Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tests

They wanna get my gold on the ceiling. I ain’t blind; just a matter of time before you steal it. It’s alright; ain’t no guard in my house
Gold on the ceiling - Black Keys

So many tests. I was back to hospital for more on Wednesday - took from 9 'til 4. Since August I guess I've spent on average two days per week in this hospital, either being treated, or tested.

Lung function test - check. Except I don't seem to be able to follow the instructions. Breath in. Breath out. Hold it. Slow breaths. Fast breaths. It's all very complicated. And the machine means I have to hold my head at a slightly uncomfortable angle. My ribcage takes this as an opportunity to go all achy and weird and distracting. I use up my 5 allotted goes on the machine (I think its giving you a little dose of carbon monoxide each time, so you can only have maximum 5 attempts). The lung unit waiting room is a bit grim. Smells of stale cigarettes from other people's breath, and everyone is a bit wheezy and puffy-skinned. Thank goodness I'm not ill, like these people, I think. I wonder what they'd make of the haematology department?

Bone marrow biopsy - check. This is always a good opportunity for doctors to practice their small talk, a game I'm willing to join in if trying to keep talking can serve as any kind of distraction. Today's doctor chooses a slightly unusual topic.
"So how did you find the PADIMAC treatment?"
"Well, I'm still here"
"But did you get any side effects?"
Try it some time - when you are in pain: distract yourself by recalling previous unpleasant experiences. Let me know how you get on. Didn't really work that well for me.
As always, she has to do the bony bit of the procedure twice because the first sample is no good.
"Your bones are unusual, some places are very hard, some places very soft"
"I know, that's why I'm here, really"

Chest x-ray - check. Why oh why did he have to adjust the chin rest the final two centimetres upward? Now my ribcage has another opportunity to go off on one.
"You need to stand still"
I can remember the days when x-rays were things to be used sparingly. We've stopped worrying about little things like that.

Kidney function test - check. This involves returning to the nuclear medicine unit. Down in the basement. Radioactive symbols everywhere. Injection of something radioactive, and then hourly blood tests for 4 hours. This is where I had my first bone scan. Memories.

All done and home we go. I don't want to know any of the results, thanks. As long as we're good to go for next week.

Phone call late on Friday afternoon - everything is OK. I'm expected back in the hospital 12:30 on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Christine runs those LFTs as one part of her job; she says lots of people struggle to follow the instructions ...

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