Monday, June 1, 2009

Jumping through hoops

Well, Monday was a very interesting day, in that stop-your-heart, sweat-bullets, soil-yourself kinda way! It didn't start out that way, though. Monday was the day that my local doctor had graciously agreed to let me pester his radiographer by shadowing her for as long as I liked! Cool, huh? It truly is amazing what you can get people to agree to when you are lying on a table with your caboose exposed and waiting for a shot of painkiller!

So, I dressed like the grown-up I pretend to be and went off to "work." Dotty was nice and friendly and didn't seem the least bit put out that she was going to have me following her around scrutinizing her as she worked. When I arrived, she had just hooked up an IV to a lady having a CT scan of the blood-flow patterns in her head. The glass enclosed workspace we were in had 4 computer monitors, and a bunch of other important looking stuff. She found me a chair, which effectively blocked her way in and out of her "office" so she had to step over me endlessly.

Photo by

In a matter of minutes, the computer had dispensed a contrast material through the IV and had taken a 360 degree digital recording of the contrast flowing through the patient's veins and arteries. From this recording, about 600 separate images of cross-sections of her head would be transmitted to the radiologists at the local hospital for review. But first, Dotty had to run the recording backwards and forwards to isolate the images that showed the best view of a particular artery. Because of this patient's individual anatomy, this "post-production" process took hours!

Towards the end, Dotty worked on the most amazing full color, 3-D images! These were better than any photos I have seen in books, or even on medical TV shows! She could turn the images in any direction and spent over an hour using a Photoshop-type feature to erase unwanted parts of the image. She started by simply erasing the top of the head, making it possible to see right inside. I, of course, wisely contributed that I had identified the source of the woman's symptoms! The top of her head was missing!! God, I'm going to sooo good at this!!

Image by Kinda like this, only way cooler!

An hour later, Dotty had erased every bit of bone and cartilage in this poor woman's head and was left with nothing but the parts necessary for the doctors to evaluate. She transmitted this whole load of images and within minutes, the typed doctor's report came back. It took longer for Dotty to prepare the images, than it did for the doctor to review and diagnose!!

Okay, that was the fun part of the day. The doctor invited me back for another day to hang out with his X-ray techs. Boy, I bet they are looking forward to that, huh??

So, as I am walking to my car upon leaving the clinic, I checked my voicemail. On it was a message for the guy in charge of the radiography program I am trying to get into, say that upon review, my application wasn't complete because it was missing a transcript from the Canadian university I had done Study-Abroad with. What?!?! ARG!!!

I called him back and was told that even though the grades had been on my main college transcript, they still needed at least an unofficial one from the university itself. Oh, and I had until midnight to get it to them or I was out of the running for the year. Double doo-doo!

Cartoon by

Have you ever tried getting a transcript from any college of university in a timely manner? Can't be done! But I logged onto the website and found that all of their transcripts can be printed from the web... as long as you remember you school ID number. Huh? Let's see, I attended that school in 1980. Do I have/remember the number? Not in a million lifetimes using Einstein's brain!!

Ten or so international calls to the school finally netted me someone who would provide the needed number, if only I could fax or email them a copy of my Driver's License. Now, I may be able to post on a blog, but scanning, attaching and emailing were pretty far out of my comfort zone.

Miracle of miracles, I managed to provide them with an illegible copy of the the photo ID and a very nice supervisor (taking huge pity on my plight) actually read me the number over the (expensive) phone. A quick print job, Studly driving me like a maniac to the office to turn this in, and it's done!

The man who had left the original message could not believe that I had gotten the required document in a matter of hours! He said that if I needed this information from the his community college, I couldn't have gotten it that fast. I asked for a few extra points for my incredible feat, but was declined. However, I will get an interview with the hospital board and am still in the race for a slot.

Never let it be said that I won't move mountains to get what I need!


Anonymous said...

Lisa - I just love it when everything does finally come together! I hope you continue to have good luck and I'm sure you'll get extra points for doing the impossible! - Daisy in Arizona

barefoot gardener said...

Woo-Hoo, WonderWoman!

You had darn well better get into that program after all this work...

fullfreezer said...

Way to go. You do get to wear the Wonder Woman bustier today! and maybe even the tiara!