intermittent since 2001

My first CT Scan

Let me start by saying the scan was clear. I’m not fine, but the scan was clear… which is good… apparently. Anyway I wanted to tell you about my first CT scan. Over the years, being a clumsy arse with suspected asthma, I’ve had my fair share of x-rays. Legs, arms, ankles, wrists, back, chest and probably head at some stage too. The good thing is that everything righted itself in the end, all the limbs repaired and the back got better, although I’m still not so sure about the head! So I’ve been hacking up a lung for the last few weeks, grabbing air where I can get it and generally being useless to everyone. Last monday I bowled up at my local surgery having seen one doctor a day since the previous thursday. There was more blood in my oxygen than oxygen in my blood and the air, like my hair, was thin. So my doctor advised an immediate CT scan.

With a little apprehension missus snappy and I went to the local hospital to check in. Worryingly they were expecting me and ushered me straight off to the scanning room, or whatever you call it. I was treated to one of those unflattering hospital robes that deliver a sudden breeze to your rear end if you move too fast, and to counteract any blushes a blue version of the same robe that you put on the other way round. Genius eh!

I go along into the room to be confronted by what I can only describe as a cross between a large donut and a polo mint with a bed in the middle. I was asked to take my place on the bed and was confronted with one of those little hospital trolleys full of medical accoutrements and the radiographer gently broke the bad news to me. ‘You will need to have a little injection’ he said.


He said it was perfectly OK, he just needed to inject me with a little iodine to stain my organs. Stain my organs!! I composed myself, as far as you can with your backside hanging out and prepared to recieve that ‘little scratch’ they always tell you to expect. OUCH, little scratch my arse. I duly asked if there were any side effects, to which he replied no… you’re not allergic to seafood are you? ‘I don’t eat seafood’ I replied, ‘how would I know?’. Apparently if I feel a tightening in the throat that would be a bad thing! He then kindly shot a bit of cold saline up my right arm for fun and then disappeared off into another room. As he went he said the machine would tell me what to do but I could always talk to him in the other room if I needed to. Ok then!

The machine started to whirr and move and a lady’s voice told me repeatedly to hold my breath while the bed moved back and forth. I’d been hooked up to the iodine and had to keep my arms above my head and eventually the lady went quiet. Great, I thought, all done, that was a piece of cake! Then a voice comes from the ceiling telling me, in a thick Indian accent, that the scan was about to begin. Shit!

The iodine drip made a squirty noise and I felt a fluid rush up my arm and into my neck and then a warming sensation in my throat. ‘Hmmm, interesting’, I thought. Checking that I could still swallow I was relieved to discover that I wasn’t allergic to seafood. That’s always useful to know if I ever consider taking up shrimps, mussells and oysters. Then, as the iodine moved through my system the warm rush attacked the other two lower body orrifices. ‘I’m sure I’ve not wet myself’, I thought, holding my breath as instructed, ‘or worse!’. And then it was over as soon as it began. The radiographer re-entered the room from the safety of his lead lined lair and began to unhook me from the various tubes and with a little bit of applied pressure removed the need from my arm.

‘Is it normal to feel a warm sensation in certain parts of your body?’, I asked politely.

‘Yes, some people think they’ve wee’d themselves, but it’s all normal, nothing to worry about’, came his professional response.

I leave the room with the flaps on my robe blowing in the air-conditioned wind wondering if the answer to the question, ‘Are their any side effects I should know about?’ should have been yes!

Things you need to know about CT scans:

  • Keep still
  • Be ready to get jabbed in the arm, probably best not to look when they put the needle in
  • The first rush up the arm is just to make sure everything is working
  • The machine talks to you, it’s not as weird as it sounds, just do as you are told
  • Prepare yourself for a warming sensation around all of your bodily orifices apart from your nose
  • If you are worried about the warming go to the loo first for peace of mind
  • You don’t get to see the pictures straight away which sucks
  • Good luck, I hope yours will be as clear as mine
adviceCT Scanexperiencehospitalscannerx-ray

mistersnappy • March 11, 2009

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