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Atomic Stephanie

Posted 2011.11.03 21.07 in Life On Drugs

So today was my second adventure in Nuclear medicine. I didn’t get any superpowers when I had my first experience with these guys, so I don’t have my hopes up this time around either.

With or without superpowers, I was feeling fairly relaxed about the whole procedure as I’ve been through it before. The big differences were this time, I (mostly) knew what to expect, and I brought a camera with me to take some pictures. Well, really I only got one decent picture, but it’s a good one…

Syringe, inside a lead-lined steel cannister.


You know they’re serious when the needle is delivered in a lead-lined steel tube. They sat this infront of me on a little cart then left for a while, allowing me ample opportunity to sneak a photo.

Inside the needle is something called Technetium-99m-MDP. The MDP part refers to the medical component, which is that it binds to living bone structure. The Technetium-99m part is the radioactive part. This has a gamma-decay half-life of about 6 hours – meaning that in about 6 hours, half of it has decayed emitting a gamma wave. Or particle. Or wavicle.

Technetium-99m decays into Technetium-99, which then has a half-life of over 200,000 years, emitting beta wavicles as it decays into Ruthenium-99. Something about this feels like it should be at least slightly unhealthy. But then, I’m not a doctor.

Having been suitably irradiated, I was then left to my own devices for the next 150 minutes, to allow the isotope to bind to my bones. The clinic was near enough to home that I could come back here to wait out the delay.

Another difference between my first radiological experience and this one, is that this time, I own a geiger counter! More specifically, I’ve built one into my home MCP project.

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