With all my health issues it’s no surprise that I have to follow a strict diet. That’s no problem, really, I’m used to it and I still am able to eat many things I like. But then came my thyroid issues…
I was called by the nuclear medicine department and they set up a two day appointment for me to get an iodine uptake and scan. I was told at this time that I needed to follow a strict low-iodine diet for the next solid week.
OK, no problem…
In actuality, it wasn’t difficult to follow the diet. The can’s and can not’s were laid out quite well.
I wanted to be super strict with the diet so there was no way to mess up the test and have to go through all of this again. My thyroid symptoms have been unrelenting and strong. They’ve made it so I really can’t function.
So all week I pretty much only ate fresh fruits and veggies.
The only problem I had with the diet was the psychological effect it had on me. “I’m not allowed to eat this?! Oh, OK, I’ll just keep craving it and obsessing over it.”
So the day finally came for my day one of the test. I was anxious to be over this diet and finally be able to eat “real food” again. I kept hoping nothing would go wrong. I went to radiology to check in. They had me scheduled but my endo forgot to sign the order for it. The check-in girl asked me to sit and wait and she would keep trying to get the signature.
Time passed and with each minute I felt more anxiety. “If they reschedule me I am going to be so pissed. I don’t want to go through this any longer.”
I was sitting right next to the counter where my check-in girl was. I could see she was trying to get the signature every few minutes. But with no luck.
It came to the time of my appointment. *stress so high now*. I went to the counter and asked her if there had been any luck. When she said no but she was still trying I pointed out kindly that it was now past my appointment time.
“Don’t worry, we’ll get you in today no matter what.” She reassured me.
A few minutes later the nuclear medicine manager came up to me and reassured me they would see me today, they just need that darn signature. He also gave me a form to fill out to help my appointment speed along faster once I get in.
I filled out the form and kept waiting…and waiting.
Finally a new person approached me and wanted to put a hospital band on me. Come to find out she had heard about my trouble and knew that my endo wasn’t in today and so called her cover endo and got the signature.
I (and my mom) was walked to the nuclear medicine waiting room…and waited some more. But not too long. They took me back to a room and gave me two pills to take with water. The pills are radioactive iodine.
They asked me to come in tomorrow a little later than my appointment time since they got me in late today.
Day two I showed up as told and had no trouble checking in. I waited in the nuclear medicine waiting room until five minutes past my adjusted appointment time. The manager happened to walk up at that moment to call in another patient.
“I’ll let them know you’re waiting, Tamra.” He said kindly. I thanked him.
Another half hour passed and I was still waiting. The manager came back by and saw me sitting there.
“They still haven’t come for you?” I nodded and he walked off.
I heard him tell the others to get me in, I’d been waiting a long time.
A few minutes later a technician came for me. He had me sit in a chair and he lined up a laser-looking machine up to my knees. He had me sit still as he took two measurements (of iodine?) of my knees. Then he lined it up to my thyroid and did the same.
Then I was led into a room and asked to lay on the table there. As I was doing that the tech told the other tech that my result was 1.5, very low.
They put a pillow under my shoulders and asked me to lay back my head as far as I could and not move. They put stickers on my chin, throat (below my thyroid), and clavicle. The stickers were to help calibrate the imaging. Scans were done then they removed the stickers and had me remain still for five more minutes while they took more scans.
Laying with my head tilted so far back made it near impossible to swallow and I felt as if I was going to choke or drown in my own saliva.
As I lay on the table one technician asked me if I’d had any contrast scans done in the last month. I said yes, I’d had a CT scan with contrast earlier in the month.
“Oh, that explains it.” He said.
From that point on I was worried the tests were all screwed up and would have to be done over at a later date. Could iodine from a CT scan stay in my system that long?
I was sent back to the waiting room until the nuclear medicine doctor looked over my scans. While sitting there, I chatted with another lady there for thyroid tests.
Finally the technician came back and told me all was done and I could go.
As soon as I got home I e-mailed my endo the following message:
It came to my attention from listening to the radiology people talk during my uptake test that my CT scan with contrast earlier this month may have messed up this test.
If it did, I am very worried about having to redo this test and having to wait even longer for treatment, because I have been having some serious unrelenting symptoms related to my thyroid troubles.
I have so many symptoms but the worst are the really high BG’s that I can’t bring down, the racing heart and chest pain, the overwhelming weakness and tiredness, and the constant sweating.
I noticed a week ago that I now have a goiter on the right side of my thyroid. It’s not visually noticeable, but it can be felt easily.
I realize I haven’t told you before about the severity of my symptoms, I apologize.
I know this test is important…I guess I don’t know what I’m asking, but I just can’t keep feeling this way, I am so tired and my racing heart all the time keep me from being able to function.
Also, once I was headed home I got myself some Rally’s. Oh, I missed food!