Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Lo-down on the Thyroid Scan and Uptake...Good News!

This is yet to be confirmed by the endocrinologist on Friday morning, but it looks like I may not have a thyroid problem at all!

I went over to St. Barnabas Hospital early Tuesday morning and arrived around 7:15 am... After registration with the outpatient test area, I headed up to the 1st floor radiology area. Radiology has several, once I found out where I really needed to be and followed the HUGE maze, I finally found Nuclear Medicine...

Step one was to do a brief history with the tech supervisor. Once all medical information was confirmed, I got to swallow this lovely green and white capsule - taken out of 2 different storage containers since, well, it is radioactive. Not sure if I was glowing after I swallowed it...

Then I headed home for a few hours to allow it to run through my system... During that time, I started my marinara sauce for dinner (yummy!) and did some major fall cleaning out of clothing. Now, I have room for some new skinny clothes!

I headed back for the uptake and scans at noon...thank goodness I decided to leave early, as it took me 15 minutes to find a parking spot (nothing like letting outpatient testers have complimentary parking). Then, I headed back through the maze to Nuclear Medicine.

After 15 minutes of waiting (and watching all of these elderly people being left on stretchers in the hallways while they were waiting for tests to be run), I was called in (still no glow, at least not that I could see). After reviewing the medical stuff with the tech doing the actual test (nice, older fellow...very personable), I was taken to the uptake area. I had to remove my necklace so it would not interfere with the test - that was fine, as long as I didn't have to remove the tiny hoop earings I wear! Those hoops are the worst to get back in!

The uptake test is quick - they point a gun-like device at the base of your throat and leave it there for a few minutes, then do the same on your leg for a comparison. Not bad. Took only 5-10 minutes.

Then, we headed over to the scan area... Yozers! My neck hurts today! I was asked to lie down on the gurney and place my neck on a triangular pillow, which tilts your head back in a total craning position (I had a GREAT view of the old tile ceilings...maybe I should tell them they have a small water leak?). After that, he put another triagular pillow under my knees to keep me from moving around (the knee pillow was comfy!). I had to stay in this position for about 45 minutes straight! Each scan took about 8-10 minutes to complete (3 scans are done - thyroid gland head-on, and then a scan from an angle on either side), but the adjustments between scans also take time so he can scan the gland clearly. During that time - you CANNOT move! I think I fell asleep for a while...what else was there to do?

After the scans were complete - and I was no longer light-headed from the craning position - the radiologist came in to review what he saw in the tests:

Uptake (or how your thyroid works) is perfect, and the scans only show that one side of the gland is enlarged, which is very common and not an indicator of a problem. Also, the radiologist said that if it were a real thyroid problem, I should have 2 of 3 levels elevated (T3, T4 and TSH) - my only elevated level is T4. He did say some of my symptoms sounds like a hyperactive thyroid...but by the tests alone, he sees no problems at all. He said, sometimes there can be a small glitch triggered by pregnancy, miscarriage, medications, etc. that make it look like you might have a thyroid issue, but will correct itself on its own. This may very well be what happened to me.

Talk about good news! So, keep your fingers crossed - this may be off the problem list on Friday!!!

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