400) Nuclear Imaging of the Parathyroid Glands

August 28, 2010

So, on the 23rd I went up to NAMC for the parathyroid scans that Dr. Moore needs to complete his consult for Dr. Lewis. And, this is the first time I've had available to post about it. Too busy this last week with trainings and prepping for the fall semester class.

I got there and Robert, the bomb diggity tech escorts me into the first scan, where he asks me to take off my shirt while he and Amy step outa the room and I say "that's okay; I ain't proud...". Well, just then he get called out and Amy just stands there as I de-shirt and gown up. Kinda funny. Then he returns and oils up my neck for a slow ultrasound of that whole area and is simultaneously instructing Amy, an intern from the Austin Community College program in X-ray Technology. She takes notes... I try to keep from swallowing... and we are done in about 15 minutes.

He escorts me on down the hall, where I see Mark, who calls out down the hall something like, "Hey; you're the web page writer guy, aren't you?" and I slowly translate that into "blog guy" and respond with a nod as they roll me into his room. On the way Dr. Lewis passes me and we salute each other. In the next room, Mark and I catch up (see # 338 & 383) and talk about my ongoing healing kidney and the other attendant things that keep popping up, like the current hyper-para-thyroid business.

Mark sets me up to receive a radioactive isotope (I think it is
Tc99m-sestamibi) and then he injects it and I wait awhile til they can set me up in the imaging scanner, a gamma camera.

"By using a gamma camera in nuclear medicine, the radiologist is able to determine if one of the four parathyroid glands is hyper-functioning, if that is the cause of the hyperpara-thyroidism. Theoretically, the hyper-functioning parathyroid gland will take up more of the Tc99m-sestamibi, and will show up 'brighter' than the other normal parathyroid glands on the gamma camera pictures..."* This process is one of those where I lay back on a curved pad and a huge machine encloses a simultaneously moving imager that comes curving up from the right... right over my face and neck, at a height of about 2 to 3 inches. Mark asks me to stay still (but I can swallow when I feel like it) for the next 12 minutes that it takes to take the pictures it needs. I lay there. They have music playing... not my choice exactly. I lay there.

After 12 minutes the machines swing back and I get up, helped by Mark. I am done... for 2 hours. This is the finish of the pre-picture. In two hours I come back for the images of my neck with the isotope fully taken up in my parathyroid.

I had planned to hang out at NAMC, finish up the nuclear imaging, and then go over to the Transplant clinic for my meeting with Dr. Lewis. I'm itchy to DO something besides read so I head out to find a place to sit... so, on the way down the hall I decide to shoot down Mo Pac to my office and see what's going on...

Back at NAMC:
Back up to the X-ray waiting room, where Mark comes to find me just about on time. We return to the imaging room and I complete the next 12 minute stint in the gamma camera. Mark and I say our see ya's and I move on down the hall to the front of the hospital where I now have to be re-registered by a nice young woman who is doing her first registration. I think she does a great job and tell her so. Then it's down the hall again to the Transplant Clinic.

Walk in and expect to have to wait... and they surprise me with a room waiting. Maxine weighs me (176! that's UP some) takes my BP (130/72) and asks all the pre-doc questions. Yes I have been unusually tired lately... have had a few headaches... some bad indigestion twice or so... and nothing else to complain about. Then Lizzie shows up.

Dr. Lewis enters and says all the blood work is good and I continue to do great, based on what he can see. We talk about indigestion and he ponders that somewhat and decides he wants me to get another colonoscopy with Dr. Poreddy, who did my endoscopy years ago. I wonder if all the colonoscopies that Dr. Hanschen did can be used and Lewis says they were too long ago. He also wants me tested for 2 other viruses that might be involved so I go in for more blood work next Monday (later I find out that one test is for Epstein-Barr virus).

So, anyway, now I am scheduled for another consult with Poreddy pre-scheduling another colonoscopy and have another appointment, with its attendant lab work, with Dr. Lewis set for September 13th. The call back from Dr. Moore is still to come.

I am not too worried at this point. And, I am realizing there will be some more posts to come to the readers on this blog.

"Hyperparathyroidism" retrieved August 28 from Wikipedia, online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperparathyroidism