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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mayo Clinic - Day Two. Gastric Emptying Test

Today was the long dreaded, gastric emptying test. We arrived at Mayo at 7:15am to check in the registration desk in the Mayo Building. We were supposed to meet with a financial adviser but the person who checked me sent both my husband and myself up to the second floor, back to radiology.

After we got back up to Mayo 2 South, I checked in at the front desk for my 8:00am appointment. They told me to have a seat and that someone would be with me shortly. I sat down with my husband and put my head on his shoulder. I promptly fell asleep. Then, a tech comes out and calls four names, mine being one of the four. He told us to follow him to nuclear medicine. As we went down the long hallway, I passed sub-waiting room B that I had to wait in yesterday. I made it to the end of the hall and took a left until I got to nuclear medicine. He ushered all four of us in and sat us each separately down in different "rooms." I say rooms but they were covered by curtains. One of the techs came up to me and presented me with the radioactive eggs over toast.

They gave us whole milk to wash it all down with. I called one of the techs over because halfway through the eggs, I became full. I asked how much of the meal we had to eat in order for the test to work. She said for me to ignore the toast and eat the eggs, that they were the most important part. So, I tried to eat as much as I could, and I did finish the eggs but left a third of the toast unfinished. I washed it down with the milk because the food kept getting caught in my throat, much like the barium tablet did yesterday.

After I ate the meal, I stood in front of the gastric scanner and took my first picture. The tech had me stand there for two minutes while the picture was being recorded. He handed me a piece of paper that said I had to repeat the scanning at 9:10am, 10:10am, and 12:10pm. The piece of paper had me circle whether or not I had a bowel movement in between scannings. Of course, I didn't have any bowel movements.

I went back to the front desk and checked in for the 9:10am scan. The receptionist sent me back to nuclear medicine and I made my way back there. I stood in front of the scanner and the food was still sitting in my stomach an hour after I had eaten the eggs. I stood there for two minutes while the tech captured another picture.

I waited until 10:00am and checked in with the front desk. On the way back to nuclear medicine, I vomited in the bathroom. I only threw up some of the eggs and toast. Then, I began to get nervous. I remember the doctor telling me in the hospital that if I threw up, the would have to start the test all over again. I made it back to nuclear medicine and told the tech what happened. He positioned me in front of the gastric scanner and started my two minute picture capture. He analyzed the results in the computer in the other room and talked to a colleague. He said that I had only thrown up 10% of the meal and that we still had enough to finish the test. He said that he was going to inform the doctor about the vomiting.

On a side note, they wouldn't let me take any kind of nausea medicine or pain medicine for this test because the doctor didn't want my medicine to skew the results of the test.

The next image was going to be at 12:10pm. I found a chair and got out my kindle and headphones. I managed to curl up in that tiny chair, in a ball, and get some sleep. Which is good, because the gastric spasms started about 20 minutes after I ate the radioactive meal and it was either try and sleep or cry because of the pain. I slept until my next picture was due.

At 12:00pm, I checked in with the front desk and went back to nuclear medicine. I had my final gastric scan done and I could still see all of the food in my stomach. It didn't move hardly at all. I gave them the sheet that said I didn't have a bowel movement between the different image captures.

Now, I'm exhausted. I think I may try and nap for a bit. My stomach is swollen and the spasms are still happening. I'll be happy when the rest of this toast finally comes up so that I don't have to deal with the pain anymore.

Tomorrow, I have an EKG and a scope. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Will Moss said...

I'm late, so I'll wish you luck on what you're doing today.