Compared to a PET scan a CAT scan (or in Spanish a TAC) is a piece of cake. The prep is basically the same, just don’t eat from the evening before. Though in this case they asked me to drink a litre of water an hour before the CAT, but that is WAY EASIER than prepping for a Colonscopy. The main difference is that a PET takes about half an hour inside the machine WITHOUT MOVING (and of course when they tell you NOT TO MOVE you suddenly get a leg cramp or a nose itch). The CAT is mere moments in the machine, so easier, though both scans require that a substance be injected prior to the test.
As always, the main issue I have with these various injections is lucking out with a nurse who can FIND A VEIN. It ain’t easy. Apparently I have very fine veins which are difficult to locate and, to make matters worse, they also “roll” when the needle is stuck in, making it very hard to hit the target. Often they go for the easier option – THE HAND – because you can at least see a couple of veins there. But my right hand was still bruised and swollen from the colonoscopy nurse, who used it to inject a sedative last week, and the left hand wasn’t giving any clues as to where my veins might be. Eventually my very kind nurse today found a vein in my left arm to inject the contrast stuff… after that the scan itself only took five minutes. The nurse also wrapped my “needle wound arm” very tightly with tape – I mean really tightly – and I asked if that was necessary (because it kinda hurt). And she said – “well, I don’t want you to end up with a huge bruise like you have on your hand now”. And she was right. A few hours later there is no bruise on my inner arm, yet my hand is still bruised and tender a week later.
Peter very kindly came to the hospital with me for my 8.45 am appointment, and once the test was over we decided that we should find a nice place for breakfast. There was an option to taxi to the centre of town and start looking from there, but I really just wanted to walk. And so we started walking and suddenly it came to me that I had to have a breakfast bagel at Otto Café!!! Which was just over an hour away – or 9000 Fitbit steps – from the hospital. But dammit, we did it.
After that I did a bit of shopping at the market, and now I am home making a killer chicken garum masala (most of which will end up in the freezer for later). And all the while I am hoping all is well. I didn’t sleep a wink last night, other than a short period when I dreamt that they found all kinds of cancer in me after my tests. My next oncology appointment is February 26th, but I am hoping Isabel will be able to let me know my CAT results before then. Waiting is hell.