Results from Abdominal CT Scan

I had my CT scan on my lower abdomen yesterday. Anyone who has had one before will know the enduring misery (this may sound highly dramatic, but please know that I am a total wimp when it comes to medical things so to me, it was pretty miserable). First you have to drink the disgusting chalky-tasting contrast. When I received the bottle of my chosen flavor (mocha) I looked at it and thought, “maybe this won’t be so bad.” They sure made it look and sound appealing. The bottle read “Mochacinno Smoothie” and had a very appealing picture of a cup of coffee on a plate with some cookies. If it weren’t for the outline drawn at the bottom of the label of the digestive system and the bottle shape that screamed “medication,” I would have easily been fooled (HA!). That stuff seriously ruined anything mocha-flavored for me for a very long time. The first sip wasn’t that bad (because I kept telling that to myself), but the closer I got to the bottom, the more I started losing my willpower and my positive affirmation of the “drink.” Three sips away from the bottom, I thought I was going to vomit. The last sip (which I immediately followed with a swig of lukewarm water) was like a small victory. I still felt like vomiting, but I felt so great that I had made it through and that the rest was going to be easy. Boy, was I wrong…

I’m going to make this part short and to-the-point…upon registration and getting my insurance information entered into the computer system, I found that I would still owe approximately $759 for the test. The lady behind the desk had to remind me to breathe. My jaw dropped so low, I thought I’d never pick it up. I forgot how to use any words besides “Uhhh…ummm…what?!?!” After I was finally able to take a gasp of breath, I paid $50 and then walked away from the desk with a sense of horrible dread. Another hospital debt, and we haven’t even reached the date of my husband’s surgery yet. Just fantastic…

After I finally let that sink in, I continued to remind myself that the rest of the experience wasn’t going to be that bad but–indeed–it did get worse. Apparently a CT scan of the abdomen not only requires you to drink the contrast, but you also have to receive the rest of the contrast through an IV. An IV? I had only had one in my life, when I had my baby boy. I was terrified of needles, seeing my own blood, and having things injected into my body via such methods. Wimp, I know. I clenched my entire body and let the radiologist do her thing. She seemed like she knew what she was doing. I don’t know; I looked away. When it was done, the table moved and I was in the middle of the doughnut, so to speak. They warned me that I would feel a warming sensation and it might feel like I was peeing on myself, but I still was not quite expecting it. It started with an immense burning in my throat that spread throughout my whole body and ended with the infamous peeing feeling. I thought I might vomit between the sudden hot flash and the contrast I had drank.

After it was all said and done, it took me at least a couple of hours to get over the nausea I had been feeling. I went to work, drank a ginger ale, ate a snack cake, and soon felt better until my back starting to bother me (that is an entirely different story).

In the middle of typing this post, I received a call from the doctor’s office. They had the results from my scan. Nothing unusually abnormal or life-threatening was found (thank God!), but they did find that my stomach is delaying the digestion of food when I eat. This is what is causing the plethora of stomach issues I had been having and mostly blaming on medication, even after switching prescriptions. If you are easily grossed out, you may want to skip the rest of this paragraph… I have had issues with everything from constipation to gas pains to feeling nauseous or even having diarrhea soon after eating. I have found that I can’t eat spicy foods anymore because they upset my stomach. Some days I wake up feeling sick to my stomach, but never actually do anything and spend the next few hours feeling this way.

Now I get to see a gastroenterologist. The word itself does not sound at all pleasant, honestly. I really don’t know what to expect once I get there. I do know that I can’t keep bouncing back and forth between doctors, tests, and specialists to find out exactly what’s going on. Not only is it exhausting, but it is beginning to rack up quite a large amount of money that we currently don’t have. Greeeeeat.

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