Step 1: dye injection. I lay in front of the CT scanner so they could see where they needed to inject the dye because it had to go right into the joint. The nurse stuck a grid pattern on my back. Then, after some moving in and out of the scanner, she returned and put a tiny mark on my back. Then the doctor came in and explained what would happen.
He would give me a local, then he'd inject the dye,then he'd inject some saline. The local stung a little for a few seconds.
"You won't feel a thing, said the doctor lying to the patient," said the doctor, (actual words by doctor)
"Actually, you'll feel a tinge. But first I have to make sure the needle is in the joint," he added.
So he stuck the needle in - I didn't feel anything - and he put a lead-lined hazmat apron so the nurses could move me back into the scanner and scan. Apparently he got it in.
"Good. Now I'll inject the dye. Tell me if you feel the tinge."
After a few seconds I felt the pain tingle in my shoulder. "Tinge!" I said.
"Good that it's going in the right place? Or good that it hurts?"
"Both!" he said happily.
I could really feel the dye going in now. "Tinge! Tinge! Tingetingetingetinge!"
"Hmm... you really shouldn't feel that." After a few seconds he said "All done! Now I'll inject some saline. It'll feel like someone is pushing a tennis ball into your back.
He was right - it did!
Step 2: MRI. I had to put in some high-density foam earplugs and head phones, then lie on the table and relax completely and stay still while the techs pack foam pieces around me so that I wouldn't move. My shoulder was clamped in a shoulder... clamping... thingy. A panic button was given to me to squeeze if I panicked. Because nothing metal could be in the scanner, the panic button was an air bulb connected to a tube that lead to a sensor outside the room. Music was piped to the headphones the same way. And then into the narrow tunnel for the MRI. The music in the headphones was barely audible over the noise of the MRI. I closed my eyes and spent 20 minutes trying to stay absolutely still. It's very difficult, even clamped in foam and shoved into a long tube.
And then it was over. In the end I was given a DVDR of the scans, and went home.
Medicare covered it all because it wasn't for workplace injury insurance. Which was nice.
Crossposted from Dreamwidth.