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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-07-20 15:05
Subject: [cancer] CT scan-o-rama
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, california, cancer, funny, health
Today's adventures in cancer included a CT scan here at UCSF in San Francisco. That went in the usual manner, until it didn't.

calendula_witch and I arrived early, and they took me in early. The IV was put in my left arm for the contrast dye, then I sat around for a while. They took me into the little room with the big white donut and set me up on the scanning bed.

At that point a long, confusing conversation occurred about precisely what my scanning orders were. As I explained to the tech, they were doing me "neck to nuts", with a quad-phase scan of my liver. Several phone calls later, they announced that the radiologist wanted to handle it differently, and was that ok with me? Like, what am I supposed to say?

When the contrast dye went into my IV, they warned me I'd feel a little heat. I don't remember this from prior CT scans, but boy were they right. My left arm got warm around the IV insertion point. Then my lips got warm, almost hot. Then my penis got hot. Then my anus got hot, and I had a nigh overwhelming urge to shit, right there on the bed.

I controlled myself, on all counts, but it was very strange.

As usual, the CT scan itself took about three minutes. We got me dressed and de-needled, then calendula_witch and I went across the street to the film library, where we retrieved the scan data for me to take back to OHSU, my hospital in Oregon. The scan disc they gave me is marked "Abd & Pelvis", says nothing about a chest scan. I am not, shall we say, infused with the cheery glow of confidence.

On the other hand, if I have to go back in, I get another site-specific hot flash...

PS, I'll get the scan results on Wednesday.

Originally published at jlake.com.

Post A Comment | 8 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: ygolonac
Date: 2009-07-20 23:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sounds like it was firing up your monkey brain. Did you also have a nigh overwhelming urge to fling that poo too?

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User: suelder
Date: 2009-07-20 23:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
warning, TMI: The first time I had the contrast dye, they warned me that I might feel like I had to pee. No, I felt, well, um, aroused. (I am female)

He explained that you couldn't say that to the little old ladies he usually sees ;-)

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russ: zen
User: goulo
Date: 2009-07-21 06:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ha, that reminds me of a yoga teacher who was teaching a technique of rolling our eyes in a circle synchronized with breathing in order to exercise the eyes, and he said that once when teaching this technique, a student asked him if it was normal for her to feel sexual arousal from this eyeball movement... I suspect many of us doing the eyeball exercise felt a twinge of envy along with the amused surprise. :)
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User: chessdev
Date: 2009-07-20 23:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I had a CT scan once (years ago) and I felt the heat you described -- of course, in my case, the heat was in my chest and for about 20 seconds I felt I was breathing heat.

In my case there was nothing wrong (I had a pulled muscle in my midsection, but nothing serious) and I hope you get the same type of result.

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The Ferrett
User: theferrett
Date: 2009-07-20 23:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
When I went in for my scan, they warned me that those areas would get hot from the dye and I would feel like I was urinating even though I wasn't. I did feel it mildly, but I wondered if it happened to anyone else.
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User: melissajm
Date: 2009-07-21 00:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh heck yes. Anybody else get a racing pulse with it?
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paulcarp: pic#67230600
User: paulcarp
Date: 2009-07-21 02:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for sharing -- even the TMI part. My first CT scan revealed nothing because I went into a panic attack, possibly as a reaction to the contrast dye. The 2nd one, they used no contrast, so it told them, well, basically, nothing.
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Kate Mulligan Wolfe
User: corasmama
Date: 2009-07-21 14:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Several phone calls later, they announced that the radiologist wanted to handle it differently, and was that ok with me? Like, what am I supposed to say?"

This reminds me of the radiologist recently who decided he knew better than my doc, my breast doc, and, you know, the doctors at the National Cancer Institute at the NIH! Needless to say, I'm ending up going to a different breast center to get the ultrasound my doctor is now having to reorder! Sigh.
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