Last week brought another round of check ups in the form of MRI scans.
They wanted to examine my pelvis and small bowel to see what sort of nick I’m in. To do so I had to drink the foul liqor of doom.
“I’ll just mix it up for you”, said the nurse breezily. I took a seat. The nurse brought back two large jugs. “Ok, so we need you to drink all of this”, she pointed to the two jugs of toxic fluid, which was harmlessly trying to pass itself of as water. “You really need to get a jug down in half an hour. Oh, and it’s fine it it, you know, comes out the other end”.
I took my jacket off, took my phone out and messaged Facebook for help.
I poured my first cup and took a sip. It’s ‘supposed’ to taste of vanilla. It kind of does but not in a good way. It’s sickly, really sickly. It has a thickness, not as thick as slime but, let’s just say it’s not refreshing like water. I diluted it with some blackcurrant in an attempt to mask the flavour.
Facebook came back with a few tips.
“hold your nose”
“dilute it as much as you can stand”
“crunch some ice”
I used them all. Each mouthful brought a retch. I struggled to keep it down whilst maintaining polite conversation with the gentleman opposite.
After ten minutes I was darting back and forth to the loo. As quickly as I’d finish one cup I was ‘evacuating’. I was in a bad place.
I struggled on. Only half a jug down, my worst fear was realised. I chugged all over the floor. I mopped up the mess with a paper towel and reported back to the breezy nurse that I couldn’t take anymore. She looked at my one full and one half empty jug and sighed. I had failed, but I did not care.
I was advised to remove bra and jewellery before entering the van. The hospital’s MRI scanner had broken so I would be using a temporary one in the back of a van in the car park. Weak from lack of food, I dragged my sorry self onto the van.
I pulled down my jeans and they strapped me down, I lay back and tried to push thoughts of one flew over the cuckoo’s nest away.
The scanner revved up and I listened to the pillocks on Forth One spout nonsense and play crap music.
The MRI tube is claustrophobic, even for someone of my diminutive stature it’s a tight fit. I lay there trying to think sweet thoughts while the scanner revved and beeped. After 25 minutes or so all went quiet and the scannee (?) talked to me through the headphones – they were just awaiting a call back to see if the pictures were clear enough.
A few minutes passed and I started to panic. I know from experience how slow doctors could be with these things. I was stuck in this damn tube, for who knows how long. The thing with mind over matter is that you need to keep control of your mind, and I had lost mine. Finally the scanner man came through and waved a syringe at me, “we need to give you an injection”. I panicked, thoughts of Harold Shipman entered my mind “I need the toilet”, I muttered. The scanner man was a bit bemused, “are you sure you can’t wait?”. I could have waited, but I needed to get out of there and run it through in my head – was I weak and having a panic attack? Or was this ‘man in a van’ a Dr Death dishing out lethal injections?
I hopped off the table and scuttled off to the toilet. In the cubicle I decided that I would have to go back in but that I should ask what this injection was for.
Reluctantly I went back out to the car park. “It’s nothing really, just some contrast”. Wha? I didn’t want to seem thick so I decided instead to scan man in the van for other signs he might be a Dr Death.
Was his hands shaking? No
Did he look like a ‘real’ doctor? Not really, he was wearing a wolfskin fleece.
Did he seem to know how to do an injection? Yes, but then he would, wouldn’t he?
Arrrrrgh. It was too late, he’d stabbed me with the syringe. What would be would be.
He pushed me back into the tube and started up the machine. I lay there waiting to drift away. Or perhaps a lethal injection gives a burning session, I thought.
Nothing. I wasn’t drifting away. I wasn’t burning. Dr Death hadn’t run out cackling, clutching the syringe.
A few short minutes and finally my ordeal was over. The lady assistant who’d gone AWOL returned, “you’ve been in here a long time, are you ok?”. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
I’m glad to report that Dr Death was not actually a Dr Death and the ‘lethal injection’ doesn’t appear to have been a lethal injection. A few hours and a good meal and I was able to laugh about it, seriously scary at the time though.