June 13, 2011
My dad came along with me for the PET scan and echocardiogram appointments. He worked for many years at Orange Coast Memorial, so this was a little bit of a coming home for him. He definitely was glowing while he walked down the halls of the old campus. We met there in the morning and he had already been making the rounds. Talking to old friends; asking if so and so still worked here and saying how nice the new office is, etc. One of my good friends, Ian’s sister worked in the office that would do the echocardiogram. She knew about my situation and that I was going to be there, but didn’t know I would be going to her department. She gave me a big hug and a bowl of soup that her mom made for me. She had already met my dad earlier that morning. I’m beginning to think he knocked on every door and just walked in to see if he knew anyone.
The echocardiogram was an easy procedure. The doctor was a nice lady and (shockingly) knew my dad. She had me lay on my side in a dark room while she took what looked like an ultrasound to my chest. She took screenshots of images of my heart and made notes. It only took a few minutes. After the procedure she talked with my dad. She told us she was concerned about the fluid around my heart. She didn’t want me to leave the hospital until a cardiologist reviewed the results. Probably someone my dad knew.
Then we were off to the PET scan. They locked me in a cozy, dark, lead proofed closet. It was literally a room that only fit a recliner and a small table. A nurse came in and administered some radioactive material. The syringe was encased in a bulky, lead container. They use a dark room and recliner because I have to keep my blood pressure down for 30 minutes while the solution journeys through my body. This was fine by me, because I’m always looking for an opportunity to nap…which I took. The lead proofing was because I was now the Toxic Avenger and lead walls are the only thing I can’t smash with my fists.
They came and woke me up and laid me down on the machine. A bigger machine than the CT scans. With the comfort of a Japanese capsule hotel. The table moves you into the scanner and it sounds like you’re in turbine. This machine had the same stupid audio instructions that the CT scan machines use. The slow, monotone, male voice would tell you, “Breathe in…hold…breathe”. Shouldn’t it be, “Breathe in…hold…exhale”? Or, “Breathe in…hold…breathe out”? I digress. It was a simple procedure that lasted about 15 minutes. I waited for my dad while he talked about the results with the radiologist, an old friend. By now, I feel like an embarrassed and disgruntled teenager with my arms folded, rolling my eyes, shouting at my dad, “let’s gooOoo!”
After the PET scan we were told the cardiologist gave me the clearance to go home. It turned out to be a mildly uneventful day. I got two of my chores done and my dad was voted Most Popular.