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Old 09-17-2008, 08:35 AM   #1
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Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

Hello.

I have mentioned in other posts about this. I'm concerned about after I have the RAI. Thinking of where to stay, where to sleep etc. What did you do? I have 2 kids & 2 dogs, husband and Dad I do not want to infect. Having to be so careful with towels, utensils, refridgerator door handle, etc.....I'm afraid to think of getting someone else sick.

Besides staying in a hotel with room service for a week (because no one can afford that!) what else can be done? What are some things any of you who have had RAI have done? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

mmmcoffee

 
Old 09-17-2008, 09:03 AM   #2
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

My aunt thought about a hotel and room service.. but she felt too cruddy. She set herself up in the guest room and bath. She stayed there read books and watched TV. She would go out and walk outside on occasion and see her kid and hubby when food was delivered, but that was that. Your family should be safe washing your dishes. It is the sheets and sweating out of the iodine onto long term contact furniture that is an issue.. exchanging of bodily fluids.. etc. So make sure you toss a cover over any chairs and such to shield your furniture. Wash the cover/blankets after the fact.

I wish I had a better answer. It is a sucky time. I hope that you can find some relief from the tedium.

MG
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Last edited by mkgbrook; 09-17-2008 at 09:04 AM.

 
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

I'm going to prepare meals in advance and package them so that all I have to do is grab one and eat. I will spend most of my time in my bedroom. I plan to put plastic under my sheets and wash my bedding and towel daily. The Dog will go to the GF's house and my daughter will just keep her distance. I'll probably get a case of bottled water to keep in the room. And I will keep a trash bag in the room with me. I'll eat using paper plates and plastic forks that can just be thrown into the trash. Has anyone thought about using rubber gloves? I'd still like to be able to use my laptop but don't want to contaminate it!

 
Old 09-17-2008, 09:35 AM   #4
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

Sounds like you're well prepared Fishfork! I had RAI about 5 weeks ago and you are following all the guidelines I was advised of, although I have found on these boards some guidelines vary regionally. That being said, I reiterate MG's and other's comments. The radiation mainly leaves the body by way of urine & sweat.

Your idea to wear gloves while using your laptop is a good one! You can pick up a box of those one time use gloves that are thin (I think it would be difficult to type with rubber gloves! lol!). They actually had me use those while isolating in the hospital to change out the movies in the DVD player!

Since I isolated in the hospital the first 48 hours, they of course had prepared the room for me. It was an ***odd*** experience, to be in complete isolation for two days.........no visitors........door to my room closed at all times with a big "radioactive" warning sign on my door! The hospital would not allow me to bring anything in with me - no cell phone - no laptop. Everything (and I mean everything) was covered in plastic. Looking back - it was sort of surreal!

MMMcoffee - is there a bedroom/bathroom that you can isolate in in your home? Using disposable plates, utensils, etc is a great idea. Also disposing of your own trash. And, of course, the whole flush-twice-thing after using the potty

 
Old 09-17-2008, 10:16 AM   #5
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

We need to summarize a Best way to deal with RAI containment listing. Those are some good ideas. I am interested in seeing more!

MG
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:29 AM   #6
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

Using disposable stuff is okay, but in some cities, they test garbage for radiation (some places in NYC), so you actually would be better of washing a dish and a fork (or rinsing off plastic ware before putting it in the garbage---which is what I did).

I didn't use the computer on the first couple of days (I just couldn't do much other than stare at the tv), but you can wash down the mouse and keyboard and desk area with windex after you sit there, and that would work just as good. If you use the gloves for too long, your hand will get sweaty, and you won't feel comfortable.

The key is to wash things down after use.

You wouldn't want to stay in a hotel. What if the "room service" lady is pregnant? Then you put her baby at risk.

I stayed at my parents home, away from my kids, had a bedroom and a bathroom to myself, always washed it down, with my windex, and came down on occasion, more and more as I became less radioactive.

I met with a radiation safety officer who helped me figure everything out. Hospitals in NY have a special truck to pick up their radioactive waste. The half life of your garbage is a couple of months. They told me if I vomit, to put all the paper towels and such in a plastic bag, and keep it in my garage for three months and then throw it out!!!

I even rinsed the tops of my water bottles down before I threw them in the garbage.

It's the one time I was a neat freak, always cleaning everything I touched, so I wouldn't put anyone else at risk.

 
Old 09-17-2008, 12:22 PM   #7
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

No, there's no extra bedroom here. Our bedroom is upstairs with a half bath. I guess I could stay up there for a week. Kids rooms, kitchen, living rm are all downstairs. I thought of the camper, but was worried about the tanks/septic. Another question....we are on well water and have our own septic tank. Is that a concern? What about the liquids from the septic that go into the leach field? Is it still ok to use our own toilet? I still think the idea of a hotel room for a week sounds good. How will I feel? Will I be up to driving or will I just want to stay in bed?

There's a motel about 15 minutes from us that has pretty nice, not too expensive rooms. It's near shopping, groceries, dunkin donuts, McD's etc...so food and things would be accessible. But not if I don't want to leave the room! It's close enough that hubby can bring the kids for short visits, and it's about 5 min from a hospital if I have any issues. Not the hospital in which I'm having the treatment though, a different one. Maybe I'm just making too big of a deal of it, I'm not sure. I could find a hotel near the hospital in which I'll get the treatments, but that's 2hrs from where I live. I'd never get to see the kids or anything!

