Saturday, February 6, 2010

PET Scan experience

Yesterday, Friday the 5th, I went for my PET scan. I am claustrophobic so I have to take medication when I get there. They inject me with the radioisotope and then I have to rest for an hour. The pills (2) always take effect within the hour. Then it takes 25 minutes for the scan. Now that is not a terribly long time if you are not claustrophobic.

My friend Rebecca always takes me because I cannot drive afterwards with all that medication in me. As soon as they take me back to the room for injection Rebecca leaves to go walking or to get coffee and read, or to just run errands if she needs to. She has an hour and a half wait. She always takes my purse, cell phone, etc and puts them in the trunk of her car so that I don’t have to mess with them.

I am sitting in the chair and all of a sudden it hits me and I just went running out of the room saying, “my pills.” She was gone. The tech suggested I try to call her, “She has my cell phone and I don’t know all of her number.” Then he suggested I call my number and maybe she would answer. Then I remembered that she puts my stuff in the trunk. I will never forget her number again. And, Rebecca will never leave right away – again.

The tech said, “We will get you through this.” I did make it through but I will never do that again. I did not relax the whole time I was on the table. They strap your arms down. I didn’t know that. I have always been out-of-it before. It is a super wide strap and comes across your whole body. It is to keep your arms from moving. I was concentrating so hard on just making it through. I was determined that I would not open my eyes – but I did. My nose started itching. My eye started itching. My cheek started itching. I was about ready to cry. Then I felt like I had to cough. I must admit that I don’t even know what kind of prayers I was saying or if I was praying at all. All I could think of was “Jesus.”

The time was going so slow. If it had been five minutes longer I wouldn’t have made it through. I was ready to lose it. They helped me off the table and I couldn’t walk. My insides were shaking so bad. At least no one said, “Now that wasn’t so bad was it.” I might have hit them. I was so totally exhausted and stressed by the time I got home that I had to lie down for a while. That is usually a normal procedure but that is because I have taken medication.

Never again will I do a PET scan without medication. I will post the results next week.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~Helen Keller
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