The Effect of Gamma-Rays on Man-on-the-Moon Science Fiction Writers

Well, I don’t know the effect yet. I got shot up with Techetium-99m, the gamma-ray-producing metastable nuclear isomer of technetium, Element No. 43. I then got shot with a gamma camera. Two gamma cameras. It was Gammazilla versus Camera. Sorry. The first was a sort of Instamatic gamma camera. The second was a 3D camera, with Technetiumcolor and Super-Gammavision 70.
You lie (or as the tech guy put it, you lay) on a narrow tray-like bed that affords no support for your arms, so you’re constantly straining to keep them from hanging down. You must keep ab-solutely still for a long time while the camera moves around, taking pictures from various angles. Just lying (laying? having lain? Lois Lain?) there was exhausting. I couldn’t relax. They kept telling me to take deep breaths and hold it, then forget to tell me to let it out. You could complain until you’re blue in the face.
We did about an hour of that. Then they let me go to lunch. I could eat or drink anything. Gamma rays don’t mind. I walked past plastic flowers in the hospital lobby and they wilted. Just kidding. Plastic flowers don’t wilt. The real ones on the nurses’ desk did, though.
I was thinking of an old Superman TV episode in which Supe gets super-irradiated stanching a nuclear reactor meltdown (way pre-Chernobyl) and walks around glowing, not with pride.
I came back from lunch and they sent me to the Super Gammavision camera room. A sort of re-volving drum of cameras orbited me as I lay (lied? laid? leered? shall have laided?) there stiffly, fearing to blink an eye.
One operator set me up with arm supports, which the Gammavision chief took away. I was all set to take a nap before he did that. I didn’t complain. After all, the government was paying.
When it was all over, I walked out of the hospital in a sort of a glow. Of metastable nuclear iso-mer (what’s that? look it up, already), that is.
I never metastable I didn’t want to clean up. Call me “Herk.”
It’s been over six hours since I was shot up. With a gamma-producing halflife of six hours, I am no longer shooting high-energy electromagnetic wavicles.
In your senior years you have to keep radioactive. It helps.
But seriously, folks….
  • Chad

    February 17th, 2013


    Hope your tests come back negative (or positive, or whatever means healthy).

    Where I work, whenever someone has a nuclear medicine procedure, they tend to set off the radiation portals in the doors of our buildings, making the health and safety people think there’s been a leak. Hope you have no safety folks to contend with!

    • Administrator

      April 10th, 2013


      The tests came back negative, I’m happy to say.

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