With as much peace as I had about the thyroidectomy, I was a bit unsettled about the RAI treatment. This was, after all, a radioactive pill I had to swallow and then I was going to be isolated for a week. Yikes.
I took a walk the morning of my RAI treatment which was at 1 pm. On my walk, I prayed and asked for peace. I truly believe God gave it to me on that walk. He had been with me through the whole thing and He wasn't going anywhere now. Okay, let's do this.
My wonderful husband drove me to the hospital for the treatment. We checked in and got all the paperwork done...pretty easy since I had been there so much. Just a couple of signatures and we were off to the waiting room with a pamphlet that describes what I am having done and what I need to do afterwards.
The pamphlet I was given that day were so helpful. I want to share it with you because during my search for answers on the web, I came up with so many differing answers. I hope this help you. These guidelines are from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and can be found at http://www.snmmi.org/AboutSNMMI/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=5609. I don't know about you but I like knowing what I am getting and what I am facing. I found these to be the most helpful between what was given to me at my doctor's office to what I read online.
After only a few minutes, someone came to the waiting room to get us and take us to the nuclear medicine department of the hospital.
We walked into a fairly large room with a couple of seats against one wall and a scan machine on the other wall. It took up most of the room. The man who brought us in asked if we had a particular doctor we want to see. I asked for someone nice and my husband added fun.
Within just a couple of minutes of waiting, a young female doctor and a rather tall nuclear medicine technician joined us in the room. I had my journal with me and turned it to the page of questions I wanted answers to. She proceeded to answer them for me. She was not only nice but also we had some fun. Thanks, God.
I don't know what I was expecting of the nuclear technician but I thought he would have more protective gear on. He simply wore a lab coat and rubber gloves. He stared by handing me a very heavy lead cup (that baby must have weighed about 3 lbs, maybe more). That cup had a paper cup inside it. He said he likes to give it to patients before he puts the pill in it so we know how heavy it is. Well, that is a good idea because no one wanted that pill to drop to the floor.
He left with the cups and returned in just a couple of seconds with the same lead cup and paper cup. My husband and the doctor both moved away from me. And this time, the lead cup with the paper cup had a nondescript gray pill in it. I was told to not touch the pill to just take it by mouth from the paper cup with the water that had been provided.
I took the pill and then was escorted out of the hospital. There was no secret hallway, no keeping me from the people in the hallway, nothing but a walk out of the building the same way we came in. It was kind of weird. I expected something more cloak and dagger, I guess.
My husband I walked to the car. I made sure I was at least 3-4 feet away from him and then I got in the back seat of the car on the passenger side while he drove us home. It was a short 1-12 minute drive home.
When we got home, he let me out at the front of the house and I went to the living room and he came in the back to the den.
I didn't experience too many side affects this first day of taking the pill. However, I was very thirsty and didn't sleep well at all. It was like I had been given a stimulant. I felt very hyped up that first night. Praise God, I made it through the first day.
Read on for more about my RAI treatment.