Wednesday morning I went for the CAT scan to see what was going on with my sinuses. Thankfully, this was much more pleasant than the last time I had a CAT scan, which was in the 6th grade when they thought I had a brain tumor. (1) At that time, they had to use these giant bolt things to hold your head in place (not *into* my skull, mind you, but pressing on sides) and they had to use an IV solution to provide some sort of contrast. Then you got stuck in what felt, at the time, like a giant washing machine, whirring and spinning, for what seemed like hours (but was probably only 45 minutes)(2). This time, by contrast, I got to rest my chin on a little cushion (no bolts) and the giant washing machine was more like a small torus (much less enclosed and scary) — and best of all, no IV!
I got to take the scan image with me, so of course I spent an hour and a half scanning it and fitting the pieces together last night (probably a 15″ x 20″ image, too big for a single pass) so I could print it out and get an annotated version from Dr. Clarke (I knew I’d have a use for the white gel pen!!). If you’re curious, here’s my brain (warning — biggum image!!). I’ve annotated my digital copy for your viewing pleasure… the takeaways are that:
- my sinuses are normal (yah!)
- I’ve got a deviated septum (not so yah, but fixable. And, in a way, nice to know one of the factors that’s been causing my persistant left-nose stuffiness)
- this doesn’t help explain why I’m coughing or the persistant bronchitis thing is happening
- I need to have an esophogeal scan thing next week to make sure it’s not GERD (reflux nastiness that’s making my throat irritated)
So, more steroids (like 18 days more!) — and more attendant puffiness — and more voice restrictions.
(1) No they didn’t tell me why I was having the CAT scan at the time. I’m pretty sure that was a good idea.
(2) They may still do all that for certain kinds of CAT scans, but they didn’t this time. (whew)