Bone Scans are NOT for Wimps . . such as myself.

Today, I had a bone scan. Nine years ago I had knee replacement surgery and there is some concern that the cement holding everything together, well, isn’t doing its job. As far as reasons for having a bone scan go, this one is pretty benign.

I should have known, when they told me that I needed to be at the hospital at 8:00 AM, that this wouldn’t be good. Let’s just say, I’m not a morning person . . . at all. But, I managed to be on time to the hospital, mostly because it’s just a few blocks from my house and I did some careful planning the night before. Once there, I filled out the necessary papers and was brought back to the trailer that had been hauled to Cannon Falls for bone scanning purposes such as this.

The scan technician, Jay, grabbed a “space like looking” capsule of radioactive dye to shoot into my arm. The warning stickers on the outside of the capsule don’t exactly inspire confidence but I was assured that there are no side effects to this process, at least not that I’ll be able to blame them for in the future.

The advantage of living so close to the hospital allowed me to come home after the “shoot up” and do whatever I wanted for the next three hours. I was to return at 11:00 AM. As things go, Jay wasn’t quite ready for me when I returned so I was able to get a little reading in as I waited. And, I even had a few minutes to visit with a couple of friends who were at the hospital for tests today, also. Ah, the joy of small town living.

When it was finally my turn, I followed Jay back to the bone scanning trailer and waited for his instructions. Well, the first thing he had me do, after removing my jewelry is climb onto a “table” that was clearly designed for a size 4 runway model. It felt like I was attempting to get onto a raft without tipping the whole thing over. But thankfully, I didn’t fall off, and hopefully, there wasn’t a hidden camera that captured the entire procedure.

The next thing I know he’s “strapping” my feet together with a giant rubber band type of thing to help me not move them around. At this point he emphasized how important it is that I don’t move during the scan – at all. Clearly he’s never been to the movies with me. It sounds lame, I know, but I have restless leg syndrome, which pretty much propels my body into motion about every 30 seconds. I’m sure it drives those around me nuts, I know it does me.

At this point I inquire as to how long the scan takes and he says, “oh about 40 minutes.” FORTY, as in 4 – 0 minutes? That number hasn’t sounded so bad since I actually turned that age. He had to be kidding. I tried to explain to him that this would not be possible without the aid of a sedative. To this, the ever sympathetic Jay said, “well, if you move, you’ll have a blurry scan and they won’t be able to see anything.” He seemed nice enough at first but, I couldn’t help thinking, at this point, that I was grateful not to be married to him. Before I knew it the machine was turned on and, though I was told to relax, I was gripping the table with the same kind of intensity I use at the dentist office.

I tried to calm myself down by praying. I started to cry (I know, it’s pathetic) but then I realized that if I cried, tears would flow out of my eyes, and snot out of my nose and there I’d be, unable to do any wiping. I prayed some more. I thought of my friend, Lacey, and prayed for her. She has cancer and I knew that this bone scan would be like a picnic compared to what she’s been through. I prayed for the kids that we’ll be working with in Russia. And, I prayed that God would help me hold still and that I wouldn’t cry. I took a lot of deep breaths, hoping that would help. And, I thought about writing this blog, which somehow kept my mind off of the fact that I had to hold still.

As much as I tried to stop them, a couple of tears did work their way down my cheek. Well actually, kind of down the side of my head, and towards my ear. Oh great, now I had salty tears burning the corner of my eyes and there I was, unable to move. Crying, as it turned out, was a really bad idea. I wasn’t about to ask Jay to wipe them for me. Sympathy was clearly not part of his job description. Eventually, the scanner made its way to my knees and I asked if I could wipe my eyes. Jay gave me the go ahead as long as I didn’t move my legs. Phew!

The praying must have worked. The forty minutes went by rather quickly and I was able to remain still. That, my friends, is proof that prayer indeed works!