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"And if I said to you tomorrow"

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(Led Zeppelin reference)

So I went to my 10AM appointment, to get the surprise CT scan and when I got there I was not the one surprised.


The lady at the desk said my appointment was for 12PM. I said, "Hmmm...I am sure they told me 10AM."

She said, "Hmmm, let me check." And then she said, "Oh, you were supposed to get here two hours early so that you could take some liquids. Your appointment is actually at two (PM). Is ginger ale alright? And do you prefer diet or regular?"

"Liquids" is what they now use apparently to define that good old barium dose, now available, I learned (geez, I have really been at this too long), in a number of flavors.

I said I was happy with regular ginger ale but not happy with what was happening here.

I said, "So you are telling me that I am here at 10AM for a 2PM CAT scan (I still use CAT rather than CT when talking to real humans rather than digital ones :)).

She said, "Yes, sir."

I said, as sternly but as calmly as I could, "That ain't gonna happen." I tend to let my grammar slip when I am angry, albeit 'ain't' might even be acceptable usage these days, for all I know.

I then said, "There is NO WAY that is gonna happen."

She said she would call the nurse, which is what they do when they have what they think is a code in a place that doesn't have codes.

This one, I suspect she was thinking, was either a major screw up on their part or a delirious dude not accepting the routine, or both.

It turns out that the appointment was for 2PM and that they had 'worked me in, thus the lack of overnight liquid refreshment. It turns out they have no idea why I was 'stat' (that is good to know, even if I still do not why I am 'stat' unless my wife has more power than even I suspected). It was right there on the sheet I was not supposed to see: "STAT".


I repeated to the nurse, a nice enough lady, as was the admitting lady, to be honest, "That is NOT gonna happen."

The idea of sitting in an office for four frigging hours, drinking ginger ale and barium a couple of times along the way did not sit well with me on a number of levels, the first being, of course, that planning should have been, well, better planned. Second, of course, I am not sitting ANYWHERE for four hours unless I WANT TO sit somewhere for four hours and I did not want to sit there for four hours, barium or or no barium, planning or no planning.

"That is NOT gonna happen," I might have said again, and I know I was shaking my head, and I know I was angry, although not at them.

GastroPod, as Desi might say back in the day, has some 'splainin' to do.

So the goodly nurse decided I was serious and suggested I take a couple of bottles home, drink them and come back bright and early Monday morning (7AM, which is cool with me). She asked me if I preferred berry, vanilla, or a couple of other flavors I have forgotten already, and that is all new to me, as barium was never so bad in its original form (I know, I know, some people, many people, think it SUCKED, capital letters on purpose so that you can spell the letters one at a time: S U C K E D.)

I went with vanilla, as it seemed safe enough, but was still surprised when she came back with two huge frigging bottles of this junk. I have had barium swallow tests. I have taken barium prior to scans. But these babies were enormous. I seriously doubt I could have ingested both of them within four hours if I HAD stayed!

"Refrigerate them," she said. "Drink one Sunday night, and the next at 6AM before arrival."

"How long after I get here before I am in?" I asked, now aware that their sense of the importance of time was apparently different than my own (and I had mentioned this: "Why is that only cancer survivors seem to understand the importance of time?" No one responded and I calmed down, having missed an opportunity to explore great philosophical mysteries, I suspect.)

So I am first on the docket, if you will, Monday morning. I will be chalk-full of barium in a vanilla vein, at least if I listen to what I've been told, and I will be in and out in a jiffy. There are two rather ominiously sized bottles of 'vanilla' barium sulfate, I think it is, in my refrigerator (I put it in the main one rather than my 'own' one, so that others will be reminded of the woes I face, selfish ***** that I am on occasion).

All that's left is to celebrate the death and disappearance of Jesus with ham and asparagus and deviled eggs (irony of ironies, in a cheap way) and mashed potatoes and ham gravy and some other stuff I probably can eat now, looking forward to barium night and barium morning and a quick (or not so quick) hit of radiation Monday morning.

What's not to love?

I am still happy to be here, and expect to be here for a long time, unless I read in Monday morning's paper that barium sulfate (or whatever) causes cancer, especially the vanilla one.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8285
Joined: Sep 2009

That's the one I had, but seems like that might have been for a colonoscopy...maybe you'll get another surprise Monday morning, LOL....

Well, at least it's sounding more rather routine, though it would be nice to clue you in to the need for the procedure.


soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Hahahahahha. It will be their surprise, if such is the case, to find a wine cork there, my friend :).

Take care,


Posts: 1491
Joined: Aug 2010

Recently had an abdominal CT done myself and I drank about 32 ounces of liquid (lemonade-flavored, if you can imagine) containing barium, waited an hour and then had the scan done. Not sure why you are having to drink quite so much, but, there it is, freaks. We are at the mercy of the system, although you perhaps quite not so much :)

Enjoy your weekend, stress only as much as you must over Monday morning events and hope that it is only the berry-flavored contrast concealer which contains carcinogens (alliteration at its worst, sorry).

