Left: Mucilaginous, milky, and mephitic
I have some health issues going on that may or may not be related to my recent diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Among these are some elevated liver enzymes and problems with polyneuropathy in my feet, and this morning I headed to Flower Hospital for an abdominal CT scan and an electromyography (EMG) test.
To prepare for the CT scan I needed to drink a bottle of a noxious liquid called Readi-Cat, a watery solution of barium sulfate. For those who have never consumed said cocktail, Readi-Cat has the consistency of runny plaster with a taste not unlike, well, runny plaster.
The hardest part of drinking this vile concoction is not the actual taste - which is really rather like tangy flour water - but forcing yourself to drink what appears at first sight to be either curdled milk or soggy wallpaper paste. Your mind is telling you that anything that looks this congealed must be both disgusting and dangerous, and I ended up closing my eyes to keep the gag reflux at bay.
If you ever have to drink Readi-Cat, I suggest refrigerating it first, which creates the temporary illusion that you are drinking a milkshake. A wholly unappealing milkshake, mind you, but I imagine that trying to drink this nauseating nectar at room temperature or higher would be akin to drinking a talcum powder smoothie.
I had to drink eight ounces at 11:00 pm last night and gulp down another eight ounces at 6:30 this morning, and all the while I was denied water and food until after the test. After a purgatorial delay of almost an hour at the Flower Hospital outpatient registration, I headed off to the CT scan.
At which point they handed me another eight ounces of Readi-Cat.
So there I was, thinking I was in the clear, when the technician informed me that the my previous two forays into the world of Readi-Cat were not enough. Unfortunately, there was no place to discreetly toss the repellent cup of loathsome liquid, and I choked down another three mouthfuls. I managed to engage in calming self-talk that kept me from heaving back up this revolting elixir, but the last dose was nearly a one-way ride to Upchuckville.
Feel free to commiserate in the comments section on the evils of Readi-Cat, on other noxious medicinal products, or even how you secretly enjoy the taste of liquefied barium sulfate.