When you are listening to a song, you don’t think about what’s going on around you. That’s what I like to do when I hear my playlist over the sound of a PET scan machine. It was during my last scan that I was listening to my new playlist called, “scan me.” Although the PET scan is a quiet machine compared to an MRI, it’s nice to be able to listen to my favorite band instead of the loud swishing noise of the machines. I try and listen to music during PET scans and the occasional MRI.
When you go for a PET scan it’s always the same procedure. The day before, you eat the PET scan diet where you can’t eat sugar, carbs, or any good foods. Instead you have to eat lots of protein and then fast the morning of your scan. It’s on these days that I try to incorporate bacon into every meal. Then you get the ever-exciting radioactive injection into the IV in your arm. After that you sit in a room and wait for the stuff to work its magic. Then they come and get you for your scan. Don’t worry they let you go to the bathroom before your scan. That was a major concern of mine during my first scan.
After being ushered into the scan room I proceeded to lie on the table. I was layered with a couple blankets and then was strapped to the table. The sound of the Velcro straps really sealed the deal and made me realize there was no way to escape. I felt like a hot dog or a mummy. It was during my second scan that I was asked if I wanted to listen to music. I eagerly said yes and listened to a radio station. It was a nice change but the only downside is you aren’t sure what song will be next. It wasn’t like I could click a button to change the song. This is yet another one of those scans where you can’t move. That’s why I came up with my playlist of music from my favorite band.
I always make sure that the same technicians from interventional radiology are there during my PET scan. Not only are they good with a needle but they also make me laugh. During my last scan one of my techs showed me pictures to help pass the time. She always makes sure to sync my phone with her speaker so I can listen to my music. They both also make sure to tell me how much time is left in the machine and make sure I am ok. I am probably one of the few patients that make them laugh during the scan with my sarcastic nature.
Over the past year I have had also had several MRI scans of my knee. During my first scan I made the mistake of just using earplugs instead of the very thick soundproof headphones. The earplugs must not have worked because after my scan I found myself shouting to everyone for the rest of the night. When I was walking out of the hospital and talking to my mom I noticed several people staring at us. It probably was because I was shouting, “THE SCAN WENT FINE AND THEY WERE GOOD WITH A NEEDLE.” I knew the next time to ask for the very thick soundproof headphones. I eventually found out that I could listen to the radio through the headphones during another knee scan. All of a sudden during the breaks in the ever-exciting banging noise I heard music. Nothing like rocking out to the radio to help pass the time. I luckily remembered that if I started singing the techs would hear my voice and probably think something was wrong.
I started getting CT scans of my chest to get a better picture of the tumors in my lungs. I don’t usually listen to music because the scan is less than ten minutes. I never knew that the machine talks to you. I was in the machine when all of a sudden I heard it say, “take a deep breath and hold”. Then I went through the machine and thankfully it told me I could breath out at the end. The only nice thing about CT scans is they are really quick. During my last chest CT I commented after the voice. At this point I already knew that I had several sarcomas in my lungs. You know things are bad when the tech comes out to usher you back to the waiting area and pats your shoulder, gives you the look, and says, “good luck with everything.” I just said, “thaaaaaannnnkkkksss” and flashed my pageant smile. At my most recent scan I had the same guy again and he said, “back again.” If I had a choice I wouldn’t be coming back for seconds.
After I have a scan everyone asks us the same damn question, “what were the results?” If you have any type of test or scan they don’t tell you the results right away. The technicians aren’t allowed to tell you anything. It’s not like you walk out the door after your scan and they hand you a piece of paper saying “cancer” or “no cancer”. That would certainly be more dramatic than those reality shows where someone gets voted off each week. Pretty sure America would always vote “no cancer” if it were up to them.
Bob Marley once sang, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” When I am having my various scans throughout the year I like to listen to music because it distracts me from what is going on around me. I don’t think about the fact that I am stuck getting another scan in yet another machine at the hospital. I know when they start my playlist or turn up the radio I can jam out. I just have to make sure I don’t dance in the machines because if you move it’s a huge no no.