Monday, 2 March 2009

Part 24 - A Pissing Nightmare


After five entire weeks of living like a normal person - on the assumption that normal people seldom leave their houses and sleep until 4pm - I was finally back in hospital action on Friday. The familiar battle of Dettol attempting to outstench thousands of old people greeted me at the door like an old friend. I was there for the big CT scan to judge whether I’m now available cancer-free or if I’ll be subjected to yet more treatment which, to be honest, would be a bit of a ball ache.

Before anything happens, people undergoing these scans are asked to drink a litre of an entirely disgusting liquid which they unconvincingly attempt to mask with either orange or lemon squash. I’d probably liken it to being asked to eat a bowl of human sick with one sprig of parsley placed on top of it. Personally, I always play it safe and choose the orange option rather than the lemon - what do you think I am, a madman? - but making this quite simple choice is never enough for at least one joker in the waiting room.

I’ve had this scan three times in the past six months and, upon being presented with the squash conundrum, someone has bizarrely made the exact same quip every single time I‘ve been there. Making sure everybody else in the room can hear, one person has always shouted out “Whisky please!” with a huge, self-satisfied smile on his or her face - content in the knowledge that they are almost definitely the new Billy Connolly. They laugh, the other patients laugh, the nurse laughs and I sit cross-legged reading The Guardian rolling my eyes at each and every one of them.

Anyway, this liquid. A litre is quite a lot to drink in half an hour, especially when what you’re drinking tastes like what I imagine the urine of a three-hundred-year-old stick of black liquorice would taste like, and I was forbidden from going to the toilet before the scan. As I lay down on the CT slab, literally more urine than man, I was in quite a bit of discomfort but content in the knowledge that my supple, young bladder should cope. As always, a dye was injected into my arm and the machine slowly moved me through the massive hoop much like a disabled performing dolphin.

Then something very strange happened. I started to get a disconcertingly warm sensation around my groin, despite the fact that I was 75% certain that I wasn’t urinating. What, in the name of fuck, was this? Had I finally suffered the nervous breakdown I’ve been dreading and become destined to live the rest of my life unintentionally wallowing in my own filth like a clich├ęd mentalist? “Are you okay, Jamie?” came a voice over the speakers. What the Christ was I supposed to say? Should I tell them what was happening? Just swagger out afterwards full of Bond-like confidence, walking away from a massive puddle pretending it never happened? ‘Eh…yeh’ I sheepishly replied, secretly thinking ‘No, I’ve just pissed all over both myself and your multi-million pound machine, soz!’.

I was in an entire panic. To my knowledge, I hadn’t done anything like this since story time in primary school when I managed to frame an unwitting stooge next to me - but I was in this room alone. I was entirely stranded, unable to move or do anything but lie there festering in my shame and wait for the nurses to come in and discover me. ‘This can’t possibly be happening’ I thought, ‘this is literally the single worst thing that I could possibly imagine ever happening to anyone‘. Three nurses charged in and I braced myself for their sudden, disgusted realisation. I was on the verge of tears as I desperately scanned my mind for any way I could possibly explain my horrid behaviour. ‘Okay Jamie, that’s you finished!’ came a cheery voice…I was uncertain as to whether she meant my scan had ended or my massive wazz.

However, I slowly got up and inconspicuously brushed my hand down the front of the flowery hospital gown. It was dry as a bone, there was no puddle where I had been lying down and my bladder was still painfully full. Was it all an awful dream? Had it all been some terrible, self-inflicted Derren Brownesque trick? Was there a heater on the CT table pointed directly at my genitalia? I left the room confused and on the verge of a heart attack but, most importantly, not covered in my own urine.

I’ve since researched this and, apparently, the dye that’s put into your arm can give you a warm sensation during the scan. Perhaps they could have explained this to me before I gave suicide serious consideration to prevent me having to face up to the repercussions of my urine-soaked carcass.

Anyway, it’s the big results day on Thursday. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Neil said...

Shit man, currently undergoing treatment for cancer here in Glasgow and have had a few CT scans, and each time they have been kind enough to warn me about the possible warm pissing yourself sensation. Clearly in Perth they're rather more malicious and enjoy watching patients in such discomfort. I can just imagine them all sniggering behind that glass. Did you get to listen to their selection of tunes on the magic non-metallic headphones during your CT nightmare?