The Scan Of Destiny

So here’s the most important thing I learned about going in for a scan: get an early morning appointment.

The Scan Of Destiny required that I fast for three hours beforehand, and then refrain from drinking even water for an hour beforehand. By the time they got to me, I had been fasting for five hours and dehydrated for three.

No, it’s not negligence or bad employees. The problem is, people who need CT-scans are sick. They have to be injected with something called ‘contrast’ (I no longer take the drink but they tell me the injection is more important anyway). The problem with that is, a lot of people don’t have very good veins for IV injections––it takes time. And on a Friday afternoon before a bank holiday weekend––well, you see the problem.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t at my best after five hours without food and three without water. Instead of sitting quietly, I started threatening to walk out. If they hadn’t taken me when they did, I think I might have started threatening to take hostages.

Fortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m married to a man I can’t embarrass. Also, the Macmillan Centre people are used to dealing with cancer patients made stroppy by various causes related to their condition. 

But here’s a pro-tip: If you are taking a friend or relative to have a scan and you’re sitting in a waitinig room where there are people who have had to fast and the scanning techs are running two hours behind, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES EAT YOUR LUNCH THERE OR I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU.

No, I probably won’t be one of those other people in the waiting room. But then again, I might be. So why take foolish chances?


10 thoughts on “The Scan Of Destiny

  1. How could anyone be so thoughtless or discourteous beats me – have they no compassion. Gird your loins Mrs. With you in spirit. Have been starved and watched other people on a ward get fed around me. The smell is the worst. It was a long time ago and I haven’t forgotten!

    • I suspect it never occurred to the person in question that people waiting for scans would be fasting. I’d have been more understanding if I hadn’t been starved and dehydrated.

  2. I wish I could have sent your distracting challenges on QuizUp to make your wait seem shorter… Do they have WiFi in the waiting room ? And could you fool your mind and stomach into a virtual space-time in such a place ? Anyway, I just cross all my digits for the Scan of Destiny results ❤

  3. At the surgical center where I’ve had a couple of procedures done after TWELVE HOURS of Nothing By Mouth (not even water), I have been chagrined to see their waiting room amenities of coffee, tea, lovely looking cold fresh water… And the capper is the sign: Not for fasting patients. Sadists.

    (sent from Sherry Gottlieb’s iPad; please excuse typos and autocorrect absurdities)


    • I know. The world is cruel to fasting patients. I remember while waiting for surgery last December having to smell breakfast and then lunch being served in the hospital.

  4. If I may offer another scenario that was perhaps worse in a different way. I once had to have an ultrasound that required me to drink umpteen glasses of water prior to the procedure. Then they kept me waiting. I finally told them that they’d better take me soon or there would be a very embarrassing situation in their waiting room. I just barely managed to last through the procedure. Just barely.

    • I’ve had that scan, too. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait as long as you did but it was a near thing. But I did warn them they were risking a mess. Fasting patients don’t have that kind of leverage.

  5. Hey, Pat… I was out of town, so I only just saw this. SYMPATHIES! I had my first ever colonoscopy a couple weeks ago and was SO incredibly glad to be the first person in the queue for the test.

    I am not as nice as you. I WOULD have bitten someone.

  6. I remember when my son was in hospital and NIL by mouth, and the parents of one of the other children on the ward brought fish and chips in! The smell was making my son so hungry.

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