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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.

Radioactive

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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It Eases The Pain

Posted 2011.10.20 21.17 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather

Still dealing with this lame leg problem. I’ve been off the antibiotics since Sunday, and my leg hasn’t magically gotten any better. I’m starting to worry it’s getting worse, but doing it slowly so I can’t be 100% certain – like getting a teeny bit worse each day so I don’t notice any sudden changes.

Anyhow, not-getting-better is not acceptable so I went back to see the doctor today. She agreed that it wasn’t magically better — wierd how stopping the medication didn’t make things improve, right?

Anyways, she’s decided rather than try any more medication, she’ll send me back out for another few weeks of tests. The first one is a repeat actually – three years ago I went through all this fun, for my right leg. Only the problem, whatever it was, went away after a week or two, without anyone ever figuring out what it was. This time it’s the left leg, and it’s been over 2 months now that I’ve had the symptoms.

So the first test – radioactive bone scan. They inject me with radioactive ‘medicine’, then wait a couple hours for it to collect in my bones, then I have to lay very still while they watch me with a ‘gamma camera’. Last time I didn’t get any super-powers, so I’m hoping this time around I’ll be luckier. The point of this is that maybe the infection has gotten into my bones which apparently makes it harder for antibiotics to reach it, or something.

I don’t know what the second test will be, only that she’s sending me to a specialist. I don’t know yet what he specializes in. I can’t read doctor-scribble, but I think it says something like lymphblahblah so maybe she wants to test to see if the infection is into my lymphatic system.

In the meantime, not only did she not perscribe any antibiotics, she also left me to my own devices when it comes to dealing with the pain. So I perscribed myself a little retail therapy, and got me a shiney new iPhone 4S!

How does that ease the pain in my leg? Well, it doesn’t, exactly. It does help though. It helps ease the pain of iPhone4Slessness.

Not Very Confident

Posted 2011.10.13 16.57 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather

So I saw the doctor again today. She thinks my leg looks like it’s getting better, and decided not to extend the antibiotics any further. What I have, will run out on Sunday.

I questioned her, along the lines of “Really? Are you sure?” because my leg’s still swollen from my toes up to above my knee. My knee and ankle are both swollen enough that I have a restricted range of motion. I’m still experiencing almost constant pain in my shin and calf. And the leg is still so sensitive that at times it hurts just having heavy blankets on it.

Never before in my life have I ever been on antibiotics, and then the doctor has figured to let the medication end before the symptoms are gone. It’s always been the opposite – you take the antibiotics for 3 or 4 days after the last of the symptoms have left. Heck that’s why antibiotics usually come with a notice “Keep taking this even if you feel better!” because you need to ensure every last trace of the bacteria is eradicated, before the meds stop.

So I’ve kind of resigned myself to the idea that next week I’ll probably have to go back to the hospital.

XA-3 X-Pro

Posted 2011.10.08 11.44 in Photography, Pointless Blather

Being stuck at home with this lame leg is starting to get me down. I can’t go out and enjoy the nice weather. Can’t go for a walk. Can’t even go for a drive, as it irritates my leg to be in the car for any length of time. About the only thing that’s improved is without the IVs in my arm, I’m able to get my arms into a dark-bag to process some film I shot earlier.

The pics below were shot on Kodak Elite Chrome, using my Olympus XA-3. Elite Chrome is a slide film, but I cross-processed it in my standard C-41 chemistry. That’s why the colours are so wild and wierd. Where the Fuji film I’ve cross-processed has come out with pink and red hues, this Kodak brand came out with lots of greens and yellows. It’s kind of neat, I think.

The XA-3 did a good job, I quite like that camera. Most of the images are sharp and nicely exposed, though there’s a bit of motion-blur here and there as a few shots were snapped from the car while it was moving. I actually still had the IVs on when I shot off this roll, so it’s mostly crummy car-shots I took while getting from home to work or whatever.

Grumble grumble lame leg. Not crippled enough for an accessible-parking permit but too crippled to be out going places and doing things.

Anyways, pics:

Processed for about 24 minutes in my tired old C-41 chemistry, at about 68 degrees F. I’m really abusing those chemicals. They were rated for 12 rolls of film or 2 weeks, whichever came first. They’re now over 3 months old and I’ve processed over 35 rolls of film with them, and it’s still kicking.

Free! ish.

Posted 2011.09.29 22.48 in Pointless Blather

So this morning, the last of my IV medicine was pumped into my arm. Then the nurse came and the idea was to unplug me, remove the tubes and pointy things, and generally that would be the end of lugging those annoying IV pumps around everywhere.

Well, she did unhook the pumps, and most of the tubes. But she didn’t think my leg had healed enough yet. I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow anyways, and my doctor has already given me a bunch of pills to take over where the IVs left off, but nonetheless, the nurse was uncertain.

So she decided to leave the pointy thing in my arm, with just a few inches of tube, and a little cork (so to speak) on the end of it. If my doctor felt that the IV was not needed, then my doctor could remove it. If she decides that more IV medicine is needed, then they could try using that existing tube.

I was unenthusiastic about this plan. For one thing, that IV has been in for 6 days now and the nurse even said it might not be good much longer. Especially if there’s nothing running on it for 24+ hours to keep it open.

So why leave it there?

I wasn’t thrilled with how she corked and taped it either. It stuck out a bit and kept catching on my sleeve. And the actual end that a new tube would go into, she didn’t cover at all – so it could collect lint and stuff from my shirt.

By the end of the day, I had been to work for a few hours then come home, and somewhere along the way I did catch it on something which gave a tug and hurt. Then my arm got really itchy and I decided that I’d had enough.

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