Monday seems to get a lot of hate. Please reference Monday, Monday by The Mamas & The Papas or Just Another Manic Monday by The Bangles. If that doesn’t prove my point, please also reference Rainy Days and Mondays by The Carpenters. You with me now? Good. Let me tell you about my Monday and why I can’t disagree with the haters.
I finally got a call late last week that my long-awaited scans had been scheduled for bright and early Monday morning. By early, I mean I had to make it to the hospital to check in before I’d normally leave the house for work. Bah!
By the way, the reason that the scans took so long to schedule is that there is, apparently, one radiologist in the entire system who knew how to fuse the scans requested by the second opinion doc. That right there made me wary of going to get my scans done at all. The last time I was in for a scan, the folks hadn’t done it before either. So, you can see how my confidence might not be at a particularly high level. But this is where I also need to give a shout out to my surgeon’s PA and his office staff because they worked incredibly hard to get everything scheduled. I was, to say the least, extremely impressed. Especially since the scans had been ordered by another surgeon. You can see why I don’t want to leave them.
I rolled into the main Radiology department fifteen minutes early, which worked well because they were able to take me back right away. I had an IV started so that they could inject the radioactive stuff into my veins for the bone scan. (Note that I went into this expecting to wake up with super human powers the next morning, but alas, that didn’t happen. Huge letdown.) So I got the stuff injected into my veins, and they took an immediate scan of my knees. That scan took around 5 minutes. No sweat.
I learned, during this scan, that it is incredibly difficult for me to hold still once someone has told me to do so. I swear my legs started twitching as soon as the radiology tech told me to hold still at the beginning of the scan. And that was just the first five-minute scan. Wait, there’s more.
I then had to go out to the waiting room and… wait. The radioactive tracer had to make its way through my body, and that apparently takes two hours. Because that’s how long I had to sit in the waiting room and listen to ill-behaved kids run around, screaming like banshees. I understand that not everyone is able to afford or schedule a baby-sitter, and it’s sometimes necessary to take the kids along to appointments that are incredibly boring for kids. I do not, however, excuse poor behavior from the kids or their parents who yell aimlessly while only half-trying to control their kids. I usually have much more patience for that kind of thing, but I think my patience was running thin because I was keyed up just being there in the first place. I finally stood up and hovered near the door like a creeper. I was getting claustrophobic and my ears were ringing from all the noise and commotion.
A new radiology tech finally came out to the waiting room to get me, and we went back for the next bone scan. Actually, three scans. The first one was a full-body scan that took about 20 minutes. The worst part of this was that the tech wrapped my arms at my sides with a black nylon fabric that velcroed across my chest. I absolutely hate having my arms tied down. I had no clue that I have this aversion until they wrapped my arms by my sides during one surgery before they put me out. It took everything in me not to struggle against the wraps. Luckily, I didn’t have to keep the wrap on for the next two scans. One was a five-minute scan to get a side view of my knees, and the last one was a 30-minute scan during which the cameras rotated around my knees. The tech said this one would produce a 3-D image of the knees. I didn’t get to see it because I was hurried off for the next thing once I was done in nuclear medicine.
The next thing was an arthrogram, and I have to say that I’ll be a happy camper if I never have to have another one in my lifetime. The doctor injected contrast dye into my knee joint. It wasn’t super painful while being injected. It wasn’t pleasant, but not awful. He put a tight wrap around the knee joint to help squish the dye into all the nooks and crannies while I waited to have the CT scan (not an MRI because of the metal in my tibia). CT scan was nothing. I told the tech that was the easiest thing I’d had done all day. The only problem was that they took the wrap off for that scan, and my knee started hurting like crazy when I stood up. I don’t mean a little bit; I mean a lot bit. I couldn’t believe how badly it hurt. It was unexpected because it hadn’t really hurt during or immediately after the arthrogram. The doctor had told me that most people say their joint feels “full” after the procedure, but this wasn’t a feeling of fullness; this was straight up, unadulterated pain.
I made it out to the car, and all I could think was that I needed to get home FAST. I wasn’t going to be able to drive, if the pain continued. I made it home, took myself off to bed and managed to fall asleep for a while once I found a position that didn’t make me want to scream from the pain. I have no clue what caused all that pain, but it started to feel a little bit better about six hours later and then throughout the next day. Last night, it was back down to my normal level of pain, and I was able to get in a 15-mile ride.
I have a follow-up appointment scheduled with the second opinion surgeon next week, and I’ll find out the results of the scans at that time. I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that they can 1) determine the cause of my pain and 2) treat it.