Life of a Professional Patient,Blog 6: Full Body Bone Scan

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It’s been a little while since I wrote a professional patient entry. It started out as just sarcasm. It turned out to be kind of a journal of my “progress” in the fight. I think I write one when there is a kind of milestone. You can find the links to the other professional patient posts below.

Finally, my full body bone scan

This week, I finally got the bone scan I’d been thinking about for about a year and a half. If you read Nuclear Bone Scans for Rheumatoid Arthritis or Scintigraphy two weeks ago, you’ll see why my doctor had discouraged me from getting the test. Then, in another recent post, I described how doc finally ordered the full body bone scan thanks to a new patient email system.

So the day came. First part of my plan: abstain from any medications in case they would suppress inflammation, altering the test results. I showed up at the hospital in the morning and reported to the nuclear medicine technicians. One woman asked several times which joint bothered me. She did not like it when I finally said, “Every joint is painful, stiff, and weak. Including the ones here and here that I need to breathe or eat.” The “H” word was not spoken, but I hope she didn’t doubt me as she wrote that I claim to have pain in every joint.

The other technician was a little more curious. Turns out his wife has a mild case of untreated Rheumatoid Arthritis. We had a good conversation and I gave him my business card with my phone number. Then he injected me with the Technetium-99m. I left to begin the second part of my plan: spend the next few hours moving the same way that I did during labor, no matter much I wanted to lie down. I also had to drink a lot of water to flush the radioactivity out of soft tissues.

During the scan, I asked a lot of questions, trying to learn as much as possible. I hope to read the radiologist’s report soon. Then, I’ll probably go through a third round of research and let you know what I learn.

Sneaking a peek at the full body bone scan

However, I have sneaked a peek. As a professional patient, I knew that the full body bone scan results belong to me. So I asked very politely whether they would give me a disc of the images that I could hand carry for any needed second opinions.

By the time I got home, I could not move at all and dozens of joints hurt. That happens whenever I go out. My kids gave me sympathy and medications and hot tea.

Lying on my sofa, I was determined to read the images from the scan. It took about six hours, but I finally saw my images. We all know I’m not a radiologist of course. However, I sent one image to another patient who just had the same scan. The other patient was trying to help me view the scan images with the right kind of program. Here’s what the other patient messaged me: “I bet your wrists hurt.” Wow, the one I had sent must have been of my hands! Soon, I saw my other joints which looked a lot like my wrists. True, we’re “just” patients, but being determined to learn has to count for something.

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We’ve been given a coupon code for 3$ off all 15 oz. mugs good through 2/20/11 at midnight EST. Here’s the link to the mug page in our RA store. And yes, there are mugs for guys!

Coupon Code: 2011BRRMug

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 18th, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under Other. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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