Radioactive Urine and the Detector I
Yesterday, I went to the Nuclear Medicine office to have a bone scan due to previously discussed shoulder pain. [Side note: Thursday, I had an evaluation with a physical therapist and she thinks that the shoulder pain is due to overcompensation for my weakened abdominal muscles. That's just what I thought!] The first step in having a bone scan is to have a radioactive isotope injected directly into your veins. I've mentioned before that my veins are less than cooperative. I think they're just smart because they know to hide when a needle is trying to puncture them, but it would be easier, and less painful, if they would just embrace the idea. The first technician spent about 20 minutes searching for a "good" vein. I mentioned where the oncology clinic phlebotomist draws blood, but he thought it felt like there was scar tissue there. Finally, he decided to try the back of my left hand... with no luck. Logically (?), he tried the back of my right hand... still no luck. Then he decided to find someone else to try it... oh, there's the luck! The second technician felt around a little until I told her where I have my blood drawn. She tried it. Lo and behold, it worked. So I was injected with the radioactive tracer.
I had done a little research prior to the scan, and found this information:
I'm so glad that was cleared up for me since I so rarely bother to flush the toilet and wash my hands. I could have caused quite a kerfuffle with my radioactive urine had I not received such good advice prior to the test since the need to flush and wash was not mentioned by any of the techs in the office.
After the injection I was allowed to leave for a couple of hours. Upon my return, I was brought into the scanning room where the technician asked me to lay down on a table with my hands crossed over my pelvis. He placed a sheet over my midsection and tucked the sides in tight. Then he told me to move my arms to my sides which was very difficult because I was tucked in to tight. Once he was happy with the placement of my arms, he asked me to tilt my feet inward until my toes were touching. Next thing I knew, he had taped my feet together. I was immobilized! Then the test began. A camera was brought down until it was almost touching my face. As it slowly moved away from my face and towards my feet, I noticed that the camera had a name printed on the side. I was the Detector I. Flying in the face of danger, the Detector I comes to search out or detect the anomalies of your bones. We should all feel a little bit safer knowing the Detector I is out there.
It took 19 minutes for the camera to go from my head to my feet. The technician told me to wait while he developed the film and showed it to the radiologist. I couldn't leave until he verified that they didn't need any further pictures. Because it's me and I like to spend as much time with medical professionals as I can (note the sarcasm), of course they needed another scan. This time it was only five minutes, but I had to stand the whole time with my arms up in the air so they could get a clear shot of my scapula (shoulder blade). That was fun.
I'll get the results of the scan (along with some xrays and blood tests) when I meet with my PCP on Tuesday. It should be a good day... or an unremarkable day... let's just go with a Tuesday - it should be a Tuesday.