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PET scan

Posted Aug 04 2008 12:00am

The PET scan was no big deal, more like a glorified CT scan. I arrived at 7:30 this morning and was taken to a lead-lined room and seated in a recliner. The nurse inserted an IV and then, using a Tungsten shield protected syringe, injected the radioactive glucose…..and it doesn’t take much. I spent the next hour reclining in the chair, listening to “massage music” and relaxing as the glucose did it’s thing. No reading allowed; just lie still and relax…..and drink the barium sulfate suspension needed for the CT scan that I would also get.

After that, a trip to the bathroom to empty my bladder. A sign on the wall reminded male PET scan patients to be seated while they emptied their bladder. Well, I had to inquire about this, of course, so that I could accurately report back to you! “Men have a tendency to dribble” was the response I got. “Aaaahhh! Yes.” Don’t want radioactive dribble all over the place.

The machine was a combination PET/CT machine, much deeper than the CT machine I’ve become so familiar with but the same general idea. They laid me down, bundled me up, arms above my head and ran me through a couple of times. Then, slowly, they scanned me from “thighs to eyes” in 10 inch segments, taking 5 minutes per segment. I needed to lay very still….not too uncomfortable but with the back pain that I’ve been having I did needed to stay relaxed.

When the PET scan was completed, they switched the machine over to CT, hooked up the IV contrast, ran me through a couple of times, then injected the contrast which gave the familiar, warm all over sensation. “Hold your breath”…scan, scan, scan….You’re done! I was back in my car at 9:30 and making a dash for Starbucks.

I have an appointment this Friday at 10:45 to discuss the results with Dr. Cui.

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