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Testing insights - bone scan
Essjay
1731 Posts

The bone scan - not everyone has one, but in my opinion any doctor requesting one for a patient should have to go through it themselves to know what we face…

I‘ve had two this year and I’m sharing some insights into what makes them easier for me…

The bone scan is a two part procedure. The first part is easy - a radioactive injection. Then you go away for 3 hours drink plenty, eat as normal etc…then you return for the scan.

For the scan you lay on a bed with your head on a pillow and they try to make you comfortable with a pillow under the knees and a warm blanket if your own internal combustion engine isn’t enough. Sounds ok, but then they tape your feet together so you can’t move, and they wedge you in place with boards beside your arms,..

I can hear the claustrophobic among you starting to breathe harder…

Then the machine moves over you from head to toe…it starts about 2 inches above your nose and moves down your body taking 15-20 minutes. Further scans include rotating the machine around parts of your body that showed a signal in the first scan which could be your ribs and spine, lower spine and pelvis, legs…

The process is completed with a whole body CT scan to provide clearer images to correlate with any of the high signal areas in the bone scan.

Takes between 30 minutes to an hour…

Okay, I can really hear the heavy breathing now…just thinking about it has my heart racing fast. I’m claustrophobic…

if you are too and you have to have this test, some tips for you…

  • tell the technicians you are claustrophobic - it’s not new to them.
  • If they offer to reduce the restraints go for it - not having your feet taped together reduced the anxiety. You just have to promise not to move
  • Ask for something to cover your eyes so you can’t see the machine over your head. Closing your eyes isn’t enough - you will open them or you will see the shadows of the machine. You don’t need to see it…
  • Ask them to keep the machine at the maximum distance over your head - my technician today rolled up a pillowcase and put it on my chest so the machine thought I was a little bigger
  • Count or use anything that keeps your brain busy so you don’t think about where that machine is. I counted my breaths today…

These tips made the test achievable for me today, and i rewarded myself with some blueberry pie when I got home.

Hope they help you too!

Anyone else got some hints and tips for getting through tests?

1 Replies

Thank you for sharing these tips that helped you @Essjay . I too have had a few of them over the years and they don't seem to get easier.

Great tips!

Lianne

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