Scan-a-mania

I’m back home after a morning spent getting scanned. I’ve lost count of the CT scans I’ve had in my life, though this one featured a memorable moment when the IV blew as they started to inject the contrast fluid. Man, that hurt! (Difficult and recalcitrant blood vessels are a legacy of the years spent pumping biohazardous chemicals into me during the last go-round in the 80s. Sadly, the “good” injection site in that arm was bruised last week during a lab blood draw. ) The tech was speedy about pulling it, and quite apologetic, and fixed me up well, and a nurse got a good line in on the other arm, but it was just a reminder of the multiple ways in which this illness sucks.

Thankfully, the CT and MRI departments talk to each other, so they knew to leave the line in for my MRI later, and, in fact, I got in early for that scan due to a cancellation. I’d never had an MRI before. I found it a fairly trippy experience. That may be in part because I hadn’t been allowed to eat anything, of course. Still, there’s something about being warm and held motionless in an enclosed, dimly-lit space while loud, rhythmic sounds and vibrations shake through your body that quickly induces a trance state. (To say nothing of the effect on consciousness of having your molecules magnetically resonated.) It was a bit like a Bay Area rave, a bit like a spa treatment, a bit like the womb, and a bit like having a jackhammer working next door while being high on painkillers.

I now have a big envelope of films to take with me tomorrow morning to the meeting with the “hot-shot” surgeon at Virgina Mason. Four hours or more later, there’s no swelling at the site of the blown IV, nor pain, which is good. I think I’m done with feeling like a patient for today, and since the sky has cleared and I see blue sky and fluffy clouds, I’m going out.