I can't tell you what the title of this post is about. I started writing a post yesterday whose topic I no longer recall, but I can tell from the title I started with that I was definitely going to lie to you, because me? Pressed for time? If there is anything I have a lot of these days, it's time.
I have been away from my office job since August tending to my crazy self with varying dosages of my psych medication while I wait to get an appointment with a psychiatrist who, if I am lucky, will invite me for a session sometime before December. Aside from spending my days waffling between anxiety, depression, depressive anxiety, and anxious depression, I have plenty of time to fill with little more than my blogging duties (Intrepid Tuesday and a book review of Cringe are the latest) and petting our three cats. I have time.
Because the carousel of anxiety and depression is boring as hell, I will instead tell you about the CT scan I had on Friday of last week.
CT stands for "computed tomography", tomography being any of several techniques for making detailed x-rays of a predetermined plane section of a solid object while blurring out the images of other planes". Basically, they use CT scans to see specific layers within me without having to slice me up like a loaf of bread. I have to have a CT scan done every six months to a year for the rest of my life due to my cervical cancer and hysterectomy last summer, and Friday's was the first one I've had.
I don't know what I thought was going to happen at the appointment, but I was completely and utterly FREAKED THE HELL OUT by the whole idea. Anything that has to do with looking at parts of me anywhere near my now missing uterus generally scares the crap out of me these days. It's like I have site specific post-traumatic stress disorder between my crotch and my bellybutton. It turns out that I was, of course, overreacting. I actually ended up liking the experience overall.
I had previously received a syringe fill with 20 millilitres of Telebrix, which is mixed into a litre of water and ingested three hours before CT scans of the abdomen in order to render the intestines opaque. I don't know how that works, and I don't want to, because it's creepy. I did not realize this before reading about Telebrix, but I am of the firm belief that pretty much none of my body parts should be noticeably opaque. That sort of thing is reserved for superheroes and characters in science fiction stories only. All creepy effects aside, though, the Telebrix didn't taste bad at all. It just made the tap water I mixed it in taste a little more small-towny.
At the hospital, I donned one of those fancy schmancy backless gowns and a threadbare housecoat and sat in the waiting room thinking about how I had the hairiest legs in the joint. Even the man sitting across from me was hairless as a newborn compared to my full, dark growth. I crossed and uncrossed my legs and tried to hide them behind the plastic bag filled with my clothing, but, dammit, when you haven't shaved since June, it shows. I am normally fine with body hair on people, which is why I usually only shave my legs once a year so that it doesn't tickle my gynecologist's ears, but there is something so naked feeling, so vulnerable, about sitting in a hospital waiting room before a procedure. It makes me feel highly conspicuous.
I was eventually led down a hallway and into a room with a mobile bed that had a large machine hooped around it.
I was given more of the Telebrix concoction to drink and was told to lie down on the table with my feet pointing in toward the machine. And then THIS LADY CAME AT ME WITH A HUGE NEEDLE ATTACHED TO AN EVEN HUGER MACHINE-DRIVEN SYRINGE FILLED WITH DYE. This, I was not expecting, and I am glad that they neglected to mention this to me before the appointment. Had I known, I doubt that I would have been able to jitter my way over to the hospital. I would have been hiding under the covers in my bed claiming a nasty flu.
Again, I was overreacting. She hooked me up to the dye and warned me that I would experience a tinny taste in the back of my throat, the sensation of wetting myself, and, because the dye is heavier than human blood, it would feel hot going through my body. It was all true. I felt a rush of heat flood over my body, I tasted tin, and if I didn't know any better, I would have sworn that I had just peed all over the scanner's bed. Leave it to medical science to keep you feeling confident and in control.
After that, the bed moved me through the hoop until it could scan my abdomen a couple of times, and then it was over. The scanning was without sensation, like an x-ray. The whole process only took about fifteen minutes to complete, and I was scooted out to change back into my clothes and then out into the parking lot before I could even really work my freak up.
I have no idea what the results of the scan are yet, and judging by how many months it took for me to get this appointment, I'm not expecting to find out very soon, and I'm fine with that. I'm not really in the mood to pay much attention to my midsection these days, what with the site specific post-traumatic stress disorder thing, so it's nice to get back to ignoring it like the white elephant it is.