HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
This is the all important day! My CAT Scan will show if the cancer has returned. I arrive to the imaging department on time, fill out the preliminary paperwork, and wait in the lobby. I remember the first time I was here, last year, I was nervous knowing a radioactive dye would be injected into me. This time....piece of cake! Ummm cake!!! (Focus Brian!)
The CAT Scan Machine:
Computerized Axial Tomography
The CAT Scan machine was invented by Hounsfield, and is basically a tube that rotates in a circle around the patient making many images as it rotates. These images are then reconstructed by a computer in axial sliced images sort of like the way bread is sliced, thus each slice may be examined individually. The machine looks like a large DONUT standing up (called the gantry) on its side with a table going though the center of it. The patient lies on the table as the table is moved slowly into the Scanner gantry (Donut). The Gantry houses the rotating x-ray tube and x-ray receptors. The original scanners in 1978 took 2 minutes per slice and had very rough images. The new scanners today can do a series of 30 images in a few seconds and have much sharper images.
My name is called. I'm escorted into a holding area of comfortable recliners. An IV line is placed into my arm and I wait for a machine to become available. I'm given a warm blanket while I relax.
It's my turn and into the familiar room I go. The CAT Scan is similar to an MRI in it's imaging, but it's not as claustrophobic and does not have the bumping and grinding sounds associated with it.
I recline on the futuristic bed and made comfortable. An IV line is connected to my arm that will inject the dye at the appropriate time. I remember the first time this happened it freaked me out.
I could actually feel the dye course through my veins. I'm covered in a warm blanket and left alone in the room with my morning donut. Ummm Donuts! (Focus Brian!) I hear a voice from the technician in the outer room say, "And her we go!"
The scan is done twice. First before and secondly after intravenous iodinated contrast. The iodinated contrast enhances the vascular structures and improves the interpretation of the Cat Scan images.
I feel the warmth of the dye course through my veins as it heats its way through my body. First up the arm where the IV is placed, then across my chest down my stomach and into my loins. I feel the need to pee as the hotness seems to hoover for a moment before continuing into my legs. It's just a bazaar feeling. Kind of like having the sun shine on your insides. Not at all painful, just unsettling.
After less than 20 minutes I'm escorted back to the holding area where my IV is removed and I'm instructed to drink lots of water for the rest of the day and to apply pressure to the now cotton ball covered IV site for 5 minutes.
This day is done and over and I will know my results tomorrow.
I gotta run for now..gotta PEE!
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