The Bone Scan

The doctor scheduled a meeting with Carolyn and I the following Wednesday the 13th of May. He really didn't want to say much until he'd looked at the results of my bone scan and could talk with us in person. The whole "don't research online" thing was odd and I pretty much ignored the advice. I think it had to do with an over abundance of content dealing with possible side effects of treatment. I'll come back to that later.

Friday I went in for the bone scan, a radionuclide bone scan, is the proper name . I arrived at the hospital around 8:30 and sat around for a bit waiting to get sent in. It was here I learned one of the first challenges of rural medical care. In a town the size of McMinnville, you can't sit in a hospital waiting room for very long without bumping into someone you know. In my case it was Dave Gilbert, a retired Mass Comm professor. And when you bump into someone in radiology, they pretty quickly figure out something's wrong. So now Dave knows I'm sick. Oh well.

I finally get in and the technician gives me a shot of radioactive dye. It's pretty weak. I wasn't setting off smoke detectors or anything. I'm then instructed to go back to work and drink ten glasses of water over the next three hours, the purpose being to flush my bladder completely of any of the precipitated isotope. They just want to see where it settles in my bones and I gather if I didn't do this, my bladder would look like an exploding sun in my abdomen and they couldn't see anything. The morning proceeded as per instructions. Get a glass of water, go touch up an image. Get another glass of water, fix a page. Get another glass of water, make a call. And on it went. The poor workstudy student outside my office was trying hard to ignore how many times I was going to the sink for water or leaving the room for the bathroom. By noon my world was pretty much reduced to "drink water" - "go to bathroom". By 1:30 it was off to the hospital and two more trips to their bathrooms and I was ready for the scan. I didn't have to undress though they actually strapped my legs together so I couldn't move. You lay on a table and this large machine passes slowly down your body creating a digital image showing sites where rapidly dividing cells are located in your bones. Took about 25 minutes. The technician was a pleasant man who went on at some length about the virtures of mixed martial arts and ATVs. I think he was trying to keep me calm. I can see where claustrophobic people would hate this. I'm not, and the dark room and clasical music was quite pleasant. I actually despise ATVs and have no interest in mixed martial arts, but really wasn't up for a debate.

Once the procedure was done, I headed out for lunch and three more trips to the bathroom.


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