Warning: This will be gross. Maybe even grosser than my last few.
I had a CT scan Friday. It went poorly. It wasn’t that they found something. On the contrary I have an extremely well formed sick colon. No, the problem is that I don’t tolerate CT contrast. The whole thing takes about 3 hours. I show up at Radiology at 7:30. At 8:00 someone gives me two cups of contrast solution to drink. It’s probably worth mentioning that at this point I’ve had nothing to eat or drink (including water!) in 12 hours.
I’m instructed to drink one of these an hour for the next two hours. I settle in, open my book, and take a sip. It’s vaguely bubblegum flavored — bitter pre-chewed bubblegum with a hint of cleaning solution. It’s awful, but I recently drank a cup of orange flavored urea in preparation for an H. Pylori test. It could be worse.
After about an hour, I’m not feeling so good. Of course I haven’t been feeling good so I don’t think too much of it. Then it hits. I have to get to the bathroom now! I rush to the front desk and demand (meekly) the location of the nearest restroom. The guy points me in the correct direction and I head off. I end up waddling the last 10 or so feet. I make it just in time for my bowels purge themselves in spectacular fashion. It smells vaguely of bitter pre-chewed bubblegum with a hint of cleaning solution and strongly of hell (or at least what I imagine hell smells like.) About the time I think I’m done, I stand up and have a terrible head rush. I fall to my knees and vomit the rest out.
I spend some time lying on the ground shaking like a leaf, clean myself up, and head back to the front desk.
“Excuse me, sorry to bother you, but — and I don’t know if this is the contrast or just more gut problems — but I’m not feeling so well.”
They have me sit down and they summon a nurse. The nurse asks me a few questions and suggests that I don’t finish drinking the contrast. Good plan. About 10:30 I’m still not feeling great, but my stomach and bowels have settled. Someone tells me it’s time for the scan. I lay down on the table next to the machine, drop my pants, all that, and grab ahold of the bar. They put an IV in my arm and inject some more contrast. If you’ve never had CT contrast, it makes you feel warm all over — like you just peed yourself. It’s pretty unpleasant, but thankfully quick.
As they pull me out of the machine I know it’s far too late to stop. I retch up and vomit all over myself. I somehow managed to avoid getting any on anything that wasn’t me. This is exactly the opposite of the ideal vomit targeting, but oh well.
They ended up helping me clean myself off and had me lay down in a small waiting room to recover. They probably kept me another couple of hours before determining that I was now fine and sent me on my way.