Thursday, March 06, 2014

Health Check Day

Right now I am supposed to be at the hospital sipping tea and waiting for lunch after the first half of my annual (oops... keep forgetting to do) health check. There were only 5 of us there today though so we were rushed through and I was all finished the morning session by 10:30am.  The nurses seemed a little confused as to why I wouldn't want to hang around and have the hospital lunch.... I prefer a slice of cheese on toast at home!  I have to head back this afternoon to have my private parts examined and the results told to me.
I wrote about my previous full health check here - and as it is basically the same I'm not going to write all the details again.  The one thing that did change was that on top of all the blood tests, hearing tests, mammograms, heart checker thingies, urine tests, blood pressure tests, eye tests, ultrasounds etc. etc. I decided that because there weren't many people there I would be brave and have the barium swallow test....   has anyone ever had it?  I really had no idea what to expect, but it was very strange - and actually had me laughing at some stages.
First I was given a tiny cup with powder in it and told to just put it into my mouth.  Next came a slightly larger cup of water which I then had to wash the powder down with and do whatever I possibly could to not burp!  I discovered later that it was citric acid mix and it was designed to blow up my stomach so it could be coated more easily in barium.  Next I was given a huge cup of barium and told to take one sip and hold it in my mouth before swallowing.  A few photos were taken and the process repeated a couple of times.   No where near as bad as I had envisioned....  I thought it was all over.....  unfortunately not!  Now came the acrobat part of the show.  I was then told to swallow the remainder of the entire huge cup of barium and hold on tight to the bars on the side of the platform thingy I was standing on.  From then on in it was about 15 minutes of the table thingy moving in all different directions, me having to roll over and over and over, me literally being turned upside down and hanging on to the handles for dear life.  All the while the lovely young man was snapping x-rays of my stomach... or at least I think that he was doing.  I'm hoping I don't end up on the next "candid camera" show.....  As I left the reception area I was discreetly asked if I poo regularly and handed a couple of pills to take in the case that I don't poo within the next day or so.  I'm thinking that perhaps I'll skip this particular test next time!
This site has some information about Barium Swallows if anyone is having one in the next wee while.... 

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