Friday, June 16, 2006

The Tests

The PET scan is the slowest scan I’ve ever had; except for possibly the closed MRI I had last summer. It felt as if I were moving one inch every ten minutes. However, it was impossible to ascertain if this is absolutely correct, since I wasn’t wearing my watch at the time, and wouldn’t have been able to look at it if I had been wearing it, my hands being up over my head the whole time. So like the MRI, I couldn’t scratch my nose during the whole thing.

And that was just for the scan part. Before the scan part, you sit in this little room and they give you this drip of radioactive solution, and they give you about an hour for the solution to course through your body while you watch TV. I had brought some magazines in from the waiting room but was told not to read them; it makes the tracer solution go to the muscles in your eyes. So I watched “The Today Show” and the first half-hour of “Ellen.”

And before that, it took two people fifteen minutes to find a vein to put the line of solution, first a young tech, and then she called for a doctor. The doctor actually did a better job than the tech.

“We’re really putting you through hell, aren’t we?” she asked, in mildly Chinese-accented English.

“Yeah! I’ve had one test after another and they don’t know what I’ve got. Do you ever do PET scans when you don’t suspect cancer?”

“For nodules in the lungs? Sometimes we do a PET scan when we can’t tell what it is.”

“God forbid I should have to get chemo, it takes so long to put a line in my arm.”

“You’re jumping too many steps ahead! Even if it does turn out to be cancer, this is the best way to find it: Very early stage, by accident with no symptoms.”

“Yeah. Lucky me.”

And before that, I had been awake since 4:30 in the morning, but at least I had a chance to eat before I had to fast from 5:00 onwards.

I pulled a fast one at the Apple Store on the way back, not like me at all. I went in and told the concierge my iPod was ready to be picked up.

“Did somebody call you?”


After about twenty minutes, during which I was breathing back an anxiety attack of my husband’s cancer is back, I’m going to have cancer all over my body, I’m going to get fired for coming back to work later than the 12:00 I said I’d be back by, they assigned me to a Genius who then spent the next ten minutes looking for my iPod. He returned with it and a sticker that read, “Testing.”

“Ma’am, are you sure somebody called you and told you this was ready?”

“Uh, no. But I left it here two days ago!”

“Testing the battery can take up to three days, because we have to let it play for a maximum of 14 hours. Now, I’m going to give you a new iPod because you’re under warranty, but I want you to go to this site and read the directions for troubleshooting the battery.”

Chastened, I replied, “Okay. I looked at that page the other day and I followed all the directions. That’s why I brought it in to you.”

It’s a new unit and doesn’t have anybody else’s cooties on it, and I’ve been ripping my CD collection at a bit rate that’s compact, yet listenable by iPod. I still have many CD’s left to rip, so that’s another reason I have to be all right.

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