Friday, May 23, 2014

Did I ever mention how much I hate CT scans?

Let's get the definition out of the way first:
Computerized tomography (CT scan) — also called CT — combines a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles and computer processing to create cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside your body... 
How you prepare for a CT scan depends on which part of your body is being scanned. You may be asked to:
  • Take off some or all of your clothing and wear a hospital gown.
  • Remove any metal objects, such as a belt or jewelry, which might interfere with image results.
  • Stop eating for a few hours before your scan.
Contrast material
A special dye called a contrast material is needed for some CT scans, to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines or other structures.
Contrast material can enter your body in a variety of ways:

  • Oral. If your esophagus or stomach is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste unpleasant.
  • Injection. Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm, to help view your gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels. You may experience a feeling of warmth during the injection or a metallic taste in your mouth.
I had to have a post-op CT scan and I've been dreading it - so much that I had an appointment several weeks ago and I cancelled at the last minute because I hate it so much.

For some reason I have to do both methods of contrast material and both of them are horrible. You have to drink like a quart of "unpleasant liquid." And the injection, while less physically unpleasant is much more creepy - you are hooked up to a bag of dye that they shoot through your veins and it makes your coochie warm - and this is while they are shoving you back and forth through the donut hole of the tomography equipment and telling you to hold your breath.

If you've ever had a CT scan you know what I mean. It is a thoroughly unpleasant experience, but I took the day off from work today and made myself go through with it.

So I had to sit in my insurance company's mandated imaging center, which is overcrowded, cold and filled with the inescapable blare of some awful live audience morning TV show, while drinking two heaping glasses full of the oral contrast solution. So 90 minutes into this scenario the CT technician comes out and says:

Anybody who is here for a CT scan please be aware that the machine has broken down. It will take at least two hours for the technician to get here to look at it, and even then there is no guarantee that it will be fixed by the end of the day.

Well I was out of there like a shot. No way I was going to sit in that hell hole on the off-chance that I would get the goddam CT scan. So now I have to drink another quart of that horrible stuff when I go somewhere else - and I don't care if my insurance company doesn't like it - to get a CT scan. Some place that doesn't use broke down old pieces of equipment.

Thank you for listening.