The good news is I’m not glow-in-the-dark, I don’t even glimmer. I’m not growing hair on my palms or sporting a third eye, either. Shoot, I’m not even queasy.
You see, yesterday I had an ablation. In other words, I had a dose of radioactive iodine to shut down production of my hyperactive thyroid gland. It’s been flooding my system with thyroid hormones and causing a rapid, erratic heartbeat, among other things. I didn’t mind so much, but I guess a funny heartbeat is bad.
That’s how I wound up sitting in the Nuclear Medicine department, waiting for my dose of radioactivity to arrive. They don’t keep them in stock, apparently, but order them on an as needed basis.
When the radiologist at last appeared, he was bearing a short, fat, heavy cement cylinder. It was like something from the bomb squad. Entombed inside all that cement sat a plastic vial containing the dreaded capsule, the one I had to swallow. It was black and gray, very grim-looking.
The tech handed me the vial and a styrofoam cup filled with Sierra Mist — on the rocks, I might add. Then they both backed up, retreating to a safe, comfortable distance from me (and my nuclear medicine). The whole thing struck me as just totally absurd. I laughed, they didn’t. Do they ever?
With my very first gulp of Sierra Mist, the radiologist swung the door open wide and dismissed me. It was sort of a ‘here’s your hat, what’s your hurry’ moment. I’m used to those, but I was, nevertheless, defiant. I took a second swallow, then a third, and decided not to press my luck any further than that.
As I toddled out, the tech presented me with an official, bona fide certificate to flash at airport security and federal buildings, explaining why I’m setting off radiation detectors. Isn’t that a hoot? I’m thinking of having it framed, that’s how much I like it.
Thus ended a most peculiar experience. One I’m happy to report caused no ill effects. No stomach ache, no headache, no swelling, no luminosity, no nothing. Now let’s cross our fingers and hope it works.
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