Pig in a Blanket

Well, I have now had the pleasure of experiencing a CT Scan. All-in-all not an unpleasent experience.

The basic premise is that they run you through a machine that has a laser that "slices" through your body and images it as you go. In this particular case they were only looking at my abdomen in order to identify a tumor in my adrenal gland. BTW, the adrenal gland sits on top of the kidney.

In order to prep you must not eat for four hours ahead of time and when you arrive you must drink some think liquid which presumably coats the digestive system (I honestly did not ask...). Then you wait for an hour which I suppose gives you enough time for the liquid to get to the intestines. The only real problem here is that I did not know that an hour wait was in order. Again, not normally a problem unless there aren't any magazines from the last four years in the waiting room. How much fun can you have on a Treo in one hour? I found out (the answer is "not much").

So, the procedure is fairly uneventful. A CT-tech (rad-tech?) fits you for an IV so that they can inject you with contrast during the procedure. You are led into a room where you lie on a table - in my case I had to hike my jeans down to clear way for the scan. And then the fun begins.

Now I am in no way claustraphobic. But I of course noticed the posters of scenic wide-open vistas intended to comfort those patients that are. They fit you with an IV and you are ready to go.

Back and forth on the bed as they slide it through the tube. A nice computer voice tells you when to breathe and when to hold (I would have preferred a "you can now breathe" as opposed to the curt "breath" command - the Enterprise computer is so much more polite). The only really funny thing is a sign that says "laser beam blah blah blah....do not look into it" right above your eyes. Why not just give me a big red shiney button that says "do not push!" I patted myself on the back for not blinding myself during the procedure.

Halfway through they stop for a moment and come over and inject the contrast through the IV. It's a very warm feeling which ultimately makes you want to go to the bathroom (like going into a warm pool or having your hand soaked in a warm bucket of water). The feeling was a bit much but then again I have a ton of adrenaline coursing through my veins (presumably). They slid me through a couple of more times and then unhooked me and told me to pull up my pants.

And that's it. The contrast did not last long and off I went.

The good news so far is that all of the staff I've met has been quite friendly. Always good to have people willing to joke around with you when they are poking you with needles and such.

Tomorrow I meet with the endocrinologist to review the CT Scan results.


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