I’m hot

No, I mean, really hot. Like 15,000 CPM hot, according to my geiger counter.

I went in this morning for a cardiac stress test. Never had one before. I had heard stories about how bad (how hard) it was. to take the test, but I didn’t find it that bad.

So first hard part was “no caffeine for 24 hours”!!!! Luckily, all the people I encountered this morning were either pleasant or just stayed away from me, so no deaths or anything like that.

Then I get to the testing center and I am injected with Technetium-99 and we wait while it is distributed in my bloodstream.They handled this in lead cases and lead sheilded syringes and told me it was pretty “hot”…I asked a”how hot” and they said that for up to 2 days I could set off radiation detectors if I were close enough.(actually not, as with a 6 hour half life, it is all gone in about 60 hours (10 half lifes), or 2.5 days)

I then laid down and had some sort of computer controlled 3 dimensional photography while I am laying quietly. Then I am hooked up to a 6 lead electrocardiogram device and put on a treadmill.

Now I had heard horror stories about the treadmill test: that it was horrific torture and that the testing technicians pushed people into near death in order to stress the heart. I did not find it so.

I have a resting heart rate of 67. I went up to nearly 4 times that over a 10 minute period, holding it there for the last 3. While I was out of breath, It wasn’t that bad. I work harder that that most weekends. The machine said I was doing 13 times my resting metabolic rate. My blood pressure never went above 160/110.

While I did start to sweat and breathe hard, I never was feeling like I was working THAT hard, although my pulse rate did get to over 180 + (peaking at 224) for the last three minutes or so.

Anyway, they let me go for a few hours before returning for more photographs.

I couldn’t resist the urge to go home and get out my CDV 700 (you have a Geiger counter, don’t you?) and see how “hot” I was.

I pulled it out of storage and put batteries in it, turned it on and found that I was half scale on the high range. 15,000 CPM or 25 mR/hr. (I actually fired up both of them, one calibrated recently, one not, and found that they both read nearly identically.)  Pretty hot. Hot enough to find mid scale on my CDV 715 on the lowest scale (0.1). Pretty active, really. Hot enough to trigger the (minimal) warning chirp on my NukAlert.  And I will be for awhile with a half life of 6 hours.

I can’t wait to see if I glow in the dark.

ETA: If I figured it correctly, I had about 2350 Banana Equivalent Doses

8 thoughts on “I’m hot

  1. Did the office give you some sort of paperwork stating that you had been treated with a radiative substance in case you set off a LEO's detector? I've read where some do carry detectors and some have been set off by people like you having just had tests run as they drive by the LEO's car.

  2. No, they offered, but I don't plan on flying or anything in the next two days, so I declined.

  3. Two years ago, I had that same test (nuclear stress test). The technician got mad because he couldn't get my heart rate over 140 after 11 minutes on the treadmill. The Doc asked if I was feeling any chest pain. I wasn't, so he told me to get off his treadmill. They didn't find any plaque in my arteries either. The radioactive dye is used to "see" the coronary arteries before and after strenuous exercise. If it formed a closed loop on the film, no blockage.
    As you know, last year I suffered heart failure because of a viral infection. Go figure.

  4. If you worked in a nuclear power plant you'd be required to report having had the test. IIRC a worker at Quad Cities Power Station forgot to inform them and follow proper procedures. Used the urinal and tripped a radiation alarm. He'd also have tripped the portal detectors when leaving the plant.

  5. Glad it all went well. Had a buddy do that test and he was in for a triple-bypass the next day.

    Good you're being pro-active.

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