Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spinal tap, bone marrow biopsy, MUGA, and 3 fillings!

I'm sitting in the infusion room at the SCCA, waiting for the lab technicians to irradiate my blood. My dad and I braved the elements to get down here at 7:15 am, even though it dumped another 2" on Seattle last night! It's called a MUGA scan, and they use it to check out your heart. The procedure is pretty simple: the technician draws some blood, radioactive markers are added to the blood, and then the blood is infused back into your body. A gamma camera (cool name) records the journey of these radioactively marked blood cells throughout the body and can be used to make 3D videos of your heart pumping. Right now I'm waiting for them to irradiate my blood so that they can put it back in me so I have about a half an hour to blog about what went on yesterday. Oh, and I have to bring special documentation from the lab when we go to the airport tomorrowsince I'll be radioactive for a few days and may set off geiger counters at the airport. Wow. Apparently they can detect someone with radioactive blood from 20 feet away. We'll see how much fun that makes tomorrow's flying event. Hopefully my next blog post won't be about how I was stuck in an interrogation room for 3 hours suspected of smuggling nuclear weapons :)

Yesterday was a busy day: I had another spinal tap, another bone marrow biopsy and aspirate, and, just for good measure, 3 cavities filled by my dentist. I had a cleaning last week and we wanted to be extra sure that any sign of decay was taken care of before the transplant, since tooth decay can be a big issue when your immune system goes away. Since I was under heavy sedation for the spinal tap and biopsy, it went great as far as I was concerned. :) The last thing I remember is the doctor wiping the area on my back clean with a sterile pad, then waking up in the recovery room. The last time I had a spinal tap I suffered through some really awful headaches as a result of the spinal tap, caused by the brain readjusting its spinal fluid reservoirs due to microscopic leaks that happen during the procedure. The best remedy is supposedly caffeine, so while I was in the recovery room I downed a double coffee, got another coffee on the way home, downed 2 sodas, then finished off the day with a Vietnamese iced coffee. It's 8:30 am the next morning and I'm still a little jittery. But anything to keep that spinal tap headache away.

After the MUGA scan, I'm busy with more tests, meetings and classes until 2pm today. Woohoo! My next appointment is a flight out of here to L.A. tomorrow, and then I don't have to be back here at the SCCA until the 6th of January.

Oh, and it's snowing again in Seattle! We got a couple more inches last night and it's still coming down. The weather is supposed to get warmer after Christmas so it will probably start melting off.

Happy holidays!

1 comment:

Simon said...

Happy Holidays to you too! Here's hoping that 2009 is filled with good news for you and your family.

Have fun in LA!

- S