The doc had ordered that I get a barium meal screening to see if my chronic cough from the past forever was because my oesophagus wasn’t oesophagating. A barium meal doesn’t sound very appetising, especially when you friend is a radiographer and can give you a bit of a heads up. But last week, I had one for breakfast.
First of all, standing braless in an unflattering blue gown on a cold morning in front of a group of radiographers is a little bit awkward in itself. So is being handed what looks like a plastic cup of cement and you have to hold then swallow mouthfuls and have your picture taken like you are in some medical porno audition. Then when your stomach feels like it is full to capacity, you’re given a shot of citricy stuff that bubbles away (withholding all burps), followed by being turned like a rotisserie chicken with what can only be the ultimate test not to spray that barium cement around like you want to pave the driveway. Then I was asked to lie on my right side… no, my other right (shot, NJ). I was the human version of a swirling whirling cement mixer.
It wasn’t a big deal… really.
The last thing I remember was the radiographer showing me my stomach in action and that “the barium doesn’t absorb into the body. It will come out like it came in.” I wondered if he was talking about number ones or twos, but didn’t want to ask this young man about the ins and outs of poos and wees. How embarrassing.
By the time I did need to “empty the catcher” (as my father used to so eloquently say), I went to flush and discovered what looked like a nice wee nest of chalky white dog poos reminiscent of what you’d discover on the lawn after you mow over it, and have to deal with a poof of dog crap stink dust. I wish it was that simple.
So a little bit amused, I flushed. Damn dog doo didn’t go down too well. Still in its neat little pile, I flushed again… and again… and again. Every time it looked up at me and winked as the water settled. Gross. Persistent poos. So I left them there and they stayed overnight. Resistance is something I’d rather not send down the drain.
The next morning, I flushed again, but these rock solid beasts had decided to set up camp. I wanted to show someone, but that’s so wrong. Like when you do a crap that comes out in shapes. I’ve had everything from swimming goldfish to penises. You just kind of sadly end up standing there pointing and laughing quietly at the bowl, alone. I know what you’re thinking; I am a female and yes, I don’t crap… ever.
What was I supposed to do? Plastic bag it? Instead with the toilet brush in hand, I had to attack the possessed dog sh*t in its new home and scare it away. A whole water tank supply later and the humiliation was over.
This is a one off, I thought. I thought wrong.
Those dogs came back and crapped for days and days until I thought that I could never ever be discrete in the ladies room ever again. Cue the sigh of relief and the celebration when 4 ½ days later, barium dog was out of my system. I gave myself a high-five. Is there anything more awkward than high-fiving yourself?
So next time if I ever have to have barium for breakfast, I will totally be more mentally prepared to come armed with a rancid toilet brush. And if I ever see chalky white dog craps on the lawn; I’ll think of barium, cement mixers and the age old question ‘will it float?’