In the early hours of this morning, on the edge of an industrial estate, amongst the worn-out outer suburbs of Melbourne a mule stood waiting, shrouded in drizzle; his leather jacket barely keeping him warm in the pre-dawn chill. Behind him a gate opened and a man wearing a lab coat walked out to meet him.
“You are the man for the Wellington job”, his accent was foreign but unplaceable.
“You understand this is radioactive”
“So be careful, we need for him to receive the full dose”.
“Now get to the airport!”
On the other side of the Tasman at the other end of the day, the delivery found its destination – me. Inside a bare concrete cell that someone had once tried to cheer up with pictures from an old calendar, I lay helpless on a bed as another man with another unplaceable accent injected me with the contents from the flask: radioactive sugar. There was nowhere to run. A stern nurse watched from the door. Her accent suggested she was from the East – maybe Seatoun.
Such are the wonders of medical technology. In Wellington we have a PET scanner (at Wakefield hospital). This machine may tell my surgeon whether there is active inflammation around my aorta. And so today I had my scan. They can’t make the radioactive sugar needed for the scan (or at least my scan) in New Zealand though. So it has to be brewed up in Melbourne and flown across the Tasman. All this has to be done in a hurry as the radioactive sugar has a very short half-life.
As for the Pet Scan, it was fine – obviously there were no stern people with unplaceable accents (and the calendar pictures on the wall really weren’t that old). And I only wanted to run ’cause needles still scare the corpuscles out of me.
Pet Scans are way easier than angiograms, more like MRIs in the big scheme of things, although there was the radioactive sugar and then another injection of a radioactive contrast (the same warm flush I experienced during the angiogram – I’m actually quite starting to enjoy the sensation.)
Anyhow, the main point of this post is to gloat: I’m still radioactive. Which, surely makes this New Zealand’s first ever radioactive blog post.
Results in a few days.