Gallium Scan Part Two

images I believe mentioning I went for a radioactive injection to enable my doctor to see just how much alleged inflammation this besieged body really has.  After you’re loaded up with this ominous dye, you wait 48 hours before the scan.

What will they think of next?

Mount Sinai is a pretty nice hospital located on upper Fifth Avenue.  I’ve become an expert having been to so many.  The people in general are much nicer which helps as you’re cursing, careening to your next test.

A sweet, older black man who volunteers, walked me to neurology.  His name was Sam.

“Ya look war-rid Miss.  Don’t be.  Wes got the best here at Mount Sinai.”

I shook his hand to thank him.

A young Latino girl at the desk welcomed me like an old friend, having already been there two days prior filling out my life story on a clipboard.  I notice how everyone smiles on this floor.

Then a strawberry blonde with outstanding posture comes to get me along with my claustrophobia that’s just been awakened by the sight of the scanning machine resembling a coffin with no lid.  Hmm, one stop shopping if something goes wrong.  Yes, gallows humor tagged along too, I mean what the hell.  Why leave him home when he’s such a riot.

After stripping me of all metal…belt, watch, spirit…she tied me up in the machine. Yes, I kid you not.  It’s so important you don’t move, she made a sling for my arms and taped my Nikes together.  I looked like a big package FedEx any minute was picking up.

The top of the machine hovers close to your head for five agonizing minutes.  “Think of something nice,” Enid the technician suggests.  A double vodka came to mind even though it was barely 9 in the morning.

Then it travels down, the little fucker, to scan every little nook and cranny.  After 36 minutes, like a roast, I’m presumably done providing the doctor viewing the film doesn’t feel more is required.  I wait, arms tied, sneaks taped, thirst not yet quenched.

Yes, they want more.  I figure, like a mammogram, this is no big deal.  They snap two more shots then you’re outta there.  Not this test…I’m now tubing it for another 40 minutes.  My panic light goes on asking to speak to the doctor.

A stout Indian woman no more than 35 enters the room.  “Is anything wrong?” I ask, trying not to unhinge.  “Did you see something to make you want a second scan?”

This is when the wheels fell off the coffin.

“Your doctor thinks there is something seriously wrong with your brain…you appear to have a very rare condition…I want to give her as much information as possible.”

When we regained consciousness, my brain and I, neither of us could contain our anger.  “How dare you say that to me…blurt out a prognosis you have no right to give.  You’re not my doctor…you read film dammit…how irresponsible of you.”

Have you ever seen an Indian pale before?  Stunned by my outburst, she apologized, but the harm was already done.  BEDSIDE MANNER GANDHI.  I don’t care how outrageously politically incorrect that is.  Think before you open your mouth is the tag line to the Hippocratic oath you over educated Smurf in a lab coat.

Too much?

Then, like the Calvary, the sweet girl who gave me the original injection came into the room.  We had hit it off after I asked if I’d light up on the way home.  Humor can be bonding, especially with a needle in your arm.

She said, nine out of ten times, they give the second scan while the patient is in the machine, that way if their physician needs to see more, they already have it.  It’s not necessarily because something suspect showed on the film.

I would have hugged her if my arms weren’t still slinged.

When it was over, I ran out… couldn’t wait to be in the air.  Sam, the volunteer, was perched at his post.  “Evra thin go o-right?”

Yes, thanks, I lied.”

“Do ya know, yous got tape on your shoe?”

I didn’t, but it seemed the least of my problems.

I needed to find a bar.        images


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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24 Responses to Gallium Scan Part Two

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I’m praying they finally find a non-serious, fairly easy to correct problem.
    And the fact that you trailed tape on your way out, like someone exiting the restroom, is funny. The first time I had an EEG (early 1970s), I went in with full makeup and perfectly styled hair. I came out with glue spots sticking my hair together like an uncombed Persian. So much for shopping afterwards.


  2. I had a brain MRI two months ago (they found nothing!) and I was terrified. I found an open air MRI place, took a Valium and it went ok. I used to get routine MRIs after my breast cancer. I hate tubes. I’m not sure I’ll be comfortable in a coffin when the time comes. I’d like to be laid out in the forest where the buzzards can do their thing rather than get fried or buried. I sure hope that whatever is the source of your inflammable is easily fixable.


    • I can’t be closed in either, it’s hell in a box. So far with the exception of inflammation showing up on the MRI, nothing else is awry. She’s scratching her 28 year-old head dying to figure this out. I’m rather bored at this point. I’m also on the fence about burial…being so claustrophobic, I can’t image being 6 feet under, and the idea of cremation makes me nervous, because what if it hurts. I’m just not convinced the body becomes a tin can when you stop breathing. I need more facts.


  3. Patricia says:

    I have no fear if those machines…or what doctors might find. When I was young some docs wanted to remove my leg at the hip simply because they didn’t know what else to do. I said no they said you will die. 46 years later I am still walking around on 2 legs. I have some chronic health challenges that make some days/weeks awful but I still don’t always follow doctor orders. Life is good…very good in spite of the challenges. With your spirit and zest for life it will be the same for you. Life ain’t easy but there is joy in it.


    • Thank you for sharing this. I too don’t always listen. This young whippersnapper of a doctor of mine can use a lesson in tact with a…please don’t unnecessarily scare me, chaser.

      I hate having health issues but, we do the best we can. Again, thanks Patricia…your candor feels like salve.


  4. Sending only good thoughts your way, Susannah. But asking you to try not thinking about it is an impossible request, I know. So I’ll only ask that you ignore the Indian woman, much the same way she ignored your emotional well-being with her callous comments, as such comments were not worthy of real serious consideration anyway. Now perk up thin girl, and go do something that will put you in a great frame mind this weekend, and I mean something you really enjoy doing. :O)


  5. You might also want to ignore that I was sounding like an Indian, by not using the word (of), when I was commenting on your frame of mind. 😀


  6. During all the insanity you were still able to see the kindness of these strangers. Most people do not see that on a good day!
    About 2 years ago I went for blood work that for whatever reason had me over the edge. The tall chocolate bald man who drew the blood was an angel in disguise. He held my hand and talked to me as I slowly climbed back into making sense. It’s so weird how at the times we are the most vulnerable, someone crosses our path for reassurance. Of course when I left he could have been saying “that bitch be cray” but I’ll stick with my version.
    The second scan alone would have had me on the phone planning the memorial, the words that followed would have had me in a cell!
    Sending hugs and positive vibes your way ❤


  7. micklively says:

    See: I told you it would be a breeze, didn’t I? 😉


  8. Never give up your sense of humor, Susannah. That sucker’s not metal so they can’t take it off you for the scan. It’s think it’s rubber (like a rubber chicken) since it can absorb a lot.

    So glad for the nice people you met, even if they all weren’t.


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