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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A CT Scan Today

I hope this is the final lap of my cancer journey - a second CT scan.

CT - computerised tomography - is the latest? thing in X Rays.   It gives a 3 D image of whatever parts of your body need a coat of looking at.   In my case it was the digestive tract so today I had a chest and abdomen CT scan at Airedale Hospital to see if there were still any nasties.

You starve before the scan then drink a whole load of contrast medium - orange flavoured and quite pleasant during the hour or so before the scan.   That illuminates, as it were, the upper gut.   Just before the scan they administer iodine into a vein to show blood vessels too.  That gives you a very odd warming sensation.

Then the enormous doughnut machine moves along your body whilst every body else runs for cover.

As you slide into the jaws of hell a Yorkshire voice tells you to breathe in deeply and hold your breath.   As you come out at the other side the same voice tells you to breathe normally - quite a relief I can tell you.

And that's it.

When dismounting the table I asked if they had ever forgotten to tell the patient to resume breathing.   No, they said, the voice is automatic so that avoids any unpleasantness.    Phew.

That, I hope, marks the end of my brush with the big C.   Diagnosis, operation, chemotherapy and checking where the sun don't shine then checking the rest.

Not something that anybody wishes for but what will be will be.

The NHS in the UK comes in for some stick from time to time but I have to say that the whole thing has been very efficient,  compassionate and reassuring.   All along the way the people have been great.   Well done Airedale Hospital.

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