As part of my attempt to determine the extent of dysfunctionality of my gallbladder, I underwent testing at the nuclear medicine department of Flower Hospital today. The test performed was called a HIDA scan, and the procedure involved the injection of the radioactive nuclear isomer Technetium-99m into my bloodstream, which causes the liver, gallblader, and duodenum to glow for a gamma camera.
Interestingly, while considered safe for humans, Technetium-99m has the potential for setting off anti-terrorist radiation detectors that Homeland Security has placed in airports and other strategic locations. The accompanying photograph depicts the radiation card I received and was told to carry for the next three days (the half-life of Technetium-99m) on the off chance that my status as an irradiated human being might trigger a false security breach somewhere.
One of my students today also suggested that - should such an act of false radiation alert occur - that simultaneously shouting Allahu Akbar would not be found humorous by Homeland Security types.