Author Topic: Tunnel or doughnut? The full story of the dreaded scan. Part One.  (Read 70 times)

Offline liwanda

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   This has turned into a mighty epistle.  About 4300 word of it.  An extravaganza of people-watching.  Those who know the background of previous scans may choose to start with part two.

The new improved software here doesn't let you post anything more than a couple of thousand words.  This was always a sensible guideline, but now the computer won't let you.  Bloody technology should be a slave, not the master.

   For anyone who doesn't know the background.  I'm claustrophobic, I don't like crowds, and I have prostate cancer.  Hospitals seem to suck the life out of me and I lose all my self confidence and become a bit of an abject wretch, and a pretty insignificant bit at that.  Very different from my usual self.

   The cancer is/was a slow growing form when first diagnosed about five years ago, but six-monthly blood tests suggest it has accelerated a bit and needs dealing with rather than just 'watchful surveillance'.  (The original diagnosis was "You'll very likely die of old age before this becomes bad enough to kill you." 

   So far the changes have meant one trip through an MRI scanner which terrified me to within  a fraction of blind panic due to the narrow confines of the scanning tunnel.  Forty-five minutes of forcing myself to stay calm when I wanted to hit the panic button and just get out of the damned thing.  Even recalling it is unpleasant.

   It looks plenty big enough until the high tech plank you are stretched out upon, flat on your back, arms at your side, lifts up and slides you into the widest part, half way up the vertical height of the opening.  Which suddenly puts your nose close to the top of the tunnel.  Like loading a human cannonball into his cannon.

   It was one of the singularly most unpleasant experiences of my life and left me 'out of sorts' for at least a couple of days.  I'll admit to sleeping with the lights on for a few days after reliving the experience in a dream  and waking up soaked in sweat.

=====

   This was followed a while later by a 'whole bone scan'.  An almost as unpleasant three quarters of an hour acting like the meat in a sandwich between the upper and lower plates of a gamma camera. This after being given a radioactive injection.

   It was made bearable by the fact I could see out through one side, except for the last ten minutes or so when I had to lie with my head facing upwards and the upper plate of the device felt as if it was about to touch my nose.  They tell me there's about a two inch gap, but to someone like me it felt a lot less.
 
   Further alleviation was provided  by a chatty operator who sat behind her protective window and discussed the contents of my pockets which I'd had to empty out into a tray.  She was probably the only woman who has ever removed my belt, "the buckle will mess up the scan", without any other motive.  A strange feeling.  I had to stay quiet whilst she was scanning my head, but apart from that ten minutes or so I was never truly alone in the 'sandwich toaster'.

   That scan scan took a cross sectional picture of everything from my scalp to the soles of my feet.   The radioactive injection pools around damaged areas, so you have to fill in a questionnaire about broken bones, arthritis, etc.  I half expected to be lit up like a Christmas tree.  Apparently it found nothing more than they already knew.  But I was advised not to give my Grandaughter any prolonged cuddles for a day or two in case she started to glow in the dark as well.

=====

   My third scan was at a different hospital, just a few months ago.  Their MRI scanner is shorter, only about four feet of tunnel,.  All they wanted to scan was my pelvic area, so I lay there with my head and feet sticking out which was much more bearable.  Still noisy as hell, and uncomfortable.  But with my head free it felt no more restrictive than a tight sleeping bag.  Almost a joyous time compared to the other two scans.

   Plus it was a surprisingly spacious hospital  with bigger rooms and wider corridors, and much more height - purpose built from the ground up - out in the New Forest.  Home territory, and the nurses had Forest faces and voices.  Surprisingly reassuring when you feel lost and scared.

   And I made them laugh when my jeans, led by the notorious belt buckle, were nearly sucked in by the powerful magnets in the tunnel.

   But this was where the results suggested a fourth and more comprehensive scan would be in order before they decide how to treat me.
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: Tunnel or doughnut? The full story of the dreaded scan. Part One.
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 04:36:55 AM »
Why is someone else posting one of my pieces under their name?  Did you intend to quote it and then add comments?

This is your chance to explain yourself, before I ask the moderators to remove your posting as plagiarism.

Gyppo
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 04:39:39 AM by Gyppo »
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Offline Vienna

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Re: Tunnel or doughnut? The full story of the dreaded scan. Part One.
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 04:57:05 AM »
this is a scandal and needs dealing with. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any Mods about anymore Gyppo mate.
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: Tunnel or doughnut? The full story of the dreaded scan. Part One.
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 06:37:25 AM »
Calm down a bit, V.  I have the matter in hand.  Give it a day or two.  I'm never in a hurry to attribute to malice what could be explained by simple carelessness or ignorance of correct procedures.

Gyppo 
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline Vienna

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Re: Tunnel or doughnut? The full story of the dreaded scan. Part One.
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 06:39:47 AM »
ok Gyppo, we will see what happens. ;D
Just a well-read punk peasant

Going to church makes you a christian as much as standing in a garage makes you a car!