19 August 2008

Pop Rocks & Barium

The testing is complete. Now I'm on to my next adventure of the day: a hair appointment.

Sitting in this chair gives me plenty of time to reflect on what I experienced and learned today. First, let me tell you about the third and final test. It had the longest wait and was the most entertaining. I had to take a shot of chopped Alka Seltzer tablets, with a shot of water. The tablets made me belch uncontrollably. The doctor tried to stop me, but I couldn't even stop myself. She wanted my stomach to be full for the tests. So I swallowed the burps and tried to do what I was told. It was not easy.

The next step was to drink Barium. It's a chalky liquid that can be easily followed on an X Ray. First I took a gulp and swallowed. Then I took a gulp and held it. Then I sipped slowly until the doctor told me to stop.

Perhaps it would behoove me to try and describe the scene. I started on a bed, which can turn to at least an 89 degree angle. It might turn all the way to 90, but I was upright at 89 with the bed (now vertical) behind me, My head was turned as far left as possible and the X Ray machine was in front of me. The pictures were coming up on the right and I was bummed not to see them. Eventually I did go horizontal, and was able to see all the wonders inside my torso.

My ribs looked strong. My heart looked smooth. My stomach looked big. It looked like a Christmas stocking, with a little arrowhead tip. That triangle is the duodenum. It's where ulcers form. Mine looked healthy, and so did my stomach - aside from the fact that it was filled with appeared to be black liquid. The doctor told me to think about eating (which was really easy since I hadn't eaten in 15+ hours) and as I told her what I wanted to eat, liquids from my stomach started pushing. I saw them do what I can only describe as "splooging". It was more than squirting and stronger than dripping. I saw my stomach juices "splooge." It was awesome.

So the doctor said my stomach was fine.then she added: "but your gallbladder isn't working so well." That was news to me. I mean I was sent there for gallbladder research, but up until that point, no one had bothered to tell me anything. This doctor seemed to think I knew. She curled one hand into a fist and pumped it open and closed. That's what a gallbladder should do. She curled the other hand in to a big "C," and twitched it a little. That's what my gallbladder does. Just as soon as I understood that, she was gone. I have an appointment with my real doctor next week. So hopefully she'll have a solution.

I thank the drive by doctor for the explanation, but I think it's mildly irresonsible to drop news like that and disappear.

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