Thursday, 8 May 2014

If you're going in for a CT scan wear sweat pants and nothing with metal in it and you might not have to wear a hospital gown.

I spent yesterday morning in the hospital for a (scheduled) CAT scan. I have been dreading this procedure for over a week and for the most part it was pretty easy, actually. I took the bus there, with Ryan waiting for my call to pick me up afterwards in case I wasn't feeling up to taking the bus back. (Or if there was surprise morphine like there could have been during the HIDA scan).

I went from one waiting room to another, then was brought into basically like a gym locker room with another attached waiting room and told to change into a gown and robe. I did, putting my clothes into a plastic bag. I didn't know what was dumber, wearing my Doc Marten boots with my hospital gown, or wearing my socks around the hospital. The agony and embarrassment of that decision was almost the worst thing about that morning, hahaha.

I didn't want to look like a hospital noob, so I finally decided to go in my stocking feet and then throw my socks in the garbage on my way out, because ew. Hospital floors.

So I changed my clothes and then, lugging my purse and a giant clear (handle-less) plastic bag showing my boots and underwear and everything back out to the waiting room. Everybody else was fully dressed and I awkwardly took a seat on the edge of the chair, careful not to let my stupid (and wrongly tied, I noticed later) gown to get tangled. I noticed that people who had done this thing before came dressed appropriately and they were allowed to just go on in wearing their sweatpants or whatever. Well, I know for next time.

A woman like a nervous bird gave me an IV and left me there for another lady to come get me and take me through two gigantic metal doors that belonged in an x-men movie or an old tyme bank maybe. The CT machine looked...well just like it does in the movies. She had my lay down like this guy here.

"When the contrast is injected, most people feel a heat that starts in the back of their throat and then a lot of people say they feel like they have peed their pants. That's completely normal, and don't worry, you didn't."

"Okay...?" I said, laughing.

Guess what. I did feel like I was peeing my pants. It was so weird. My throat has never felt so hot, and same for my crotch.

The entire test took around fifteen minutes or so, with a computerized voice telling me to hold my breath and then breathe normally a few times, with that circle bit whirling around me and the bed part moving in and out jerkily. I closed my eyes for most of it because it was kind of weird to be alone in a room full of xrays and syringes and loud weird noises, especially knowing that there were a bunch of people behind glass controlling it all and watching. And on top of it all were they making fun of me in my socks? haha nah. Probably not.

I felt totally normal, other than a bit dazed directly afterwards and tired that afternoon, but that night I felt short of breath when I went to bed. I lay there, trying to calm myself, thinking it was some kind of panic attack. Nothing was making me feel better, in fact it was getting worse the longer it went on. It was like when you start thinking about yourself breathing and then you go into manual breathing mode until you're able to distract yourself. So I got up and watched tv and movies until 2am as the pain increased and decreased.

Through it all, there was Ryan. You know how people call their significant other their "rock"? Well I was feeling that yesterday. He was just there for me, picking me up at the hospital because I texted that I wasn't "feeling brave" anymore. He listened to all my descriptions of the hospital and the inner workings of a human pancreas. He stayed up with me during my breathing troubles and then offered to stay up with me and talk if I needed a distraction when we finally went to bed.

In the morning I was doing ... okay, and decided to go to work. It all seemed fine but on the bus I felt short of breath again, and then when I got off the bus I stood at the street corner and nearly passed out. I was dizzy and actually thought in resignation - oh, okay I'm falling down now. But the crossing light changed and I told myself "no, just walk". I know that if your legs are moving it can increase circulation so I made myself just concentrate on getting to the shop. I made it and gradually felt better and better over the day.

But tonight I'm itchy and have a headache and flushed cheeks and have a (much milder) shortness of breath feeling again. I looked it up and guess what, all those are symptoms of a reaction to an iodine-based contrast after a CT scan. An anaphylactic-like unpredictable reaction that happens to a lot of people.

I was relieved and honestly really pissed off to read that.

Relieved because I've never felt like I was going to faint before and it really fucking scared me! But really pissed because nobody told me this shit could happen. They asked me if I was pregnant three times and if I had diabetes or any allergies or asthma but I don't as far as I know. I maybe would have taken the day off work or at least arranged it so I wouldn't have to take the bus.

Anyway so that's the latest in the mysterious chest pain saga. No news, just more mystery. Yup.


So, in conclusion, check out these baby bunnies I saw (they're running away from me in the second picture, literally tripping over each other to get away from me). S'cute.

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