A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

     With already one down, I chugged another nauseating bottle of oral contrast. For those of you who are not familiar with this delightful substance, I shall explain it to you. It comes in a clear, glass bottle, one that makes you believe that the milkman just pulled up in his horse and buggy with fresh, ice-cold milk. It reads, “Barium Sulfate,” a.k.a oral contrast. When you glance at the back, as if to read the “nutrition facts,” you are informed that it can interestingly be taken orally, intravenously, or rectally. That made me appreciate the fact that I was drinking it. But, ah, the taste. At first whiff, it emits a vanilla scent, and you are momentarily tricked into thinking it is a sweet, smooth milkshake from your favorite fast food place. But as soon as the foul liquid slides to the back of your mouth, the chalky, bitter taste creeps up and hits you like tax day. Your mouth becomes pasty and dry, along with the glamorous bloating, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and loss of appetite. To add a cherry on top of the sundae from hell, you must fast before your scan. I pictured my belly, it screaming for food, but only full of the sloshing, nightmare milkshake. So I had my moments of weakness and crabbiness, and I also directed several hateful comments toward the innocent glass bottle. But I eventually got it down without any choking, gagging, etc.

copyright by Melinda Marchiano, author of Grace

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