The Saga Continues…

Exactly how much radioactive material must I ingest or be exposed to in order to qualify as a Marvel hero?

I mean really. I am expecting Professor X to show up on my doorstep any day now.

If Magneto is with him, all the better. I promise not to blow them up a la Jean Grey.

You know, if I can help it.

Healthcare can be really weird some times.

Case in point- when you go to the hospital, walk through the door labeled “Danger: Radiation Warning,” plop down on a table, present your arm to be injected with radioactive tracer material, and then settle in for a giant machine to pulse radiowaves at you for an hour and a half to take pictures of said tracer moving through your insides.

No, I’m not an extra in a Marvel flick, I just got a HIDA scan to see if my gallbladder is necrotizing slowly and painfully. (Yeah, I just pulled out some fancy medical jargon. Necrotizing sounds so much nicer than dying. Ew.)

This is not my first foray into getting pumped full of toxic material in the pursuit of optimal health.

Ever hear of a gastric emptying exam? It’s a test for gastroparesis (stomach paralysis) in which you have to eat the most gigantic pile of scrambled eggs ever that have been seasoned with radioactive material. Then a machine takes pictures of the radioactive bolus traveling through your digestive tract.

Mmmm, radiation.


Ok, wait, saying that the scrambled eggs are “seasoned” with radioactive material is an understatement. They are actually soaked in weird “odorless,” “colorless,” “tasteless” radioactive liquid that I am pretty sure was leftover from that scene in the Princess Bride when the guy who says “Inconceivable!” all the time keels over. Now I’m just mixing my metaphors, but perhaps being immune to poison (it literally says “Caution: Toxic” on the label before they pour it all over the food you are about it eat) is my personal X-(wo)Man gift?

By the way, I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat scrambled eggs since. I knew someone who got to have a radioactive donut- she wouldn’t eat eggs, so they spiked her Krispey Kreme. I want to know why I didn’t get that option.


Back to my radioactive exposure.

The HIDA scan was virtually painless; the most excruciating part is waiting for my doctor to get back to me with the results (um, it’s been a week, friend, get it together please). I couldn’t help but wonder where that radioactive tracer’s final destination might be though. It was injected intravenously, so it could really make the rounds before being erased by my immune system. When you have to entertain yourself for 90 minutes of holding still, it can be quite fun to think of all the superpowers you might end up with at the conclusion of the study.

Maybe I’ll end up with super speed as it makes the rounds through my legs…

Maybe I’ll suddenly have a photographic memory because the radiation got lost on the way out and passed through my hippocampus…

Maybe I’ll stop aging and look 26 forever…

Bruce Banner had Gamma radiation.

Peter Parker was bit by a radioactive spider.

Captain America was injected with Super Soldier serum.

The X-Men have varying mutations brought about by weird genetics.

I’m pretty sure that, at the very least, I glow in the dark now, so when do I get my Marvel membership card?



One thought on “The Saga Continues…

  1. Elizabeth B. says:

    I had a HIDA scan a few years ago (pretty sure it’s exactly the same one, it was also for my gal bladder). My tech had a sense of humor and handed me a lead barbell “hold this” … Then pulled the medicine out and injected me with it!!! But mine ended up hurting because my gal bladder seems to function, just slowly… So, they injected me with a drug that was apparently the equivalent of eating a large pizza in 15 seconds. Ouch.

    When you discover your suppert power, please let me know! That way I have a hint as to what I might get 😉

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