Let us just call it what it is…

I had my HIDA scan today. It is a scan to check the “function” of the gall bladder.

I get to the imaging center. They are running 30 minutes late. No surprise there, having dealt with these people before multiple times I wouldn’t hold much faith in them being “on time” even if when I had the ultrasound done on my gall bladder I was in and out by the time my appointment was scheduled for. I pay my “portion” of the bill. It used to be that we didn’t have to pay anything upfront, but they are under new management now so they get your “portion” up front. Mine is 10%…so…$95 and change later…When I went in for the ultrasound, they at least called me ahead of time and warned me my portion was $40 something. No warning this morning, so I had to do a double take and gulp and pull out the credit card.

I didn’t even go back for the scan until 11:30. My blood sugar is already low at this point as I have not eaten since about 7pm – dinner last night. I’m not miserable, just uncomfortable and know that another 1-1.5 hours would leave me useless and unable to think clearly…well think clearly, but unable to verbally articulate accurately with what’s coming out of my mouth vs what is going on in my mind if that makes sense.

I get back and he says that this takes 2 hours. WHAT?!?!? They told me on the phone when they scheduled the appointment that this particular scan takes roughly 1-1.5 hours to do. The 2 hours was a shocker. Another 2 hours without food or water?!?!?! I am already really irritable and jumpy. I get that way. Who doesn’t when they’re hungry and thirsty, right?

They have to give me an IV. No big deal, I figured I’d have to either drink or be injected with my nuclear waste mixture. Just kidding. But it was nuclear medicine so if we can’t joke about it, who will, right? I told him that I have hard veins to get IVs in, that they usually have to do my hand. He took a quick look and he said that he would go see if the paramedic was there to do it. Evidently he’s the resident expert on getting in the tricky IVs. No big deal. He was on his way there and would be there in about 5 minutes. To me, the wait is worth it to only be stuck once. So the paramedic gets there and he puts the tourniquet on and he’s trying desperately to get my veins in my arms to pop up. He mentioned that he liked to find a good vein and then find one better. OK! Great! At least that will minimize the number of times I get stuck getting it in. I am liking the guy already. Still nothing is jumping out though they are starting to come to the surface. He then flips over my hand I guess to look there and he says “look, there is old faithful right there!” Did I mention that he was funny? So he puts the IV into my hand. All is good.

We then go back to the other person. Who injects me with my “nuclear medicine” complete with proper measures to “minimize” his exposure…nevermind that I am going to have this stuff flowing through my veins. He didn’t laugh when I asked how long I’d glow in the dark for. He wasn’t so funny.

I then get onto the table for the CT machine. The first part of the test takes about an hour…well as long as it takes for all the nuclear tracer stuff to fill out in my gall bladder. OK! I am not sure how long it took to be honest with you. There was no clock in the room that was visible. I figure it was probably about an hour maybe a little less. I was getting real antsy there at the end. Total stillness for an hour?!?!!? UGH! At least I could move my head…my toes…heck I was moving my fingers…not much, just enough. I was going stir crazy I tell you. I had this itch on my nose and upper lip for seriously 10 minutes before he said the first part was over. I was so glad when I could move and SCRATCH!!! It was awful. The headache is good at this point. I am tired. I am getting sleepy from the falling blood sugar. I am not feeling too great. I am thirsty and hungry and have hunger pains and nausea. We’re coming close to crossing over into torture, not medical testing.

Well the 2nd part of the test takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Great! Half done! They inject something else into my IV. Something that the body makes when you have a fatty meal. Can’t remember what. I was warned that it would make me nauseous and make my gut cramp some. I got both, especially the wooziness! Ick! I seriously thought I would need a bucket. Not so bad on the cramping, but enough to notice just not make me want to die right there on the spot. It wasn’t bad outside of the sudden and urgent need to hurl. Another almost hour of no movement. Now the table is getting uncomfortable at this point. It is no piece of cake if you’ve broken your tailbone ever as well…ummm…yeah….it hurt. My entire body is stiff. I am thirstier than ever. I am nauseated to go with it. My head is throbbing. Quite frankly, I am SICK of looking at the same “dot” on the back of the machine. There was nothing else to look at, except maybe the little red light behind one of the light covers in the ceiling. Not sure what that was all about. At the end I just couldn’t help but wiggle. I was miserable.

FINALLY it was over. It was torture I tell you!

I was useless. Tunnel vision, throbbing headache, nausea, stiff body. So on and so forth. I am so glad that I had enough forethought to have a friend take me down there and drive me to lunch afterward. I am truly grateful for friends who are willing to sacrifice HOURS of their day to help those who just need a little support to lean on from time to time. Thanks, Linn!

I feel OK now. Not great as well, one should not go that long without food and drink.

They say that my doctor will get the results in 2-3 days. Since my doctor is out on maternity leave I assume I won’t hear anything until at least December. I am not worried. While I am not pain free, I am not hurting so bad all the time that I feel it is an emergency to take care of it tomorrow. I don’t feel bad, I just occasionally hurt.

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