Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Does Barium have calories?

I had my Upper GI today. What a weird test!

First you "drink" something they call fizzies. But they are more like pop rocks than a liquid and they would not go down. I had to wash them down with a little water. At this point, you want to burp. But you are not allowed to burp.

Then, you turn this way and that way as they take pictures. In the middle, they had me "take a mouthful" of this really thick barium solution. But don't swallow until I say Swallow. Okay, mouthful, wait, wait, swallow, don't breathe, okay, breathe. Now turn this way and start over.

Except as soon as that stuff is in your mouth, your stomach starts protesting. It's like it knows somehow that barium is not fun for tummies. So you're trying not to gag on the barium in your mouth and when they say "Swallow," your stomach starts trying to wretch even before the barium hits it.

I managed to do everything they said and didn't throw up or anything. I did burp though. Twice. Oops.

After you turn this way and that way and swallow the thick stuff a few times, they lower the wall you are leaning against until it's a table. Then you have to turn back and forth some more. They even do a sort of shaky thing with your hips to get the solution to all the right places. Kinky!

In the middle of that, they have you swallow some thinner barium through a straw while laying on your stomach. It's a non-stop sip, sip, sip and the stomach doesn't seem to mind it as much, so it wasn't too hard to get through.

They also pushed a plastic thing into my stomach when I was standing up and put some sort of paddle under me when I was laying down and also some kind of balloon between me and the paddle.

Then it was all over and I went for my next test... which got cancelled because you aren't supposed to eat or drink before it and barium counts even though it apparently has no nutritional value.

So now I'm at work with instructions to drink a lot. I feel kind of queasy. Not to mention gassy. But it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, nor nearly as bad as the colonoscopy I'm scheduled for later in the week is going to be.
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