What To Expect During a CT Scan With Contrast

Let me start by saying I do not like needles. At all. For anything.

If you have to get a CT scan with contrast, you’re probably wondering what to expect. I know I looked for information online before mine, so maybe this will help you understand the procedure.

I’m going to share my actual reaction to the procedure first, then I will share what you can really expect when you go in for your CT scan. My reaction comes from a real phobia of injections, needles, and basically anything having to do with veins. Instead of just going to get it done, I stupidly did all sorts of research about the IV contrast the day before, so it was very fresh in my mind. This reaction is a conversation I had with someone close to me after the procedure was over. They will be referred to as “D”.


D: how’d your procedure go?

ME: it was pretty horrible. The shit to drink was horrible and it was a lot fucking more to drink than the last time i did this shit. Although in hindsight, that shit wasn’t nearly as horrible as what was to come. Then, they couldn’t find a vein vein vein vein vein vein VEIN(!) to put the super effing giant needle in. They had to call a super duper VEIN NEEDLE specialist to look for a vein and insert the needle into my vein..had a special light and shit and they had to do it in the dark and whatnot, and even after he was done digging all in my effing arm, he still wasn’t sure of himself, so he had three nurses squirt saline in me to feel and test if it was squirting into my muther fucking VEIN or my damn wrist. He didn’t believe me when I told him I could taste that shit in my mouth. At that point, I was sooo fucked up in the head, I told them they were about to have to put me down if they were going to get any scan done with me involved.

ME: They did some scanning and then it was time to add the contrast via the needle in my VEIN and all I could think was that son of a bitch didn’t get my VEIN and I was about to have iodine or whateverthefuck injected into my wrist. Not to mention, I was scared, because I’ve acquired so many allergies to meds, that they were going to inject that shit into my VEIN and then we would find out I was allergic, upon death. In trying to figure out any way to make myself calm, before the nurse added the contrast, I asked her “So, the chances of us finding out I’m allergic to this shit are very small, considering I have been drinking it for the past hour, right”…like a fucking dumbass question asker. She said that I needed to calm the fuck down (not in those exact words).

D: I wonder why he didn’t believe you could taste it? that is SO common with saline IV

ME: Because he thought he missed the vein and if he did, I wouldn’t be able to taste it. They knew I was freaking out, so of course he would think when he asked me, I would just tell him what I thought he wanted to hear.

D: so did you see anything weird on your adrenals? or did they say anything about it?

ME: I didn’t see shit. And they told me they wouldn’t have the results…plus none of them were doctors, so I doubt they would’ve said anything anyway. Also, I know I’m really smart and all, but IDK WTF an adrenal looks like. : )
After the first round was over, the nurse asked me if i had been sick for a long while?? I don’t know if that means she saw something or not….and actually, I guess she was a the technician, not a nurse. or maybe both.

D: did you say “yes.. I have been sick of fucking needles in my VEINS all my life…” ?

ME: LOL, not exactly, but earlier when they asked me what I was stressed about, I told them “I don’t like anything having to do with VEIN medicine” lololol

ME: In the words of Randy Jackson: That iodine shit was crazy, dawg.

So, traumatic for me, yes. For you? Unless you’re crazy like me, no. The short story is you get there two hours before the procedure to prep. I had oral and intravenous iodine, so I had to drink a huge bottle of nasty water first. They take you in, get you hooked up to an IV, then they put you in the scanner. I’ve heard some people who are claustrophobic have issues with the scanner, because it is all around you, but it really wasn’t a problem for me. They do one round of scanning before they put the iodine in your IV. You have to be very still and not move at all, but it only takes a minute or so. Then they pull you out of the scanner and add the iodine. You get a rush of heat across your body and you WILL feel it in your fruit of the loom. Some people say it feels like you have to pee, but I just say it just feels like a huge warm rush. They put you back into the scanner for another round of scanning, then it’s over.

Have fun!