Tuesday, 27 January 2009

CT Scan

Tuesday was the day of my CT scan at hospital, the appointment came through really quickly.

CT scan (or CAT scan) stands for Computerised (Axial) Tomography scan! It takes a series of X-rays and uses a computer to put them together. The CT machine takes pictures of your body from different angles and the result is a series of images, showing 'slices' through the body. The scanner (see right), is a donut shaped machine, with a moving bed that slices in and out of the scanner.

Wasn't allowed to eat anything after midnight on Monday and was only able to drink water before the scan. I had to wait and hour and a half before my scan in the waiting room. During which time I had a horrible tasting drink to drink, they try to disguise the taste with squash but it doesn't work! It is the 'contrast medium' which is a dye that shows up body tissues more clearly on the scan.

Before the scan you have to wear the attractive hospital gown! And then lie on the bed which is fully extended from the scanner. They put in a catheter so that they could administer more of the dye whilst I was in the scanner. I had to lie with my arms above my head. First they do something called setting the scene, basically setting up for the scan, they look on the TV screens in another room and get you in the right position by moving you in and out the scanner and telling you when to breathe normally or hold your breathe. Once they were happy with the position, the nurse came out to give me the dye, she did worn me of the side effects and they were weird. First you taste metallic in your mouth, then you have a hot flush and then it feels like your weeing yourself, you don't I might add but it is all very strange! And while all that is going on they are telling you when to hold your breath and breathe normally! The scan all in all takes about half an hour.

Then the waiting begins.

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