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      Did anyone have any thoughts about my RAI hugs message?

        Post count: 93172

        Well, my own thoughts were that you should probably ask a nuclear med doctor, or your endo, to be absolutely sure. The guy who gave me MY instructions before RAI seemed to think that there really wasn’t a whole lot of risk to my friends and family, and suggested minimal precautions. Being in the same room, giving a casual hug and lots of moral support, did not concern him, based on what he told me. I don’t, however, know that he is the “last word” in the issue. Some docs may be more cautious. You would not want to jeapardize your own recovery, though, so I would recommend you check things out with a pro, first.

        Good luck,

          Post count: 93172

          If in doubt, don’t do it! By all means, call the Department of Nuclear Medicine in a hospital who, I am sure, the staff will be happy to give you an idea. My thyroid has already been nuked and I would rather not hug any ‘radioactive’ person until it is safe to do so.

            Post count: 93172

            I think you should stay away, even if you’ve had RAI. When you had RAI, all the radiation went to your thyroid because the radiation was linked to the iodine, which your thyroid sucked up. But if you go near someone who has had RAI, her radiation won’t target other peoples’ thyroids — she’ll just be emitting it to anything within a certain distance of her thyroid. It doesn’t matter that your thyroid is gone — all your other body parts will be exposed to her radiation. Call your doctor to be sure, though.

              Post count: 93172

              I was completely alone when I had to have my RAI. Even though
              I would have loved a hug from someone my gut tells me that it is
              not safe, even if you’ve already had RAI. We will never really
              know how much of the thyroid “dies” when we decide to take the
              atomic cocktail, so in my opinion, don’t chance messing up that
              “delicate balance.” There is nothing scientific about my opinion,
              just a gut reaction.

              You don’t have to be physical to show love. I would have loved it
              if someone had just been there for me. It would have been wonderful
              to wake up and know that someone was in the apartment to help me
              if I needed it. If you are there for your friend for that time,
              then the love and support will be felt. Of course, later, just
              hug her twice as much, you can make up for lost time. :-)
              I hope this helps….regards….Carolyn

                Post count: 93172

                Here are some examples of what my friends/family did for me (I’m very blessed)
                1. Bring fresh flowers and set them by the door.
                2. Bring a basket of home made goodies.
                3. Bring a few rented movies over.
                4. Bring a cheeseburger from favorite fast food place.
                5. Call-call-call on the phone and have long visits over the phone.
                6. Bring bubble bath and good book over beforehand or set by door.
                My time went so fast. I stayed home and cleaned my house and all my closets and drawers. I talked a lot on the phone. I wasn’t bored or too lonely because I knew everyone was thinking of me.
                Hope this helps.

                  Post count: 93172

                  Thank you all for the good advice. I haven’t had a chance
                  to call the doctor’s office yet to hear what they think.
                  But, you’ve given me a lot of good ideas for ways to support
                  my friend without jeopardizing my own delicately balanced
                  health. I appreciate your candor.


                    Post count: 93172

                    I posted this before but for anyone new here it is again:)

                    Having Graves’ disease, we all go through a roller coaster of
                    emotional reactions and feelings. I think it is very important
                    to share with you some of the ways YOU, family members, and friends
                    can help. You may feel helpless, but there are a few things YOU can do:

                    BE THERE FOR THEM
                    You do not have to have all the medical or theological answers
                    about their situation. A simple hug, a reassuring touch and a listening
                    ear can be a most efficient therapy.

                    BE CALM
                    Remember, you are there for them. They may be looking for you
                    to be a source of strength and emotional security. Try to have
                    a soothing and calming effect on them.

                    BE PRESENT AT CRISIS TIMES
                    Be there for them at the beginning of major treatment processes (RAI or
                    surgery) or after devastating test results. Just your presence can be
                    a welcome source of encouragement.

                    Laughter can be among the best medicines when used appropriately.
                    Graves’ patients need a good joke or funny story once in a while!

                    There are many support groups and agencies that provide beneficial
                    services to Graves’ patients. Organizations such as the National
                    Graves’ Disease Foundation and Thyroid Foundation of America offer
                    excellent resources for the patient, family, and friends.

                    Let them cry when they need to. Try not to be judgmental when
                    they express anger or are depressed. Again, learn to listen!

                    DON’T FORGET THE SIMPLE THINGS
                    Simply asking, “What can I do for you to help you out?” may inspire
                    some relief!

                    It’s has been said that “A friend in need is a friend indeed!”

                    (Show this handout and advice to family, friends and significant

                      Post count: 93172

                      Lauren, what a great post. I have printed it for reference on how to help friends in bad situations, not only illness but riding out some of the bumps life puts in our way. Thanks for some good ideas. After my RAI the hardest thing for me was to banish the cats from my lap and bed. I spent literally hours on the phone but didn’t have face to face contact with people per doctors instructions. But boy if someone had delivered flowers or better yet a Big Mac it would have made my day.

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