Here in Ireland we are still in full lockdown and will be for quite a few more weeks yet. This means we are not supposed to travel outside of our own county apart from essential travel. A PET scan is, thankfully, considered essential and I set off on Monday, armed with my hospital letter should I get stopped anywhere.
And stopped I was! Three Garda checkpoints later, I can confirm that each of the Garda were efficient but also polite & completely charming (you know I love a uniform).
Of course, it was never going to be without incident. First checkpoint I turned off my music, popped on my mask and got my letter ready. I’m off to CUH, I said. No further details required and wished a safe journey.
Second checkpoint, music turned down, mask on. ‘I love the Go Faster Stripes on your car’, said the Garda. Obviously, I made the obvious joke – ‘Oh, still within the speed limit officer’. Ha-de-ha. Garda, with a twinkle in his eye but a dead straight face ‘you need a heavier shoe’ !!
Third checkpoint. I can see other cars being waived through. Only just plugged in my phone to charge it, so music not doing anything anyway, don’t bother with the mask, figuring the previous two checkpoints must be communicating which cars have a valid reason to be travelling. I fully appreciate this was not taking into account that I’m driving a very noticeable car with a Kerry reg in a stream of Cork reg cars. Garda waves me out of the queue of slowly moving traffic. I’m fiddling with my mask and trying to push the button for the window at the same time. As I pull up next to the Garda, my phone blasts into action and as I go to give my ‘I’m off to CUH’ explanation, David Coverdale (Whitesnake) blasts out Are you ready for some Satin Sheet Action!!!!!! He – the Garda, not the beautiful David – is about 12 years old, prob never heard of Whitesnake. Thankfully, for all concerned, he chose to ignore it and wished me a safe journey. Bet he told his colleague he thought he’d been propositioned by some old bird!
So onto the PET Scan. Again, such huge admiration for the medical staff doing their jobs through Covid. Everything must be so much more difficult. As usual, my veins were particularly awkward and disappeared at the first sign of a needle. After the first radiologist could not get a vein, a second guy was sent in. A man on a mission. He wasn’t taking any nonsense from my attention seeking veins and jabbed that needle into my arm before we were formally introduced.
You then have to lie in a darkened room for 45mins while the radioactive dye runs round your body.
The scan itself was pretty straightforward other than at the end they put me back in for another look at my knee. Obviously this sends your head off in 10,000 different directions. What had they seen? Realistically I had probably moved slightly but who thinks of that??
Because my veins had held everything up, by the time I was coming out it was 4pm and all the other rooms were empty. I’d not eaten since 10pm on Sunday, so the 3 cuddy creams & carton of orange juice were practically inhaled.
I’ll cut straight to the chase. Friday morning’s appointment was changed to a phone appointment due to Covid. I was awake early, half watching Netflix, but basically just waiting for the phone to ring.
Sooooo, ‘largely good news’ was the phrase. Essentially the scan showed no growth anywhere – amazing! They had a small concern about something the scan picked up one one toe. But I have no other symptoms and it could just be an old trauma (I refrained from saying maybe a drunken comedy injury). If I was happy, which I am, they would be happy to leave it until my next appointment in three months and they’ll have a look in person.
Truthfully, I had a little cry when the call was over. I don’t know if it was relief or was it frustration – will I always be on the merry go round of checking what might show up on a scan? But when I pulled myself together, I knew that, yet again, I have been so lucky.
If you’re going through treatment right now. Please know, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
OH said I could go wherever I wanted to celebrate. I chose here. What a day to be alive!