Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Jul 24 2009

CT scans

If you've ever had a CT scan, then you're aware that it is a relatively minimally invasive procedure, as these things go. The only poke is an intravenous site, and that's done only if you're test is being done with the contrast solution. The preparation can be a nuisance if you're required to drink the barium solution, because it causes some of us to respond with diarrhea. For those of you who may be having a scan soon, let me walk you through my recent comedy of errors.

Yesterday I was scheduled for an early morning scan, so I began drinking my pina colada flavored barium at bedtime. All went fairly well until my spouse and I arrived at the medical center. I know from prior visits that it's not a good idea for me to wait in the outer waiting area, so I asked to be buzzed through the doors into the waiting area next to a restroom. I was presented with a form to fill out and two more cups of barium to drink. While I was balancing all these items I managed to spill most of one cup of the liquid down my pants leg and onto the form I had just filled out. My spouse and I raided the towel shelf and cleaned up what we could and asked for new barium and a new form. Eventually the barium was doing its trick with my intestines and I made a rather rapid move toward the bathroom, not realizing that the floor was damp just outside the door. I did some maneuvers that kept me from falling down and that would have had So You Think You Can Dance fans giving me a standing ovation. I do believe my spouse grew a few new gray hairs, but he kept his outward composure.

The scan itself was fairly uneventful. It took only two different people to get a vein willing to accept the contrast solution. It's common for my fitful veins to go through three or four people before one vein will cooperate. (I'm just a tough case in that department.) My only task after that was to lie still and hold my breath for a few seconds a couple of different times. For those of you facing such a scan, if you happen to be claustrophobic, the machine is great. It's a bit like a large doughnut, covereing only a small portion of your body. And it doesn't clank and carry on the way an MRI machine does. So if there's a CT scan in your near future, take it from a fraidy cat like me. You'll do very well, as long as you keep a grip on your last cup or two of barium and as long as you make any trips to the rest room in safe strides. Oh, and bring an extra set of clothes with you when you go for the test. Whether it's a case of severe diarrhea or messy barium spills, it's worth the piece of mind to be ready for a wardrobe change before you head back out to face the world again.

posted at: 10:25 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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