On Being Zapped

I keep being very still and trying to work out if I feel any different, but I am jumping the gun I will start at the beginning.

Yesterday I toddled off to get zapped, I have been referring to it as being zapped in an attempt to lighten what was going to happen. However I didn’t take into account that others had been talking in the same language when passing on what was happening to me.  That might not seem a bad thing at first but when someone who had heard about it second-hand asked me about how dangerous it really was if I was in danger of blowing people up, I realised that it hadn’t really had the desired effect.

The non-zapping took place at Gartnavel Hospital, one of Glasgow’s hospitals that was built-in the 1970’s and is now tired and a slightly depressing building.  I often visit people in its wards and in the last year have regularly visited the eye department in it.  It is the perfect example of a hospital built for another era when medicine was delivered differently and there were not so many pieces of equipment in evidence.  I have been in its basement and up and down its back stairways, indeed you might even remember when I blogged about blood being taken from me in a sluice room, I have seen tiny pockets of new fixtures and smart cubicles, but on the whole I have seen a hospital struggling to drag itself into the 21st century.  At this point I should say that I am not commenting, on the staff or care merely the building, although working in such tired surroundings must have an impact on them.

Yesterday however I discovered one corner which in walking through the doors was like walking through the back of that wardrobe and into Narnia.  Nuclear Medicine has a scary title and maybe that is why they make the surrounds so, well, lush and clean.  No scuffed walls, chipped paint, cracked lino, packets piled up on floors and every available space.  Also no noise, no smell, no subdued sense of anxiety, just a peaceful, quiet, clean, relaxed space hidden behind a pretty ordinary. if somewhat newer than most in the hospital, set of swing doors.

I wont bore you with all the preamble but I will tell of the non-zapping itself.

Place a small clinic room like everything else in this department sleek and new.

In attendance: Nurse Jill and myself – just through the door there was also a shadowy figure who placed something in what looked like a safe at one point, but as if to retain the mystery of it all he, or she, manage to keep out of sight.

Procedure:  Nurse Jill proceeded to said safe and removed a small metal cylinder about and inch and a half in diameter and 4 inches tall, complete with a glass tube and a plastic tray.  The cylinder was half blue and half white with a wide long piece of tape holding these upper and lower halves firmly together.  Nurse Jill removed this tape and then unscrewed the two halves.  In the center of the bottom half in a small cup was a small capsule certainly no bigger than an antihistamine tablet.  She then screwed the glass tube over the cup and I had to then zap myself by taking the tube and tipping the capsule into my mouth before downing a glass of water.  No humming machines, no laser beams, no flashing lights and warning sirens like when I was receiving radio therapy last January.

A member of one of the congregations is currently undergoing treatment for bladder cancer.  This involves having live TB injected into them.  How do people discover that these things that are so dangerous to life can indeed help in making it better?  At least he doesn’t have to be virtually isolated just bleach the toilet continuously.

So that was yesterday, as I started by saying I keep finding myself today being still and trying to see if I feel any different, I don’t.  So it maybe goes to show that, that member of the congregation was right after all and while I wouldn’t actually blow up I could unwittingly be a walking time bomb to some of the most vulnerable in society, if I was unaware that I now have a radiation glow like that of ReadyBrek.

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