Radiation Diatribe

This is one subject that I wanted to write about after researching it more.  But since I don’t think that time will come soon, I will touch on it today.

If you ever want to make me instantly fume just mention “CT Scan”. A few years ago I was having some medical issues that some MD’s thought it would be good idea to give me a CT Scan of the abdomen, then another, and another, and another…I think I have had six total, all with and without the iodine contrast.

At the time, after about the second or third one I asked, “Is this okay to be getting another one?”.  After all I was one of those who didn’t even like to get dental xrays. I was told something like, “Oh, we get some car accident patients in here that have to get many, and they are fine”. Stupid me, I so easily acquiesced. The logic behind that makes me question my logic.

Anyway, so it was “necessary” for me to get a few more, according to the doctor.

Now hold onto your chair. Sometime later I read somewhere (in a newsletter by Julian Whitaker, MD) that one CT Scan is the equivalent of 400 xrays. To say that I was stunned is an understatement.

Shortly afterwards, I happened to ask my primary care physician (he was not the one who ordered all of these) if that was true. Squirming, he said yes. Next question: soooo, if I had CT Scans with and without contrast, does that mean 400 and 400? Yes, was the answer, much to my dismay.

Further research indicated to me that I have received as much radiation as some of the lower exposed Hiroshima victims.

My only comfort in this knowledge is the deep down conviction that God is sovereign and that He is not up in heaven wringing His hands over this fretting.  But I do want to warn others. There are many times when an MRI can be ordered instead that will provide the needed information. They are much safer. Ask for one of those. Also, really question if a CT Scan is really necessary.

Now that my normally low blood pressure has risen to about a gazillion, I will take a deep breath and return to focusing on what I have been focusing on: trusting God, doing what I can to be healthy, and leaving it in His hands.

And avoiding any more radiation exposure.  Am I glowing yet?

Note to word lovers: Diatribe, according to the Oxford American Dictionary, means a violent attack in words, abusive criticism.  I think I have been too gentle.

5 thoughts on “Radiation Diatribe

  1. Wow!! I am shocked!! Did you have to sign informed consent? Do they inform you of the amount of radiation prior? Didn't sound like it. They should–that is horrific. Maybe that's why I haven't been to a doctor in 7+ years. ugh.

  2. Technology is not always our friend. I am also very reluctant to take medicines because there are so many that they have to yank off the market at some point down the road.

    hey, what about those full body scanners at the airport?

  3. I probably did sign a consent but was never told how much radiation I was being exposed to. And I don't know about those airport body scanners. I will have to look into that.

  4. I think you glow – but not from radiation : )!

    In some cases another alternative to a CT scan is an ultrasound. When Taylor was in the hospital this summer with a stomach virus and burst ovarian cyst, the dr. gave me a choice of CT scan or ultrasound. After hearing how much radiation is in a CT scan from you, I told them to do the ultrasound (they seemed surprised). Unfortunately, just a couple weeks ago my daughter's teammate had severe abdominal pain and they did a CT scan to discover that she had a burst ovarian cyst. It makes me wonder what all that radiation did to her eggs.

    Thanks for the info!

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