Saturday, February 18, 2017

Last of the Scans?

Well, that was a busy two weeks. While in Houston for Winston’s mother’s Celebration of Life, I got a call from PTI. I was scheduled for the last (hopefully) three scans on Thursday the 16th, the day after I got back from Houston at 8 pm. So, at 7:30 the next morning I drove to UF Health’s Emerson facility, in South Jacksonville, where I could get all three scans in the same day.

First, the thyroid issue. The endocrinologist did a thorough ultrasound and found two nodules. Both were tiny and “not suspicious.” He said they were too small to even do a needle biopsy, and advised me to get a repeat ultrasound in a year or so.

Next, drink about a quart of barium solution to prepare for the CT scan. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, much like a mocha milk shake made with skim milk.

The barium takes about an hour and a half to spread out inside me, so I went for the MRI of my chest to check on a possible issue with my upper spine and a rib. I put on the hospital gown, and after the tech mentioned I’d get a shot of contrast dye part way through the scan she put me on the MRI bed and moved me into the machine. The usual strange MRI noises started, and then stopped. She moved me back out of the machine, and told me I wouldn’t be able to get the MRI because I was going to have a contrast shot for the upcoming CT scan, and I couldn’t get both contrast shots in the same 24 hours without overloading my kidneys.

So, I waited until the barium was ready and then got the CT scan. This will let us know if I have a problem with my liver. No results yet; perhaps there will be by early next week.

What about the MRI? The MRI machine at the Emerson facility wasn’t available again until next week, but the good people there arranged an appointment for me at the main UF Health campus near downtown. It was scheduled for 24 hours later, of course, so I drove back to Tallahassee. The next morning I drove to Jacksonville again, got the MRI with no problems, and drove back home again. The MRI results also won’t be available until next week. Again, I’ll be patiently waiting.

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