CT Scan, Take Two

Last modified on February 6th, 2007

This afternoon at 4:30pm I have yet another CT scan down at St. Paul’s Hospital. I’ve been waiting for this one nearly a month now, so it will be nice to finally have it done. I’ve been told I can’t eat for at least four hours before the scan, so apparently this banana bread is my only meal until supper time. I’m not sure if they are putting some funky dye into my blood, but I’ll know in a few hours I guess.

Update — Ok, so it’s all over now. I got down to St Paul’s at around 4:15pm and just chilled in the waiting area for a while. At around 4:35, some lady calls me up and walks me into the room with the CT machine. This one was far more low tech (i.e. way more scary) than the one I had before, and it looked almost medieval. I take my jacket off, and lie down on this bench type thing attached to the CT scanner. They inform me that they’re going to put some dye into my arm, and that it will require an IV. Am I ok with that? Yeah sure, why not. She tells me that the dye is going to make me feel warm, will taste metallic, and that it will make me really want to pee. Ok? Yeah sure, let’s do it — I’m pumped. Then she tells me that while the dye is relatively safe, it’s possible I might have a severe allergic reaction to the dye. And if that happens, not to worry, because they have some medication around that will probably save me. Somewhere. Maybe in the back.

After I get that big lecture, she asked if I had any questions. So I go, “yeah, what does that dye actually do?” To which she replies “you know, I’m not entirely sure. I think it helps the machine see better. ” Great. Where’s the booze around here?

Next thing I know, I have a tourniquet on my arm, and she’s getting me to make weird pumping motions with my fist. She’s like “that’s odd, I can’t seem to find a vein.” And I’m like “well, everyone else in the last three months found it, so it’s there somewhere.” She’s like “I sort of feel it, but I don’t see it. Here, I think it’s here.” And I’m like “uhh, can you please be sure — I really don’t want radioactive dye in the wrong parts of my body.” The actual IV insertion was a bit anticlimatic, but she informed me that she taped it nice and tight to my arm hairs, so it would probably feel great when she ripped the tape off.

Next, she grabs this big Canada-Arm looking thing from the wall and starts connecting it to my IV. Apparently that’s the dye, and they have to pump it from another room along a lead lined fixture. Once it’s all connected, they start pumping it into my body. It didn’t hurt, but it reminded me alot like how I felt when I had morphine in the ER. You feel really warm and heavy, and your mouth tastes really metallicy.

They did two scans, one with my head in some crazy ass position, and another with it lying flat on the table. The actual scanning process probably only took 7 or 8 minutes, but having your head turned nearly upside down with a chin strap fastened to your face isn’t exactly a fun experience.

When it was all over, I figured I’d take a shot of the whole contraption for my blog. So as a formality, I asked the nurse if it was ok if I took a photo. To which she said “no, you may not.” Taken somewhat aback, I grabbed my jacket and started to leave. Then I stopped, turned around and said “why?” And she said “because I doubt GE (the makers of the CT scanner) would approve.” I didn’t even attempt to argue with her, so unfortunately, I have no photos of the event. All I have to show for it is a bloody band-aid and a few new superpowers.

I imagine it will be a week or so before I hear what the results are. If anyone needs a nightlight this week, call me over — I’m sure I’ll glow in the dark.