On July 15th I was scheduled to swallow the silver bullet. Up until the day before I was still weight training, suntanning, trying to jog (out of breath quickly), working shift work as a police dispatcher, actively out doing something all of the time. The morning of the RAI, I did a complete chest and shoulders workout, drank my shake and was ready to take this thing on.
Prepping for the RAI had a few challenges. When I got the appointment, I wAs telephone conference d in with the Nuc Med Dr. for my instruction details.
No close adult contact 5 days, 4 nights, Not to be around kids or pregnant women for 10 days, Use plastic or disposable utensils, have own garbage, own bathroom usage, flush toilet 3x after every use, wash out shower after every shower, shower 3x day for the first few days, drink as much water as possible. Dr said that 6 ft needs to be kept from any adult until after night 4 and that is no more than 10 minutes. The Radio active stuff that doesn’t get held in the thyroid gets excreted from the body via sweat, urine and saliva. Gross me out! Low salt diet for the week before and absolutely no sushi!! booo!! Have Lemon drop candies and gravol on hand. The lemon candies help with the salivary glands.
We turned one of the bedroom’s into the Isolation room. It is right next to the bathroom, and the kids were just going to have to stay at their dad’s (1st husband) house for the 10 days. Looked pretty easy. we covered the room and furniture in plastic, remote for tv in plastic, used a special sheet that we could throw away and had a jumbo pack of rubber medical gloves so I could leave the room and not worry about touching anything.. I was ready!!
We showed up at the hospital at the Nuclear department and was escorted into the big busy room. There was a chair at the end with a plexi glass piece that I had to sit behind.. Very sketchy. First the male nurse (who was hilarious) went through some of the do’s and donts which the Dr had already gone over but he had to go through them again. Then another Nuc Med Dr came in (different from the one who was the prescribing doc) and went over another bunch of Do’s and donts.. I now have sweat starting under my collar. In my boob cleavage it was soaked, this is getting serious!!! The Dr told me that the dose that I would be receiving is exceptionally high. Its a lose dose of RAI that they use as a thyroid cancer treatment 4-5x higher than what they use for someone getting RAI for Hyperthyroid or Graves disease.. The nurse told us that as soon as I take the bullet, we were to leave hospital immediately, don’t stop, don’t talk to anyone, just leave. My Hubs sat across the room looking as pale as I felt, he wanted to know if I couldn’t be around anyone because of the radiation, what about him being stuck in the car with me for an hour.. awwwww.. . They put the Yellow metal container on the mini table and with gloves on and long prongs, the nurse pulled out the smaller bottle, told me to toss pill to the back of my throat and wash down with water. Sitting behind my plexi glass shield, I swallowed the pill without even looking at it and drank the water. I was officially radioactive!!!! Nurse opened the door and the Dr and nurse stepped aside and we rushed out of the hospital as fast as we could. When we got to the Denali, Hubs opened up back door and walked all the way to the other side of the lane we were in. I sat in the very back and he had all the windows open on the highway, in case he got some of my rays. When we got home, he got out and opened my doors then stood in the middle for the lawn while I went in the house, right up to my isolation room.
I was now isolated, in my small room, with everything I would need. My stomach did ache quite a bit throughout the night. Even drinking water hurt it, so I wasn’t drinking as much as I should have. That only lasted for a few hours then I was perfectly fine. My hubs sat outside my door at night on the floor to talk to me through the door. The first morning I opened my eyes to a dead fly, laying beside me on my pillow.. wings torn off and everything.. It was so creepy and funny at the same time. I had no problem heckling Hubs from my window while he cooled off in the pool during the day.. Imagine, swimming while I was trying to make my pee glow. We live in the country, so it was nerve wracking having to flush the toilet so many times after every use. The 2nd night, someone had rang our door bell at 4 am. Hubs didn’t hear it but I did, so went to our shared bedroom window to look out and see.. He got up and we were looking outside, see a young male walking back up our driveway. He must have been lost. the 2 of us stood there talking briefly until we realized we were right beside each other. He squealed at me that I was touching him and jumped on the bed. Now that is love right there!!!
Hubs made my food for me and left it at the table. He would stand at the other end of the room to keep me company. I read a lot, watched some Netflix. I missed the kids so much but they face timed me every day. I did end up sucking on the lemon drops often throughout the day. It relieved the ache from my jaw better than Tylenol did. George had gotten so swollen in my neck that at one point I couldn’t bend my head down (pictures will follow) Once I was able to sleep with Hubs again, we still did a pillow barrier just in case. I did all my own laundry, washed anything I touched myself and was extra vigilant so no one else was getting the xrays that I was producing.
I found out later that because my left lobe had such a high uptake, and my dose was higher than normal, the radiation that was in my neck would have been pretty intense, so all the extra precautions were worth it in the long run.. I am still waiting for my super powers of being radio active.. I haven’t given up hope yet!
Now that this part was over, it should be smooth sailing…. but instead the wind blew slightly too much..