the machine out a few times before they put the contrast fluid in, and I had a really hard time with it, because I kept laughing at the voice commands the machine was giving, combined with the light-up faces (one with its mouth open, the other with its mouth closed and cheeks puffed out), instructing me to “breathe in now,” “hold your breath,” and “breathe now.” After I was allowed to breathe again, I would just start giggling. I’m fairly certain they think I’m insane. Wouldn’t be the first time, eh?
The moving table only disoriented me for a minute or so, after which I actually enjoyed it. My legs were propped up, my arms were over my head, and I was relaxed (and really tired), so laying down for a test? Sure! Laying down for a test that’s giggle-inducing? Even better!
The scan itself wasn’t a hassle (aside from the temporary gonorrhea-esque burning), and it took about 10 minutes. The nurse was hilarious, we had a good laugh about boob stuff (my underwire bra had to be pulled up, and it squished my boobs down, which hurt, and she has a four-year-old son who apparently just likes to elbow her in the boobs while using her as a jungle gym…so I told her about Merlin, our Maine coon, and how often he’s kicked me in the boob in an attempt to get away, because….well…it’s funny after the fact), and I was wheeled back to the waiting room to wait for my images on disc (which I asked for, because y’all know I’m weird like that).
I find out Monday what those images mean, because right now, all I’m seeing is that I had gas, I’m crooked when I lay down flat (my abdomen twists to the left, apparently? even though my spine is straight?), my bones are really thick (yay!), and my lung capacity has definitely shrunk compared to the x-rays I have from 5 years ago when I last had a full physical. I guess, to be fair, since I was laying down I wasn’t really holding my breath with my diaphragm (I breathed “out” rather than “down”), so that could be a sort of optical illusion, but whatever.
So that was my CT adventure. Not a big deal, just have to drink extra fluids through tomorrow to help flush out the contrast fluid, and I’m good. So we’ll see what the doc says on Monday!