Tribal Life

Linda Edwards, Writer

2/2…or experience counts

Today is a double header: biopsy in the morning, CT scan in the afternoon. I’m home from the biopsy, which seemed to go according to plan. This will be the second CT scan I’ve had in three days. This one, of my lower torso, includes contrast dye injected through an IV, as well as a liquid version of contrast dye that I’m to drink before the procedure. Two bottles. Sounds yummy, right?!

I learned from my friends on Google that there are several flavors of liquid contrast, as well as an unflavored option. Most seemed to favor the unflavored; one said banana was okay. Many said the berry flavor was awful. My pharmacy at the Stop and Shop was out of everything, so they sent me to the CVS in the next town over. The cashier brought a bag over to the check out area and said, “Here you go.” I asked what flavor it was. “Oh, I’m not sure. Let me check.” He opened the bag. “Berry!” he said happily, obviously thinking this was a good thing. I told him I would prefer the unflavored version. “Um, let me check.” He punched a few keys into the computer and told me that berry was all they had. Thankfully, the pharmacist working behind the counter overheard, and said, “We just got some banana flavored in today. You can have that if you want.” “I’ll take it!”

The information I found on line suggested the liquid contrast could best be described as having the consistency of Elmer’s glue or latex paint.  I shared this with my siblings on a group text, hoping for a few sarcastic come backs or supportive words of wisdom. Richard, four years my senior, didn’t disappoint. “Lin, remember you ate that paint we left out by mistake, so you should have no problem with the test today.” I had to have my stomach pumped as a toddler when I ate paint. My three older brothers forgot they were supposed to be watching me.

There was also debate on line as to whether to chug it down or sip it with a straw.  I read the posts closely, and determined the straw method would involve less tasting, since it put the liquid to the back of your mouth. This would be my approach.  I also wavered between refrigerating it or keeping it at room temperature. The vast majority of Google posters said to make it as cold as possible. One lone poster said this would cause more cramping afterward. I thought about that some and decided the posts about how quickly you got rid of it afterward probably indicated that cramping was going to happen regardless. I decided to go with cold for the first bottle, and reevaluate for the second.

As it turns out, banana flavored Elmer’s glue isn’t awful. I did pretty well for about the first three quarters of the first bottle, getting into a rhythm of 5 sips at a time. That became 4, then 1 or 2, until I finished it. Somewhere along the last stretch, I thought I actually smelled glue, which made the last few sips difficult, but I did it. I’m not looking forward to the second round at 1:00 pm, but I’m feeling pretty proud of myself right now.

Categories: Uncategorized

4 replies

  1. Well, with my heart in my stomach I’ve made it through your November posts. Medical testing is so darn scaring. I’ve had my fair share. And yes, you can have a bad reaction from the dies as I almost threw up after ingesting something that apparently no one else has ever had a problem with for a Cat Scan. And don’t get me started on biopsies. I have to get the results of a uterine one Friday…..I know I’m behind on your journey; but I’m catching up. Keep your head up!

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