So I’ve got to spend a near entire day at Radiology next month, mostly lying still, for a bone density test, a chest X-RAY, and an ultrasound of my thyroid and of my heart (echocardiogram).
Wednesday was the day. I was actually booked for 7:45 – 10 am, but I was done in about an hour instead.
I showed up about 45 minutes early, since that was the latest my ride could get me there. I checked in and sat down to read. I expected to be doing a lot of waiting, so I brought a Miss Marple book with me to read.
I had only been reading for maybe 5 minutes, and I was brought to another area to wait. The lady came back a minute later and apologized – I had thrown her for a loop showing up so early, so she assumed I was there for my echocardiogram and didn’t check my chart first (I was, but that was not my first test booked).
She brought me to the waiting area for the bone density test, and I only waited a couple minutes before being told to take my pants off. The test requires no metal parts that would confuse spine portion of the picture, and I was wearing regular blue jeans. I was forewarned, but I didn’t have anything else to wear, so I expected I would have to strip.
I got given a pair of one size fits all cotton tie-on pants, and sat on the table. Now of course, there is something else that has metal along the back: bra clasp. So unclasped it goes and pulled away from the spine.
Now I’m lying “pant-less” and nearly bra-less on this table, which is not comfortable. At all. I’m always having problems with my lower back and hips feeling “out of place” so lying on a metal table isn’t a great thrill (on my bed I have one of those snazzy memory foam bed toppers – heaven). I’m sure for healthier people it’s no biggie, and it wasn’t really for me either, since the test only takes a couple minutes.
The thing that passes over you sounds like a printer or photocopier, which given the state of my clothing made me giggle. She had me positioning my hips in a couple different ways, one of which was like sitting on a chair, but lying on your back. They stick a block under your legs so you don’t have to try and hold that ridiculous position.
Back on my clothes go, and I’m taken back to the echo tests waiting room.
Here on in I get to keep my pants on, but I’m given a gown for a top. Looks and feels much like any ultrasound. You don’t get to see or even hear anything though. At one point it was quite uncomfortable, when she was pushing a little hard on my windpipe, but that was all.
I get handed a towel to wipe the funky gel off my neck, then get handed over to the guy that does the echocardiogram.
What’s with the male nurses doing echocardiograms? That’s twice now I’ve gotten one, and both times it was a guy doing the test. Hmm, don’t answer that.
This time was different, in that I got the electrocardiograph leads stuck on me, and the test was much, much shorter. More whooshing sounds, and I managed to get a peak at the actual electrocardiogram.
I get another towel to wipe off more ultrasound gel, but I didn’t get quite enough towel. That stuff is messy, gets everywhere.
Last one. This one was a little embarrassing. I’m still in my little gown, and also waiting in the same area is a guy. He’s got a top gown on too, but he has far less to hide. I hugged my bundle of clothes and my purse in front of me. From time to time I heard him making noises and fidgeting, which I tried ignoring.
Two quick “snapshots” while standing, and my Xray is done.
On go all my clothes and I can leave, done in about 1/4 of the time expected.
By the time I go back to Calgary next week, my doc will have all my test results back, and I’ll find out the verdict. Tests are always kind of stressful because, on the one hand you hope they don’t find anything, but on the other hand you hope they do.
Friday, June 8th, 2007 · 6:26pm