There were lots of scans over the three days of pre-assessment testing so I thought I'd try to explain them all.
Dexa Scan (Bone Density)
I usually have one of these every two years at RMH as I have osteopenia.
It normally just involves laying on the bed while they take a quick scan of the hip and the neck to check for changes in the bone density.
This one was slightly different as they needed to do a full body scan. Unfortunately for me, that meant that I had to get undressed and put on a lovely pair of blue scrubs pants and a white gown.
The result showed that the bone density in my lower body is worse than the bone density in my upper body. Strange...... but, I've been given some ideas for exercises that will target the appropriate muscles to help with this, and I already take lots of tablets for it anyway!
OPG (Dental X-Ray)
I've never had one of these before, and it was quite strange!
You have to stand upright, and sort of walk into the scanner and bite down on a probe that sticks out in the middle. They adjust your head and lock it into place with a clamp, and then the scanner turns around your head to take x-rays of your jaw and teeth.
CXR (PA & Lat) - (Chest X-Ray)
This one was a little more familiar. Over the past 25 years, I've had at least 50 chest x-rays. I have a huge pile of them in my walk-in-robe.
Normal procedure - take everything off from the waist up and put on a lovely hospital gown. Stand against the plate - Breathe in and hold your breath - take a front x-ray. Turn and put your side up against the plate with your hands on your head, breathe in - hold your breath, take the side x-ray.
VQ Scan (Checks air and blood circulation in the lungs)
The best way to explain this one is that it's sort of similar to a CT scan.
You lie down on the bed, and you have to breathe in some radioactive gas, and be injected with a radioactive dye. The scanner moves and sort of hovers over your chest on each side.
CT Thorax (High Resolution and full 10/10 slices)
The CT is another where you have to take everything off from the waist up and dress up in a lovely white gown.
For a high-res CT, they inject a radioactive dye. The dye gives you a funny metallic taste in your mouth, and you get this really strange sensation of warmness that moves through your body. You feel like you're wetting yourself (but you're not).
The bed moves into the scanner, and a lovely robotic voice tells you to breathe and hold your breath while the scan take place.
Echocardiogram & ECG
This one is always the most embarrassing of the lot.
The ECG is quick and easy - they just attach the electrodes all over your chest and print out a report.
But, the echo is not nice. It's an ultrasound of the heart and it's uncomfortable and embarrassing (for a female) and takes a long time. There's lot's of pushing of the scanner against the chest and at the side. The area of my chest where my heart is, is always quite sore anyway as it feels like my heart is protruding out of my chest from working so hard everyday.
I have mild pulmonary hypertension and a slightly enlarged heart, so I'm hoping that the result doesn't show that these are getting any worse.
Phew! It's a wonder I wasn't glowing green after all that!