Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Radioactive Woman

Today was the first day of my kidney testing. If I do say so myself I coped quite well. I was worried I would get really anxious, but it wasn't too bad. The worst part was all the needles.

First up was the nuclear medicine scan.  I got injected with a radioactive isotope and was then scanned for around half an hour as my kidneys filtered it through. It was a pretty easy test - all I had to do was sit still.  By far the most off-putting part was that the isotope arrived in its own lead container and the injecting syringe was also encased in lead.  Kind of freaky that they were still allowed to inject that into my body.

After the initial scan was finished, I had to go back at 2 and 3 hourly intervals for a blood test.  During that time I also had a whole lot of other blood work done and a chest x-ray.

I then had a four hour wait until my CT scan and seeing as I wasn't allowed to be near small children or pregnant women due to being radioactive, I went and sat in the autumn sun at the park and read a book.  While I was doing that Murray took Ashlea to botox  clinic.  Just quietly it drove me a little nuts not being there, but they managed just fine without me. She got botox in her hamstrings and calves again - and as usual the midazolam worked a treat and she coped really well.

Then it was time for me to head back to the hospital for my CT scan to check the arteries and veins to my kidneys and take some pictures of the kidneys themselves.  That was probably the most unpleasant of all the tests because the dye they inject into you makes you feel decidedly weird - you get a hot flush through your body as the dye moves in and you seriously feel like you are peeing your pants (although thankfully that is not the case). Fortunately the feeling doesn't last long!

I don't know how many of you have been to the hospital I was at today (which I'm not going to name...), but I have got to say I think it is surely a contender for the ugliest building in all of Sydney.  The outside is a hideous concrete block and inside the colours and decor are revolting. Who designs these things???  As a patient it doesn't feel like much thought was put into the environment's impact on patients. The CT room was particularly horrid - and I can only imagine what a truly terrifying experience it would be to be in there knowing your doctor was looking for something serious.  The whole environment just adds to the stress of the experience. The renal ward was a bit of a shock too. Not so much the decor there, rather the reality of kidney disease in adults. There were SO many patients up there, and they all looked sick. Kids don't seem to look as sick as adults even when they are. Just as I was thinking to myself "Thank God I don't have to come here on a regular basis" I realised that Ashlea will be treated there as an adult....and I will have to go there on a regular basis. Funny how that thought still pops up. It drives me nuts knowing people think "Thank God I don't have to go through that" when they hear about Ashlea - and yet I am still guilty of thinking the same thing about others.

Now the wait is on for the results. Hopefully the kidney scan results will be back by Thursday - otherwise I will have to wait until next week with all the public holidays. The CT report takes awhile to come back, and some of the blood work can take awhile too. I'll keep you all posted!

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me, and thanks for all the f*cebook support too - nothing like having your own private cheer squad in your pocket!



Sarah said...

Very busy day!

I know I did feel very insecure about those radioactive isotopes being delivered in that way and while they injected they are also standing behind a lead shield of some kind.

I agree totally about that hospital being hideous! I hated being there post op and still do now for all my scans. Needs to be refurbished and a lick of paint would be a great start!

I really hope that you don't have to wait until next week :( what a pain Easter is inbetween these tests and the results. I also pray the results are positive for you.

Been thinking of you all day...and I saw Ashlea post-midaz...it sure does work well!


Missy said...

COngratulations on sailing through your mountain of tests. Pray for brilliant results so it can be all systems go for the transplant!

Glad Ashlea's botox when well, even without you!

hugs xx

Sverige said...

I don’t know what to say. This is definitely one of the better blogs I’ve read. You’re so insightful, have so much real stuff to bring to the table. I hope that more people read this and get what I got from it: chills. Great job I can’t wait to read more, keep them coming! .