I had a CT scan today. No, no worries kids, at least as far as I know now. I’ve just had a stuffed up right nostril for ages and finally decided it’s time to do something about it.
My appointment was at 9 a.m. I got there at 8:50, partially because of the traffic, and also because I wanted to get there a little early because even though I did the “pre-check-in” on the phone on Saturday, doctors’ offices always seem to generate piles of paperwork to do even when they already know the answers.
I checked in, and was whisked into the “admissions” room by a receptionist, which seemed a little counter-intuitive in a facility that proudly announces it’s an “Outpatient Center” on its large sign on the front of the building. In that room, I was asked and answered the questions that I’d already answered at my original doctor’s office, which my doctor had called into them to book the CT scan, and which I’d answered a second time during the pre-check-in. And, of course, this paper pusher had to read it off of one screen (input apparently by the clinic where this whole process originated), and type the same information into another screen. I wanted to ask if she’d ever heard of “copy and paste,” but decided against it, mainly because she was one of those severe looking women, but there was something about her ears that looked distinctly Vulcan (from Star Trek, for those who don’t know that terminology).
We finished re-asking and re-answering the questions, and then she handed me a Taser-looking pager which, I was told, would vibrate when it was my turn to approach the desk again. By now, it was 9:05.
At 9:20, the Taser went off.
Now keep in mind that this waiting room is not really that large, with the furthest chairs from the front desk being about 20 feet away, but they still use this pager system to call people to the desk.
Anyway, I made my way all that distance to the desk and was met by the receptionist. She led me toward the door, but warned me to watch out so I wasn’t hit by it as it swung open automatically…I could have gotten out of the way easily, really. But thanks for the warning.
We made our way to an individual waiting room where I was met about 5 minutes later by a technician or nurse or something, who again went through the information I had given twice already. This time, she circled everything that seemed pertinent to what she was about to do. She told me there were two people ahead of me for scans, then she went on with her activity.
Which was to walk back out of the room until she could come back to actually take me into the CT room.
It’s 9:40 now. And she came back to take me in for the scan. I was told to take my earring and glasses off, then laid down on the table. A quick series of movements–up, forward, and back– and I had a laser-type line right down my nose and I was looking up at the inside of a donut shaped apparatus.
She told me to stay still, and she walked out of the room. The machine whirred and hummed. Then stopped. The table slid back out from the center of the donut. And the technician returned to the room to lead me to the door and point me down the hall to the exit.
It was 9:45.
I was back in the car and on the road to head to work by 9:50. One hour, door-to-door, all for five minutes of actual action. The medical industry in action, kids!
See you tomorrow.