Posted by: cg00n | June 28, 2008

One test after another after another

I was way too tired to post anything by the time yesterday evening rolled around, but in the long day that preceded it everything eventually got done.

There were three tests on yesterday’s agenda, two of which I managed to remember and one for which the hospital had the paperwork on hand. So there I was at about 8am, rather before my own personal dawn had cracked, trying to track down someone who could sort this out. Part of the problem was that the tests had been ordered by the Cancer Clinic in the City but the regional hospital is a whole lot closer for me to get to and that is where the tests were about to be performed.

Test number 1, an ultrasound scan, happened without incident except the shock of having a gizmo slathered in cold, wet, slippery glop jammed into my abdomen. Better than coffee as a wake-up routine, I’ll give it that. The technician said she only snapped pictures and I’d have to wait for the doctor to interpret them. However, she assured me I wasn’t pregnant which was a relief.

Test number 2 was supposed to be an X-Ray of my eyeballs at 10am, but the requisition was missing. For the next little while I spent my time calling home to get numbers for people at the Cancer Clinic, calling people at the Cancer Clinic who weren’t answering, and having breakfast. None of this was particularly satisfactory.

At about 9:30 P went shopping, leaving me at the library to find my own entertainment of which there was plenty. There I was, innocently using a computer to look up some stuff on the InterNet, when the police came in to seize a machine as part of an investigation into child porn. Fortunately I had an alibi. Even more fortunately it wasn’t the machine I was using. And perhaps most fortunately they knew the bloke wot dunnit and it wasn’t me. Why in the world would anyone be so stupid as to go trawling for porn on a public computer? Weird.

P came and picked me up just before 11. As I hobbled to the car my cell phone rang and someone from the CC who had finally figured out what was going on reminded me of test number 3, a bone scan due to take place at 11am. It also turned out that the X-Ray req. had turned up (in the bone scan file) so back we went to the hospital.

A bone scan, they informed me, involves injecting some radioactive stuff (they keep the syringe in a lead container), waiting for it to find its way into the bones (which takes at least two hours) and then tracing it with a machine that looks like a first cousin to a gantry crane. Ah good: another two hours to blow. Oh well, I wasn’t doing anything more important. They duly injected me after which I had to wait for the X-Ray anyway. That finally happened at about 12:30 and took less than five minutes, a variation on hurry up and wait.

The score so far:

  1. test number 1 (ultrasound of liver) – check.
  2. test number 2 (orbital X-Ray) – check.
  3. test number 3 (full bone scan) – awaiting irradiation.

So we went home. P had more important things to do than chauffer me all over the place so when we got there I more or less turned around and drove myself back to the hospital. They were waiting for me. I was invited to remove any metal I had hanging around my person, although apparently fillings don’t count and the zipper in my jeans wasn’t going to show up as a vestigial penis bone. I then lay supine and stationary while several tons of intimidating machinery positioned itself one centimetre above my nose. Meditation is a wonderful thing: I almost dozed off during the 22 minutes it took to complete the nose to toes scan. They got me out the machine and showed me the door, suggesting politely that I might now prefer to be on the other side of it.

  • test number 3 (full bone scan) – check.

Now all that remains is to flush the remaining radioactive material out of my system.  A seems to think it will be cool to see me glowing in the dark.  They told me I should drink a lot because urinating is the primary way to rid myself of this stuff. That’s fine, but what I want to know is: what effect will that have when it reaches the septic system? The Creature from the Black Latrine Strikes Again….



  1. Bob , it is amazing where you discover action … what were the chances you’d be there just when the police came to seize a computer … it would have been quite the distraction.

    As for those tests … after you are diagnosed with cancer they are repeated at regular intervals.

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