Today was testing day. I had to start fasting at 8pm last night. With my hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s) I’m pretty use to doing fasting blood draws. However, I had a lot of blood drawn this morning—15 vials! That’s a record for me. I think the most I’ve had drawn was 7. I felt like a blood bank.
From there, I went straight to Nuclear Medicine for my gastric emptying scintigraphy. This test determines how fast (or in my case, how slow) it takes for food to digest and move on to the small intestines. I’ve not had this test done before, but I’ve learned it’s the gold standard for testing for gastroparesis. It’s also a test that many hospitals don’t have the technology to do. It’s not invasive, but I can’t say I actually enjoyed the experience.
At 9am, I was given breakfast laced with radioactive isotopes. It was 2 eggs, gluten-free toast and a half pint of milk. (funny sidebar- I grew up in Mount Joy, PA, a few miles from Three Mile Island and my family evacuated during the 1979 accident. I’ve joked about being radioactive from time to time). I don’t normally eat breakfast, simply because I don’t feel hungry and I get sick every time I eat. I had to eat this breakfast in 10 minutes. The amount I had to eat in 10 minutes, was more than what I typically eat during the course of the day. So, I knew I wasn’t going to be feeling great for much of the day.
After I ate breakfast, I got scanned. I had to get scanned every hour for 3 hours. Then, it was time for lunch. Ugh! I really didn’t want to eat any more. But, I had to as part of the test. Again, the lunch was laced with radioactive isotopes. Lunch was 2 slices of gluten free bread, 5 ounces of deli-sliced turkey breast, Jello, and 12 ounces of water. I was getting nauseas just looking at what I had to eat. Fortunately, I had about 30 minutes to eat it all. It took all I had to finish it and I absolutely did not feel well—mainly stomach pain. I got scanned again 2 more times. In total, this study lasted 7 hours. Oh, I couldn’t eat or drink ANYTHING but what was given. I was eager to get back to my hotel room and lay down.
That was my day. I’ve been in bed for the past 5 hours and I’m feeling better. I’m excited to go to my appointments tomorrow and see what my doctors say.