Wednesday, 9 December 2009

the 2nd CT scan

Aaaargh!! What  a day! 7.00 – up and at 'em, nerves. 8.00 – a pint of water with some gastrografin in it. 9.46; email from Cinca. Stop eating at 10.45. 10.31, 10.37; email from Cinca. Another pint of gastrografin diluted in water at 12.00. It tastes DISGUSTING. 11.44; email from Cinca. But apparently it makes the bowel appear much clearer on the scan. So, bring it on. Well, in hindsight, it was ok – but while I was drinking it – er, no! Yuck. As well as making the bowel beautifully visible on the scan, it also 'disturbs' it…ugh. Running up and down stairs a lot.

Arrived at the RD&E early, and [shock horror] I went in straight away! This is not normal – I put 3 hours on my parking ticket just in case [£3.00]! But I was in and out within one hour. The chap whom I gave my parking ticket to when I left was delighted.

14:30. Logged in at reception. Told the woman I was starving and it would be excellent if she hurried it up. She obviously took me at my word. Into the little changing booth, off with the clobber – all jewellery has to be removed. Anything metallic is a no no. Everything goes into a shopping basket which you then haul about everywhere. I absolutely HATE taking off my wedding ring.

Into the HIDEOUS hospital gown. WHY would anyone design a gown you have to walk about in public in, so that your ass hangs out the back? Fired. Then another revolting drink of something. Not quite sure what, but the chap in HIS hideous gown next to me raced me to drink it [yes, in hospital everyone goes a bit mad]. I was grizzling and pulling faces. So he decided I should just suck it up. And I did. He went first. I told him to hurry up. He did.

Then in went the catheter at my elbow. I was well chuffed! No searching for veins in my right arm any more. They appear to have recovered. yay! But it still hurt. 'A small scratch'? ha. A 'STAB' is more like it. Bloody nurse sense of humour….Then an explanation of the whole thing – I had a CT scan last year, but as it was an 'emergency' scan last time, no-one explained anything – they just jammed me into the machine, did what needed to be done,  and threw me out the other side. This was much calmer, and it's nice to know what to expect. The catheter is for the last lot of 'stuff' that shows everything up well on the scan.

Whatever it is they inject into the catheter – well. It's weird! It's a contrast material, introduced to the bloodstream during the procedure. But it makes you all hot in strange places, and the funniest is that it makes you feel like you have wet your pants! The first time round, this is awful – the 2nd, not awful but still a tad startling! Slightly chuckalicious, as you know it's coming?

Then – hold your breath. In the machine, out again. Inject the contrast material [feel totally mad]…hold your breath…in and out blah de blah. Then rip out the catheter and off you go. With a great lump of that bloody awful sticky tape they attach the bandage with..I don't like it. It gives me blistery things. I rip THAT off poste haste. And it hurts! grr. But better than all that blood going everywhere. Lots of blood jumps out of my veins after they remove the catheter. It's pretty gross.

Straight to the nearest food! Having been starved all day, plus the contrast material makes the mouth taste dreadful, a spicy pork pie was just the thing. Then home again home again jiggety jig…

Now just to wait for the results. Oh, and find a job…what fun!!

here's the CT scan machine thing…that would be me, except they didn't put a large brown blanket over me. I am rather glad they didn't, as it would have hindered my escape! Never a good thing ;o) Not to mention it makes the person look like a corpse. Not quite up to looking like that quite yet thanks!                                 46_CT_Scan


  1. I run to get food right after it too ... I'm usually starving ... and coffee tastes so good.

  2. I just hate it when they say 'sharp scratch'. As you say- they may as well say ' intense pain'. Who are they kidding eh?

  3. yep! I think I'll have a special 'going to hospital' T-shirt made: "don't MENTION the sharp scratch"

  4. waiting waiting waiting waiting... I have no problem with the scan, but I HATE waiting for results!! (and I only have to wait one day...)

    Big hugs Sandhy - and here's to good results!

  5. thanks Nat - one day?? that's cool.
    If mine don't arrive today I am calling them. Too much stress - my head might explode ;o)

  6. So glad you took the time to write, found your blog just by using the "next blog" button I was reading your post describing your CT Scan and wishing I could have someone like you to explain to my staff what it is like to be a patient.

    I am the supervisor of the Women's Imaging Department at the hospital where I work. Mostly now I function as the supervisor, running the department, budgets ect. During my career I have done X-Ray, Mammograms, Ultrasound, CT and Radiation Therapy.

    Part of my job includes running the high risk department in our clinic and meeting with patients for risk analysis and offering genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 I give patients the results of their BRCA test and I am also the person who tells patients they have breast cancer.
    I have put alot of work into a program that to myself I call Road to Recovery it starts with my initial consulation with the patient, at this meeting I give the patient a notebook I have made for them, it includes a calander, all their imaging and pathology reports copies of all the scans we have done a section on surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and genetic testing, it also has a section for notes and a section for journaling. I have also had my secretary make appointments for the patient to see a surgeon, oncologist and radiation oncologist.

    I have always imagined that once I say you have breast cancer, nothing else I say sinks in, that is one of the reasons I wanted to create the notebook so everything I say is written down for later.

    I suppose what prompted my post was a patient I saw a few weeks ago, she is dealing with so many other hardships her diagnosis just seemed so unfair, not that this is ever fair to anyone. She did fine at first, but she asked about chemo and I told her based on her tumor status she would most likely lose her hair and that is when she lost it.

    So I listened knowing full well I can't make this better for her, this is when I feel so unqualified wishing I could take some of her burden away. I spent all weekend worrying about her...I try not to get to close to the patients but sometimes I just can't help it.

    I see tremendous growth in my patients I watch them go from uninformed to very informed and confident about their decisions and that feels good.

    You are right even if I only help one person, and I get lots of hugs so I know I have helped more than one, my job is truly worth it.

    I am going to keep following your blog, I love your spirit, I am not in anyway shape or form an expert on ovarian cancer but am here to help you in anyway I can...even if it is from all the way across the sea...Cindy

  7. thanks; I couldn't do your job - just reading about it makes me cry! The book etc is a great idea.
    I understand EXACTLY about the hair. That was when I lost it too. But it's amazing how resilient we are. It's a hurdle to get over that we think is far too high, but it's not. I hated having no hair, but the alternative was a less than 100% treatment - and 1 year later, it's all grown back.
    Thank goodness - winter with no hair in the UK sucks! ;o)
    keep in touch


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