Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cystic Fibrosis Test - The Sweat Test

This morning was Matty's "sweat test" to rule out Cystic Fibrosis. I had no idea what to expect and how in the world they would get the sweat out of him. As it turns out, it is a pretty interesting process (according to me, Matty thought it sucked). It went something like this, they attach something similar to a car battery to his right arm (between his elbow and his wrist). It has negative and positive which are labeled with red and black just like a car battery. They put some gel disks on electrode-type things that were then attached to his arm with velcro straps. The gel disks were some kind of substance that had to be kept refrigerated and would help to distribute the heat and keep the temperature consistent (to further insure he didn't get burned). The battery process lasted for 5 minutes to heat up just that portion of his arm and activate his sweat glands. Then they attached another device to the spot where the red electrode-type thing was and attached that with another velcro strap. This thing looked like a watch but instead of a watch face had a spiral, maze-like area. As soon as they attached this device a little bit of blue began to weave out from the center through the spiral maze. This is apparently a good sign. So they taped the watch like device to his arm with what looked like green ace bandage and then it was out to wait in the waiting room for 30 minutes. Apparently, the trick of it all is if he will sweat enough and if he does, to insure it lands in the collector by not allowing Matty to move the device at all. Thank goodness for a fish tank in the waiting room which kept him interested for almost 15 minutes. Then there was a painting with some sheep (the ba-baing bought us another 2 minutes). A tour around the waiting room, including reading of bulletin boards bought us another 4 minutes. 3 minutes of watching Dora and a sip from our sippy cup got us to 24 minutes when the tech came to let us know we had 6 minutes to go. Another spin around the waiting room and back to the finish tank and we managed to kill 30 minutes with no damage to the bandaid! So, back to the tech's room for removal of the bandage and determination if the test was successful. Phew, the little blue line went far enough to warrant a success!

We won't know the results of the test until we visit the pulmonologist next Tuesday. However, the doctor did make it clear that this was to rule out Cystic Fibrosis. And the tech said, while he didn't know the results, he didn't think Matty had it. He said he had seen enough kids come and go for this test and Matty just looked too healthy in comparison to the kids he saw come back positive. So, I am still on the course of not worrying until I'm given something to worry about! more to follow next Tuesday.

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