This is my regular six month checkup for ULMS. These are always long days: leave the house at 8:45 to get to Boston for 10:45 (the trains never run on a workable schedule for us, alas), get my two 500 mL bottles of water infused with contrast, drink them slowly over the course of an hour, get my blood work done, head into the CT room for the scan, get some lunch (b/c I haven’t eaten all day), wait anxiously for the appointment with Dr. M, my sarcoma medical oncologist, then get the good news that all looks well and head home at the peak of rush hour.
It’s a REALLY long day.
Husband just asked what the contrast water tastes like, which prompted this post. They used to only offer Crystal Light iced tea or some other fake fruity flavor. Both gross, but I never expected this to be a gourmet experience.
Then, maybe 2 years ago (the years blur at this point), they added plain old water to the mix. I thought this might be even worse because it would allow me to taste the nasty chemical additive for which these liquids serve as the vehicle. Turns out that water is by far the best option. It does taste funny, though. It seems to exaggerate the plastic taste that I sometimes detect in water from plastic water bottles, with a slight metallic flavor added in for good measure.
One thing I can say without qualification: this is far better than the thick, chalky “berry smoothies” I’ve had for some of my past CTs. Blech!
Going in for the scan is probably the worst part of these days. This is the moment of no return, when the advanced gadgetry and better living through chemistry lead, literally, to a black and white set of facts. The scans look good or they don’t.
In my experience, the ceilings of CT scan rooms are typically painted to look like blue skies with occasional puffy drifting-by-without-a-care clouds. This is nice. Maybe it helps some people. Maybe it even helps me. (I’m now wondering if there have been any studies on the emotional effects of this sort of room prep.) But when I’m lying on the slab, being slid in and out of the big circle that shoots x-rays while spinning around me, those clouds don’t seem to do a damn thing. Admittedly, this may be in part because I close my eyes so as not to be blinded by the little lasers they use for positioning.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look at some clouds.