On Friday, I was introduced to a new friend.
It was all part of my Gastric Emptying Study. The radiology department laced a pancake with radioactive isotopes and gave it to me to eat. They wanted to watch how well my body made short shift of my new friend. Considering what it was made of, it didn’t taste too bad, but I wouldn’t exactly have said that I wanted to hang around with it all day. But regardless of my feelings on the matter, my new friend decided that we had a special connection. We were destined to be together, and four days later, here we still are.
Like the visitor who settles in for the duration, Radioactive Pancake wanted to stay close. It liked me. It certainly liked my stomach. I managed to get it down my throat (without any maple syrup! just dry old radioactive pancake). Food, when you are fasting, is food. Hungry Rach is not fussy Rach. So I swallowed that pancake down like a good girl. I sent it on its way. But instead of moving on through, waving good bye at my epiglotis and seeing me ’round (sometime later in the bathroom) my new friend settled in for the morning. It lay back there in my stomach, put it’s feet up and asked for a cuppa. Or five.
The idea of the test is that you swallow the pancake and they take pictures of you while you lie in a tube. Actually, you are not even in the pictures, the machine only captures the radioactive isotopes. It measures where the pancake is in a series of shots. If your gastric system is working efficiently, after 2 hours, 90% of the pancake should have passed through your stomach. If it isn’t, you have to stay for longer to get more photos taken. Time lapse digestion. Or, more accurately, time lapse non-digestion.
I can only conclude that my tummy is a lovely spot to hang if you are a pancake. That thing did not want to move. After a few hot drink inducements, and a few more hours, it eventually was persuaded to transit into the small intestines. I finally got to leave the time-lapse-tube and go home. It had taken a whole day.
Dear Radioactive pancake. I know you are still in there. I would like to suggest that perhaps you move to Russia where I believe there are all sorts of radioactive substances, somewhere in the vicinity of Chernobyl, who would happily befriend a pancake like you. It’s been a ride, getting to know you, but I’ve got other stuff to be getting on with now. ‘kay?
See ya later radioactive pancake-inator. Don’t forget the toilet paper.