The kidney CT Scan appointment only took 30 mins and I was in and out in a jiffy.
I had to make sure I was not wearing anything metal so necklace and bra came off. Trousers stayed on as elasticated instead of zipped. So wearing t-shirt and trousers I lay down on the CT Scanner bed. It was explained to me that first of all they have to “plan” the scan. The scanner will take some x-rays to determine exactly where my kidneys are then the main scan will only scan that part of my abdomen instead of all of it – all clever stuff. To do this I had my arms stretched out behind my head and about 7 times the bed passed through the scanner stopping over my abdomen. There was a little screen on the outside of it with two “pac man” type faces – quite amusing. This recorded voice would say “breathe in” and the little pac-man on the left would light up. He had his mouth partly open as though he was about to go chasing his lunch … lol … then a voice would say” hold your breath” and the little pac man on the right would light up. His mouth was closed and his cheeks puffed out! …. Holding of the breath lasted between 3 and 5 seconds, so hardly any time at all. The bed you were on moved out of the scanner as the voice was saying “breathe” – you could see a countdown in seconds also.
Have to admit when the bed first went under the scanner (check previous post to see image of the scanner, like a doughnut), I didn’t think it was going to stop until it had passed totally over me. Being rather claustrophobic I felt a bit of panic start, but then felt silly when it went no further than it had to so as to cover my abdomen!! It stopped with the outside, that was slightly angled, level with my chin, so that was fine.
Once they had “planned” the scanning area on my body, I then had a canular put into my arm. First salt water was injected in (felt a bit cold) to make sure the canular was inserted correctly. Then they attached the machine that was going to dispense two different amounts of radioactive mixture. This travels through the body highlighting the kidneys etc so the scanner picks it up and can form the image.
I was told that as the fluid went through me it may feel warm also I may feel like I am doing a pee but I wont be! lol !
When the “warmth” was felt, it was hardly anything, I felt my hands feel lovely and warm, but only fleetingly then the feeling disappeared. I now know what he means when he said I may think I am doing a pee (not sure if this applies to men also…) but I felt a sort of “warm flowing” sensation as though I was weeing, but I knew I wasn’t because no bladder feeling happened. It was just like the feeling of warmth flowing through my hands. I had a joke with him and said I thought I had actually wet the bed! He said he wasn’t bothered as it would be the student with them that would have to clean it up!! We had a laugh ….
Had to wait a few minutes for the mixture to travel round my body. Then a second dose was injected and this would show up the veins and arteries. Again felt my hands warm up and the feeling that might be having a pee. I hasten to add this was not an embarassing or unpleasant feeling and was only a fleeting feeling. Not sure how else to describe it except for how the nurse described it!
With my arms stretched out above my head under the scanner again. I did twice have to hold my breath. I was under the scanner I suppose maybe 10 minutes. Was not long at all. There were some see-through sections in the scanner and you could see the “workings” whizzing around. It also sounded very much like my washing machine when on spin cycle, it even increased the revs just like my machine does! Then it was all over.
So the whole thing was very quick and totally pain free. None of it was unpleasant and was back home before I knew it.
Now I believe the next stage is that my Consultant will review all the test results to make sure they are all okay. He may order other tests, that would be up to him and he may also wish to see me … or may not! This is always the hard part – the waiting to hear something.
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