In the past month three out of the eight fellows in our section had CT scans done on themselves because after the fifth young person with some form of abdominal malignancy comes in with only some kind of “non-specific abdominal pain” as the initial presentation, you would get quite paranoid too. My weight has effortlessly crashed and I had been feeling all sorts of pain all over as I had whined many times before, so I thought there was an indication. I used to scream, “No to diagnostics!”, that I would rather get surprised as I see myself all yellow and covered with lymphadenopathies all over and then I would just prescribe to myself: best supportive and palliative care. Except, the fear of some organs just popping inside like fully-blossomed… cherries (talagang dapat isingit ang cherries) and the constant prodding of everyone made me get a CT scan as well.
I was pleasantly surprised as I was getting a CT scan, because the aircon was in full blast, the people were nice, there was that nice whirring sound to remind you you’re in some high tech device area, the gown smelled clean, and the CT scan machine looked gee whiz swell. I immediately regretted the damn kaartehan, however as I guzzled the 1 liter of oral contrast. Think of that old classic Magnolia Chocolait bottle, filled with Amoxicillin or liquid Paracetamol. Or Amoxicillin + Paracetamol, ie, mag-asawang gamot.
And so I lied down on that bed part of the machine where you lie down, then it elevated a few feet from the ground with the now louder whirring sound, and the bed swooshed far into the tunnel where the radiation blasted me. Before going in I told myself that this place being this place something would obviously go wrong, but so far nothing has!
But, except, of course, obviously, during the last ten minutes of the procedure.
Technician: Namatay po ang power ng machine, hindi namin ma-explain. Sabi ng consultant hindi nyo na kailangan ng delayed phase, so tapos na po tayo.
Me: No problem. Pwede na po ako bumaba?
Me: (Waiting for the bed to move out of the tunnel and then move down to the floor)
Technician: Namatay nga po ang power. Kailangan nyo na po lumabas.
And so very much… bemused, I wriggled wriggled wriggled out of the damn tunnel while still lying down and then jumped down the floor. I had hoped that as I jumped down the gown exposed some of my disgusting nether regions for everyone to see. In retaliation.
Smoketh and I immediately looked at the findings on the screen.
“Well you don’t seem to have liver cancer, or some stone, and your kidneys are OK,” Smoketh chimed in.
“Look Smoketh, you could see my….. but in cross-section.”
Immediately after the procedure all sorts of abdominal pain disappeared. Yes, yes, we can now safely conclude: contrast media cures all sorts of pain.