Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Watch out, Radioactive Man!

14 hours with nothing but a muesli bar, half a litre of what I assume was barium sulfate solution and an injection of another contrast material, along with stacks of X-rays and a $900 bill. That sums up my morning, so what do I have to tell? Basically, all appears to be well with my insides and back except for a "4mm diameter gallstone in the gallbladder neck". Sounds like fun, huh? I'll hopefully visit my doctor soon to see how I need to treat it, and it'll be back to "normal" for me.

Before you go rushing our for your own CT scan, after I've sold it so compellingly, keep this little factoid in mind:
The effective radiation dose from this procedure is about 10 mSv, which is about the same as the average person receives from background radiation in three years.
I'm not sure that's as reassuring as the website I read it on intended, but just one of the downsides to being in a machine which speaks with calming Enterprise-style tones to "Breathe in. Hold. Now breathe normally."

I must admit the disruption to my eating routine hasn't left me feeling too great, but I still went for an evening walk around 4.30 and, although it was more of a struggle than usual, I felt better for a little while afterwards. Plus the sense of accomplishment helps me feel less like an invalid, when I see that gallstones are much more common in obese people over 60 :)