It was only around 5 p.m. last Tuesday night that I remembered that I was required to fast the morning of the PET scan that I had scheduled for noon the next day.
I know plenty of people who’re able to happily live without food for hours after waking up and manage to do so while behaving like normal human beings who wouldn’t destroy the world for a bite of Nutella toast. My husband’s among them. I am not. Indeed, after leaving bed and checking my e-mail, I immediately put some oatmeal in the microwave and get some Greek yogurt from the fridge, devouring the combo as if I hadn’t eaten a snack immediately before bed (I know, I know).
Due to this physiological/personality quirk/flaw, simple dread about the test quickly developed into a more complicated beast pre-PET the following day as hunger and anxiety interacted, coalescing into what can only be described as “hanxiety,” the exceedingly nervous cousin of “hanger,” which my husband experiences on a semi-regular basis. Sorry, Significant Other. I now feel much more empathy for you.
Thankfully, all hanxiety melted away once the procedure began. 100% of the credit goes to the technician, who was really, really nice and really, really, really good at her job. In fact, she was distracting me so well that I didn’t even notice the needle of radioactive stuff slip into my vein. Seriously. I then lay down, comfy with a pillow under my knees, for twenty minutes so that whatever she had just injected into me could properly spread throughout my brain. At least I think that’s how it worked; I clearly didn’t absorb the science of it all since I was too busy paying attention to my rumbling stomach. Controlled hanxiety does not = magically disappeared hunger.
Anyway, the next part was the most exciting. Before starting the scan, the technician made a custom mask of my face so that she could hook me down and I wouldn’t move for the twenty-minute duration. Two things. First, knowing that I couldn’t accidentally mess up the image was a huge comfort; I usually find MRIs etc. super stressful because I’m afraid that I’ll wiggle without meaning to and guilt complex activated. Second, after we were finished, the technician, out of the blue, asked if I wanted to bring the mask home with me.
“We can only use them once,” she said. “It’s custom-moulded to your face, after all.”
Did I want to take it home?? That was like asking if I still secretly harboured my childhood ambition of building a life-size paper mâché giraffe. (Yes, yes, one hundred times yes.) She gave me some handy tips as to best freak people out with it, and I went on my merry way, bolting to the hospital lobby to grab some food and meet a friend who had graciously offered to chill with me after my scan was done.
When I got back to my apartment later that afternoon, I found a wrapped package on my desk. Some background: I had spent a significant amount of energy the previous day jokingly trying to convince my husband that it’s time for us to get a dog/pestering him because I want a dog even though I know it’s not actually a good moment in time for us to adopt one. He bought me this. What a sweetheart (but really).
I’ll get the results of the PET scan in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’ll admire my new “pet” and try to distract myself by actually doing some of the million things on my list rather than staring at it in a daze (I’m probably not giving myself enough credit; I’ve been semi-productive as of late).
I’m also considering doing a little paper mâché-ing, but I should maybe keep that from my husband.