NOTE: Originally written April 3, 2016. I just forgot to publish it.
Apologies for suddenly going AWOL – things got interesting and time consuming and frustrating and all sorts of other things. So guess what I’m talking about today!
Last I wrote, I had ended up back in the doctor’s office. I was just not getting better. I still had a fever, still had an infection, and was still in a lot of pain. We decided to attack with antibiotics (again) and go from there. Fast forward a week and I was no better. CT scan time!
Because of my varied health issues, I’m very very familiar with CT scans (and MRIs and X-Rays, and just getting pictures taken of my insides in general). This was the first time that I’ve ever had to drink something lovely called “contrast solution.” No big deal, right? Just drink down a glass of it two hours pre-scan and one hour pre-scan and then flush my system with lots and lots of water…pretty easy. And, to be honest, it was. The solution came in little packets that were mixed with 16 oz of cold water. I was advised to chug.
Again, thanks to varying health problems, I’m familiar with how medication tastes – usually anything that’s not in capsule form (I’m looking at you, ciprofloxin) falls somewhere between “I can get this down if I don’t think too hard about it” and “dear god, pass the bucket NOW” when it comes to taste. The contrast solution was on the low end of the scale – it tasted like what an orange-creamsicle would vomit after an especially crazy bachelorette party. Essentially, it was something that would be more fitting coming up than going down, but holding one’s nose and chugging milkshakes of yuck can be a very good way to get through the unpleasantness. It was surprisingly thick, though. Given it was a small packet of powder, I didn’t expect it to turn two cups of water into something that reminded me of Thanksgiving gravy gone cold. I had trouble getting it through the straw.
The CT scan also involved a contrast injection. No big deal. I have an incredibly high pain tolerance (chronic kidney problems and endometriosis do have some silver linings), so digging around with a 18g cathater covered needle for one of my tiny veins (no joke, they’ve made seasoned phlebotomists cry) is no biggie. I’ve had the contrast injections before and knew what to expect: a very pleasant warmness spreading through-out my entire body culminating in the feeling that I’d wet myself (side-effects can never just be good, they always have to come with something unpleasant).
The scan just involves holding your breath for a few seconds and staying very still. It doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes or so. Since it was an abdominal and pelvic scan, I never was fully in the machine, so no claustrophobia to worry about either.
The results were back in a day – the scan showed nothing that would point to anything seriously wrong. The abscess had even shrunk to almost nothing. Good news and bad news – we know that it’s nothing internal, but we still didn’t know what was wrong. I was advised to rest, wait, and monitor. We think that the infection had just slowed down healing and I might have been impeding it by doing too much too soon. Turns out that was exactly it. A week of what was essentially bed rest has me feeling like I’m almost back to normal.
As for the suspension…well, it came out fairly easily. I drank a MASSIVE amount of water, felt like there was metal in my colon (due to heaviness), and literally shit white for a couple of days, but that was it. In light of the rest of the process, this was nothing.