2 years later, I figure it out.

Not that anybody cares, but two years ago, I had my first CT scan ever.  It was an emergency abdominal / pelvic CT done at West Allis Memorial Hospital because the doc (not my regular doc) felt that I may have had appendicitis.  I was given oral contrast medium and water to ingest prior to the scan.  The oral contrast medium wasn’t Barium Sulfate – I knew that.  It was about the consistency of hot pancake syrup, freakish yellow-brown, smelled like sawdust and the inside of an empty kitchen drawer, and tastes a touch like citrus and very bitter.  I was nervous and not feeling well so I had trouble getting it all down.  I noticed that I felt very full and bloated after drinking it.  I asked what it was but the only answer I got was “contrast medium.”

So I finally got around to looking up online the procedures for performing an abdominal and pelvic CT as diagnostic for appendicitis in a radiography technician’s training course.  It turns out that the foul-smelling yellow crap was a solution of Diatrizoic acid, an iodine-containing orally and rectally administered radiocontrast dye used when barium sulfate is contraindicated due to a risk of leakage.  In my case, since they were checking for appendicitis, there was a risk that I may have had a ruptured appendix and barium sulfate may have leaked into my abdominal cavity.

In the end, all I had was a minor bowel irritation that cleared up on its own without further medical intervention.  But now I know what Diatrizoic acid tastes like.

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