Fun With Nuclear Medicine

MUGA Scan – Multi Gated Acquisition Scan

Fancy name for a test that shows whether or not your ticker is in proper working order. Had this test done last week in preparation for chemo treatments. Long story short the test came back that I’m ready to go.

But the fun part and where the story comes in, was the test itself.

I get to the office and they call me in to start an IV line. I’m pretty impressed with the nurse who does this as she only had to poke me once! HOORAY! She then draws a full syringe full of blood and mixes it with an anticoagulant, heparin I think, and then closes off the IV and tells me to have a seat in the waiting room. After about 30 minutes passes I get called back in and the blood that was taken had been mixed with a radioactive substance left to sit for the 30 minutes and then they injected the whole mess back into the IV to flow through my veins and help make a picture of my heart beating. All I could keep thinking about was a song The Firm did way back in 1985 called Radioactive and had a little giggle.

On to the scanner room. I got to lay down on a narrow table. Did I mention the table was narrow? I looked at it thinking “Your kidding right?! Me, on THAT?! The thinnest person I know would be hanging off that and you want me, ME to try to lay on that. AHHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

But, I managed to get myself positioned in such a way that I didn’t feel like I was going roll off on to the floor. Of course I didn’t dare take a deep breath or I might just have tipped a little too far and then, well….it wouldn’t have been pretty. Now another nice nurse tells me that I am going to have to lift my left arm over my head for the next half hour. Seriously?! I have not been able to lift either of my arms over my head since my surgery. I’m getting better, but no where near having my elbow above my shoulder. I laughed and told her it was not gonna happen as I had a double mastectomy and the muscles in my chest where not going to cooperate. I even showed her my scars. She was very sympathetic and tried to take the scan with my left arm at my side. Pics/video didn’t turn out well so I told her I would lift my arm as high as I could. I was able to get my elbow even with my shoulder and rest my wrist on my forehead. It was NOT comfortable but with a lot of teeth gritting and a string of obscenities running through my head that would make a sailor blush, I did it! Then I suggested that if I could just hold on to something with my hand that it would relieve some of the stress on my shoulder and that’s when the nurse said that she could strap my hand to my head! YES!!! Yes that will work! Strap my hand to my head please! That’s when a second nurse came in to see what the hold up was I guess and proceeded to walk over to me and grab my hand that was resting on my forehead and YANK it higher. Knocked the wind out of me. It was like somebody punched my in the stomach. The nice nurse, realizing what happened told the evil nurse the mistake she made by yanking on me but no apology from the evil nurse. The nice nurse apologized and I just told her it wasn’t her fault she’s not the one that tried to yank my arm off. So the pictures/video are successfully completed and I am unstrapped and ready to sit up. The nice nurse was so nice that after she unstrapped me and helped me to sit up she rubbed my arm and shoulder until I could move it under my own power again.

And thus concludes the MUGA Scan saga. I’m ready for chemo. Well as ready as anyone can be for something like that. What I’m not ready for are the bills that come with chemo treatment. Ah, but that is another tale….

Take care all and thanks for riding along!

About Wendy Jo Savage

Wife. Mother. Maker. Lover of Nature.
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