gatorgirly
    Post count: 326

    First of all, I think it is quite common for your doctor’s office not to give you any information on the isolation precautions – many people on here have had that experience. Most patients don’t get recommendations from their doctors (because they aren’t the ones administering the RAI) but from the nuclear medicine department, and usually from the tech as opposed to the radiologist. Because I’m an obsessive planner, I called the nuclear medicine department as soon as my RAI was scheduled so that I could ask the tech all about the precautions. She repeated them, in greater detail, when I arrived to the hospital the day I took the RAI.

    I had RAI on a Friday afternoon, and was told it was fine to go back into work Monday morning. You should be fine for your carpool – remember, radiation precautions are because radiation accumulates over a lifetime. If one of your co-worker has had a dozen X-rays, the radiation your body will be emitting by Friday will not make a difference whatsoever. For the others, it will be so minimal that it isn’t going to give them any additional risk of cancer or leukemia.

    Kimberly has posted about there not being any diet restrictions once we are no longer hyper.

    I live alone, and did not wear gloves or anything like that, and all I did was a good cleaning of my apartment on Monday evening, but moreso because I’m a clean freak than because of the radiation. A hazmat suit is absolutely not necessary otherwise you would not be allowed to leave the hospital and would be placed in an isolation room. Remember, the dose you are receiving is incredibly small compared to what thyroid cancer patients get (50-200 mCi). What you are describing sounds really excessive to me, and may only make your anxieties about RAI worse. You don’t need sheets, plastic bags, etc. You also don’t need more than one shower a day. I was told to flush twice, and that drinking a lot of water would help flush out the excess radiation, so I made sure to stay hydrated. No special foods other than the hard candies for sore throat.

    My dog came home Monday after work. He is in tip top shape 18 months later. Cats are prone to hypERthyroidism, so I would ask your vet whether or not he needs extra time away from you. Again, this is all a lifetime exposure risk we are trying to minimize.

    I really don’t want you to panic and make this a huge ordeal for yourself, but if you would help you rest easier by covering your home in plastic, go for it. However, if it provided any benefit, I really think everyone who chose RAI would have been told to do so by the nuclear medicine department, but we were not.

    I completely understand why you’re anxious about this without your uptake results. My understanding is that the uptake results come into play as to how much I-131 you need. My radiologist and endocrinologist worked for separate health care systems so my records were not transferred, and the radiologist refused to give me the pill until he got copies of my entire medical record and felt comfortable with the dose my endo had recommended. So I’m sure your radiologist will have copies of your uptake results, and if not, will request them on Tuesday.

    You’re going to be fine. RAI is safe for you and others you will come into contact with after those first 72 hours, otherwise millions of people would not have undergone this treatment method. I had serious anxieties about it, too, but mine were about the permanent death of my thyroid rather than the radiation exposure.

    I wasn’t going to mention this, but I think I should. My boyfriend (at the time), refused to leave me alone that weekend. He knew the risks, saw all the paperwork I was given, and listened to me beg for days ahead of time and then for hours when he showed up after I came home from taking the pill. In the end, I gave up fighting because I realized I wasn’t going to win and was so appreciative of him putting himself at risk to make sure I was OK that weekend. I wouldn’t recommend anyone be that good of a boyfriend, but he remains healthy and well to this day. I’m glad he chose to spend the weekend with me because it was an emotional few days for me.