The Nuclear Lunch

Tiny - Posted on 22 January 2017

Bruce Allison and Kathryn Galves

Since my heart attack I have been having trouble breathing. I was used to walking unlimited 3-4 miles a day. Now I can’t walk a half a block without stopping. My heart attack was 2 years ago.Today I had a Nuclear Stress Test. Let me explain what a Nuclear Stress Test is: Nuclear Stress Test. They put you on a treadmill while they monitor your heart. They do other stuff too. If you are like I am, a 300 pound fat man over 65 years of age. Don’t give me diets, tell me to exercise--90% of my weight is water. I am taking enough water pills. I was always fat ever since I was 25 years of age. It did not affect my lifestyle. My blood pressure averages 160/40. I used to hike 10 miles for the relaxation of it until I had Heart Failure and Pancreatitis in 2014.


Just recently I was having trouble walking a half of block without experiencing shortness of breath and back pains. My old way of walking anything less than a mile was a block. When I found out that I couldn’t anymore, I went to my doctor. I had every test under the sun. They even went to the big moon in back of my belly. They found the usual old fart disease for men, a soft ball instead of a Prostrate. So I am taking capsules, tablets, Albuterol and Lidocaine Jelly for Scoliosis or Superman’s disease due to the S on my back.


What got me worried was that they told me what the test was about, but that didn’t worry me until they told me what the minor side effects of this test would be, “You may set off every alarm system at the airport.” I have no desire to see what the inside of Guantanamo is. If I wanted to visit Cuba I would visit legally or illegally. The next stupid thing they said was, “It may cause death!” To me they said a minor side effect is death. Then what is a major side effect, becoming a Zombie? I like my sweetbreads in a restaurant cooked not raw from a live animal or person.


So I start asking my peers. Two people at CARA aka California Alliance of Retired Persons have taken that test. One women named Daisy she is in her 80s said she had no side effects from it. A gentleman named Michael in his 70s also did not have any side effects. I felt comfortable so I went ahead with the test.


My original instructions were: No food or coffee for 24 hours. The day before I actually get the test, the doctor called and said, “Do you have any questions?” I asked, “What is the location of your clinic?” He gave me the location. He asked me do you have any other questions? I said, “Yes, Could you change the dialog on the briefing video?”


I woke up the next day. I couldn’t have any coffee. The morning drug of choice. I had no breakfast either. Got in the cab and went to the Mission Bay Clinic of UCSF. Went to the Receptionist, checked in, looked out the window and watched workers put in the cement for a new sidewalk. Then they called my name. Took out 3 copies of the list of my medicine (brought 12). I was given a locker to put my valuables in and my jacket. Put the jacket in a locker and sat in a cubyhole where this doctor walks in with black corduroys and white shirt and not tie and he wasn’t a 12 year old Doggie Houser. He had grey hair. A doctor that I feel safe with. His bedside manner made me feel comfortable in the place. It may be the size of a crackerbox, but I felt comfortable in there.


The doctor starts by saying, “You will be injected with nuclear material in your body. They will take you across the hall and put you on an MRI Machine for 15 minutes. They will take you off the MRI Machine and put you on a machine where you would be injected by me with a drug to increase my heartrate.” The doctor explains the sideeffects of that drug: Says, “You may turn red and your pulse rate may increase by 50%. You will be returned to the MRI Machine after 12 minutes and then be sent home.”



Then the nurse came in carrying a plastic lunch box. She opens up the lunch box. Inside it was the isotope and a needle with a stint on in with an IV tube. She used a syringe to bring the isotope out of the liquid and into the IV. After she was finished, I said, “Will my body turn green or will I have long fingernails?”


I was then escorted to the waiting room. Looking at a 9 month old AAA Magazine about Marin County. I then got called in to the MRI Machine where I had to sit on a 2 x 4 with my arm over my head tied to a rope. It reminded me of a Middle Ages torture chamber.  Brought into a V shaped doohickey where they take pictures and you cannot move for 15 minutes and then I was placed into a tube for 2 minutes. I was taken out and told to wait in the waiting room where they got everything ready for me for my next level. They came and got me. I was told to wait in the Waiting Room. While reading a 6 month old Sunset Magazine I then got called in.


They asked me about my weight and height. The doctor injected me with a substance to raise my heart rate to about 25%. I didn’t feel any injection, my heart rate did not go up very much. Then when then when the doctor left, they monitored my heart for 30 minutes. I was then told to go back to the waiting room where I could crack jokes with my lovely wife. A La Rasa elder was getting the same test that I was getting. When she was finished, I got my final MRI CATSCAN. It took 12 minutes with my hands tied over my head. I then got up and went home. Doctors and Staff were very professional. It made my time there go by very fast.


This test I recommend to anyone that the doctor recommends take it. The only thing I am disappointed in was that my skin didn’t turn green or orange. My fingernails didn’t grow. Nobody in a wheelchair asked me to join their private school. If they ask me for comments, I’d say get newer magazines in the lobby.


Bad News Bruce signing out.


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