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3:35 p.m. - 2005-01-21

Barium and body fluids


Yes folks, it’s true – I have survived the first round of tests. Bright and early (for me) I was up and gone from the house by 7:15am. I am one of those kinds of people who are perpetually 30 minutes early for everything. This morning wasn’t much of an exception other than the 1st MDS (testing clinic) didn’t open until 7:30 so I didn’t rush to get there before they opened their doors. As it was I was number 3 in line.

Being mentally aware that I was having to ‘fast’ I had an inordinate need for my morning dose of coffee. Alas, this urge had to be kept tempered until after both sets of tests had taken place, a difficult but endurable goal.

Four vials of blood later, I walk out of the first clinic at 7:45. Not twenty feet down the hall is the Radiology clinic – which doesn’t open until 8:30 AND I don’t even have the pleasure of whiling away the time over a good, strong, healthy cup of java. I borrowed a magazine instead, and cursed my sleep soaked brain for not thinking to bring a book.

I would like, at this moment, to thank the vandals who managed to set fire to the pay parking stub machine the night before. Parking for almost 2 hours wasn’t going to be cheap, but for me today – free, free, free.

(Side note – I do not condone vandalism of any kind, but this time it did work in my favour.)

At approximately 8:22am the door to the waiting room of my next stop opened for business. I waited patiently for my named to be called (why oh why do people assume stuff about a person’s name? Unlike a certain infamous personage of Diaryland fame Laura-Jane has a hyphen in her name. There are no assumptions about her name. She is not called Laura! No, she is rightfully called Laura-Jane. I however, do not have the luxury of said hyphen so people make the assumption that Laura is my first name. This is one of the many reason’s I go by “LJ” … I digress. So here I am – waiting like any good waiting room attendee for “Laura Ducharme” (Grrrrr!!!!, particularly on a tummy vacant of food or caffeine) to be called, and dutifully trundle off after the nurse.

I’m shown to a very small change closet, where I’m handed a blue smock and asked to remove ALL my clothing with the exception of my unmentionables, shoes and socks. Those may stay on for the duration of my visit. After changing the nurse came back and lead me to the x-ray room. She then explained where I must stand, how to hold my glass (of liquidy white barium), and how to drink it when directed too. But that I absolutely MUST wait for each instruction as the Doctor specified.

There I stand – plastic glass 1/3rd full of barium (my first of 3 glasses) in my left hand, blue smock, socks, and sensible shoes – ready for whatever befalls.

As the procedure started my first taste of the barium was surprising. I had expected a mouthful of vile tasting, fluidic goo. What I got was something very close to the consistency of a milkshake, only not cold, and no milk, but a white chalky, minty … swill.

Three times I guzzled down the stuff (and some carbonated granules) in a variety of positions, all to watch the mechanism that is my throat and swallowing system. At one point, (position) I was able to watch the reflection (in a window) of a moving x-ray of my digestive track. THAT was very cool!!

Then it was all over. The nurse came in to help me off of the contraption I had begun to know intimately, and to thank her … I belched loudly. I apologized. She said not to worry, that burping was a natural after effect of the bi-carbonate granules. Oh Joy!

And back to work I went … after trading in blue smock for street clothes of course.

Now that that’s over I have to look forward to my full physical next Thursday, and the results of today foray into medical science.

Thank you to all who prayed for me, or wrote kinds notes. They were appreciated and felt.

Have a burpless weekend – Cheers - LJ

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