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Auf Wiedersehen, PET

This morning I underwent a CT scan. This investigative procedure, which will provide 3D x-rays of my heart, shouldn’t to be mistaken for a TC scan – An altogether different process undertaken on a daily basis by one Officer Dibble.

On arrival at the Nuclear PET CT department my eyes were drawn to the patient reading material in the waiting area; in particular a magazine titled Potato Grower. A publication I’d never encountered before in over fifty years inhabiting this crazy screwed up world.

Always on the look out for a cheap joke, witnessing the mag led me to comment to my wife “No doubt that’ll be a best seller in Ireland.” A stereotypical slur by yours truly which, although not meant in malice, in hindsight was neither funny or clever.

Regrettably, I didn’t get a chance to read the oracle on all things tatties as I was summoned into a pre-procedure prep room shortly after arrival. In fact, I was so swiftly ushered into the other room I’d not even chance to complete my day clinic paperwork prior to being called….. It was probably for the best, though, as I was reticent about signing a pre-filled cheque to ‘Frank the Radiographer’ for £200!!

Potato Grower

A pre-requisite to the PET CT scan is having a canula fitted to allow intravenous delivery of a radioactive saline. This procedure a necessity to formulate x-ray images of suitable clarity for later investigation.

As a consequence of my temporary electromagnetic radiation, for a few hours GJ Strachan has to avoid being in close proximity to pregnant women, young children and anyone called Geoffrey. I’m unsure why the latter is a recommended course of action post-infusion, however rules is rules as they say.

This morning was the first time I’ve experienced the joys of a PET CT scan. Until recently, my lack of knowledge about the procedure leading to a belief it was a task carried out by a vet. Anyhow, as I witnessed the radiographer wash his hands thoroughly prior to the scan, if James Herriot had’ve been in charge I mightn’t have been overly freaked me.

Actually, as James Herriot died around twenty four years ago, that’s not true. In fact, it’s fair to say I’d be deeply alarmed at the notion of late North Yorkshire veterinary’s ghost undertaking my medical procedure….. Washed hands or no washed hands!!

Following all pre-procedure tasks, including an unexpected worming shot, the PET CT scan commenced. This 3D x-ray a harmless enough experience for yours truly, although I wasn’t enamoured with the pre-recorded American male voice barking out orders pertaining to my breathing.

These automated messages delivered firmly in a Noo York accent. As I lay as steady as possible while encased in the PET CT scanner, I pictured this voice to be courtesy of an irascible yellow cab driver. Or maybe that of an American diner owner, more often utilised to yell kitchen wards “Eggs over easy on rye for table twelve, Paulie!”

Anyhow, after 45 minutes the scan concluded and I was released from the scanner’s tunnel, which had become my home for just shy of an hour. Although bearable for short term residence, I won’t be putting in an offer to live there permanently. Call me fussy, but it just wasn’t spacious enough for my liking, not to mention the tiled ceiling views lacked the aesthetics I’d desire in an abode.

On checking there were no side affects from the procedure, the nurse removed my canula, I dressed and, prior to leaving hospital, ate a surprise meal of eggs over easy on rye.


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