Today I went in for a HIDA scan.
Basically, radioactive isotopes were injected into my vein and made their way into my liver, gallbladder, and duodenum where they reacted with the bile to send out a signal detected by a machine similar to a x-ray scanner.
I had to lay for 40 minutes under this machine as images were taken every minute to gauge how my gallbladder was looking and to rule out blockage of the bile ducts.
After the initial scan, a tube of chemicals was slowly injected into my IV. These chemicals induced cramping of the gallbladder similar to what any person will experience after a meal. Only worse. The technicians warned me of discomfort and checked on me often, offering cold towels and sympathy. And it was uncomfortable; think stomach cramps when something you ate was off a little. But I've been through so much worse that I figured it just hadn't ramped up enough and kept waiting for the real discomfort to begin so I could yell for that cold towel to put on the back of my neck.
After another 40 minutes of laying very still and watching a little screen featuring my gallbladder bright as a Christmas tree and bile levels in my duodenum fluctuate it was all over.
Sitting up from the exam table I expressed to the tech that my only worry was that they wouldn't find anything and I would be pronounced "normal" once again.
He just smiled and told me to wait two days for results.
As it turns out, I've only had to wait less than half a day.
My gallbladder is not emptying correctly. If I did not treat this ailment, I would be looking at years of discomfort and eventual gallstones.
I've got an appointment with a surgeon to talk about flinging my malfunctioning gallbladder right out the window. That will show my organs who's boss!