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

32 ounces sounds about right. Two bottles of 16s, that is probably what it is. I tend to exagerate when I am hyper.

The alliteration, incidentally, was super. And there are no worries. It is what it is. I just like to write about it, in hopes that others find things they can relate to or find humor from. Or, perhaps, I like to whine. Or some combination of the above.

As for the system, I may be MORE at its mercy since it appears I am married to it :).

Take care, my friend,


palmyrafan's picture
Posts: 397
Joined: Mar 2011

Oh Joe, thank you for your sense of humor at a time when there was nothing humorous about it.....lol.....

I totally understand about the time issue. Nothing worse then showing up for tests we'd rather not have and then have them make us sit there and wait for an ungodly amount of time. Your bane is barium, mine is eye dilation. The staff puts so much eye drops in my eyes to make my eyes dilate it feels like my eyes are going to explode and there is nothing I can do. They say it will take 20 minutes and they'll get right back to you. Yeah right...Let's try 90 minutes later and you feel like your eyes are sticking out of your head at least a foot and leading the way into the exam room and you just know everyone is staring at you. Then they want to poke and prod and take scrapings and shine bright green flashing lights in your eyes, all while you have photophobia (sensitivity to light). Then they have the audacity to get impatient with you because you can't sit still because some moron insists on shining these lights in your eyes making your eyes hurt even worse.

Oh.....I hope you have a good Easter and your test is a breeze on Monday.

sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

And if you say to me tomorrow
Oh, what fun it all would be
then what's to stop us, pretty baby
but what is and what should never be.......

♥ . .))( . ♥
♫ .(ړײ) ♫.
♥ .«▓» ♥.
♫ ..╝╚.. ♫

Will be thinking of you Monday. Hope all will be well. Think I will be listening to some zeppelin tunes for bed time tonight. You got me in the mood. What Is And What Should Never Be sounds awesome thru head phones.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I believe, sweet lady, you are in the kindest of ways letting me know that I got the lyrics wrong hahahahah: *I say 'said', you say 'say' :).)

My apologies. Working from memory alone, and we know how that goes from time to time.

Yes, sweet, a great band in their finest years, to me their earliest years, to be honest.

I am SO glad that I was able to get you in the mood :).

The test, of course, is nothing, sweet: the results are everything. And I am not worried in either case. It is what it is, and in this case, I suspect it is largely nothing.

Enjoy the day, my sweet friend.

Take care,


sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

I was just going on memory too. I could be wrong. My zeppelin fest last night was awesome, got to listen to a few tunes before I slipped into my benadryl induced coma. I wanted to get to bed before 4 am for once so that I could get decent sleep and get up at 7:30 am for church. GAH! One of my knick names may be sunrise, but oh the irony! My father always said he named me Dawn so that I could have some sense of what the word meant since I never see it. That's not entirely true. It was just cause i was always coming home at 6am from a night out all the time. Instead of 'normal' people leaving for work at dawn. Normal is boring. ;-) I hate boring.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

That sounds painful, palmyra!

And I am not evening talking about the barium sulfate! :)

It happens that I am a born-again agnostic, but I still find holidays, including this one, to be a time for enjoying family and friends, a time for being re-born, if you will, as winter has turned to spring, and spring pretends to be summer.

I appreciate the fact you appreciate my sense of humor :). And if I made you smile or laugh, then you made my day. Truly.

I am hopeful that your eye problems are behind you (pardon the unintended pun if they are retinal-related) and that you are, especially on this day, surrounded by family, friends and other loved ones.

Take care,


Tricia02's picture
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2009

I am reading this and laughing loudly. I was visulasing this "bolshy" american saying "I aint" - which is of course a London vernacular and perfectly acceptble in high society now hahahahahaha. I had a ct and all i can remember was calling the nurse and saying puleeeez I am peeing my pants and I was for real, as I have a weak bladder! So they rushed me in on the spot. Anyway thanx for that Joe, as always I luv to read your prose. Now Zepelling, Kashmir has to be it - I know some of the history behind that and is therefore my favourite by farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Lady, we been saying 'ain't' here since they invented the word. Hell, We DID invent it! You can look it up, or you could if a southerner had ever bothered to write a dictionary (I don't think Ambrose Pierce was southern).

Now, 'bolshy', that is new to some of us, at least one of us and I think you know who I'm talking about. If this has to do with the Bolsheviks and that old revolution, be advised that I am not revolutionary as I am too lazy for that.

When revolutionaries get old and lazy, we like to be referred to simply as radicals or maybe even Democrats :).

There is much less work involved.

With respect to Led, I was 13 years old, maybe 14, when I finally got my own big white plastic radio with the big grey plastic dial. Sometime in the middle of the night, Christmas night, as I had my new radio playing all night, I was awakened by the sound of voices screaming from the depths of Dante's Inferno (which I had not yet read and would not read for another 4 or 5 years).

From some apocalyptic canyon: "Way down inside, woman...you need .... Looooooooovvvvvvve"

Scared the hell out of me, but I listened to it and decided that this band might just be as good as The Doors :).

Take care, my friend, and thanks for the memory,


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