I'll consider all options and ideas that everyone has. Do you still need to be on the low iodine diet afterwards? I plan on making and freezing stuff also.

Thanks for your input--

mmmcoffee

 
Old 09-17-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

You won't need to be isolated for a week. Depending on your dose it should be 2-3 days max.

 
Old 09-18-2008, 10:59 AM   #9
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

Hi,
I know you are concerned, I was, as well. You want to do what is best for your family. Here, in Michigan, we do not stay in the hospital, we are sent home. Now, I was prepared for that, I had garbage bags that I threw away all my disposable plates and silverware in, I flushed 2x as directed, I wiped down the sink after I brushed my teeth,{remember to throw away your toothbrush, when you are done} and wiped out the shower, all with Clorox disinfecting wipes.They did not tell me to, but I personally chose to throw away my towels and washcloths {I bought cheapy ones before hand, for this reason}. I put my clothes in a garbage bag and kept them in there for a week, and then washed them seperate from the rest of my families clothes, and then I ran the washer through on empty after that. I stayed in my own bedroom/bathroom for 3 days and then just kept my distance from my family for the next week, I has the kids sit away from me, and hubby, too. Our nuclear med. dept. said to just keep a reasonable distance, and that people could be in the same room, just not snuggeling right up to you. They also said we could eat dinner at the same table, just sit on the far end, info like that. But I've said it before and I'll say it again, it AMAZES me the difference in protocols!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing is STANDARD or SET, which, to me is very frustrating. My husband drove me home, I sat in the back seat away from him, short drive, like 15 min. and then I went right to my room. Everyone visited me outside the door, in our foyer, I talked to the kids, etc. every day. It was easier, because all 3 went off to school, no little ones, that would be much harder. I read, talked on the phone {they rec. I put cellophane over receiver}, watched tv and visited with my sister {who sat in the foyer in a chair} then I came out 3 days later, and just was prudent about keeping my distance for a week. It was easy being at home, with a little advanced preparation. I actually was glad to be at home. it worked out well. Good luck to you in what you decide, It will be great when it is all over!!
Lori

 
Old 09-18-2008, 08:03 PM   #10
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

Hey MMMcoffee - I know it's alot to think about, but bear in mind that you are going to need to isolate - from everyone - so the motel idea and food, etc being nearby...........you are going to need to be in isolation, and more than likely will need to remain on the low iodine diet a day or two after the RAI (again - I'm with Lori - frustrating that there's not standardized protocals).

I considered the hotel idea, but was concerned about possibly contaminating others and didn't feel good about that. Sounds like you might be able to make it work at your home?

 
Old 09-19-2008, 05:10 AM   #11
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

TC--I love Belle's "I love my Humans" shirt best. But those darn hats & shoes won't stay on ! :-)

My husband thought the camper idea would work. We have a septic hookup outside, so I can leave the tanks open and just have them go directly to the septic. It will be cold (maybe even snow) here by Nov. But there's a furnace in the camper. Could I just cover the bed with plastic and sleep in my sleeping bag? May need to if it's really cold. I could spend days wiping things down if I'm in there alone, bored. It will drive the dogs CRAZY to know I'm out there though. Would taking them for a 20 minute walk (if I'm up to it) be okay? Wearing rubber gloves (and maybe warm gloves) to come inside to get the dogs?

I guess I can't drive myself crazy about this until next month when I have my first appt with the Dr though. I printed out the low iodine cookbook from the thyroid cancer website. Now I just have to write down stuff I need to make meals, breads, etc.

I'm sure the dept of nuclear med at the hospital would have suggestions also. I found a website from some journal of nuclear med...can't remember exact name....that had some info also.

Just going to be a busy next month. Preparations and all that. Thank you all for your responses. And I agree, we should get tons of suggestions and ideas on what everyone did at the fun isolation time. I hope everyone gives their input. The more the merrier! The info I've gotten from these boards has been great! You all really know your stuff and for that, I'm glad. No one in my family knows much about this, so I have to find out all I can. Thank you again. And the best to all of you. I will keep you posted. Please do the same too.

Thanks---mmmcoffee

P.S... TC----'bark, bark' (it's more like yip, yip) from Belle to Bella :-)

Last edited by moderator2; 09-19-2008 at 02:18 PM. Reason: posted disallowed website(s)

 
Old 09-19-2008, 06:08 AM   #12
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Re: Isolation after RAI.....what did you all do?

I started my isolation yesterday and had a lengthy conversation with the nuclear med Dr. My take is that we are being overly paranoid. He said to be mainly concerned with urine, saliva and sweat. I asked him about using plastic under my sheets and washing them daily. He said that's not necessary unless you really sweat a lot or are incontinent. Washing dishes in the dishwasher is fine. Walking around the house but maintaining distance from people is fine. For what it's worth the half life is 8 days. So after 8 days it's 50% strength, after 16 days 25%, then 12.5%, 6.25%, 3.125%,...

One thing he did tell me was that when I go back for my scan, to be sure that my bowel is clean otherwise it will show as a hot spot and they will make me come back. He said to use a laxative if necessary.

Tomorrow morning I get to take Cytomel and Levoxyl and start returning to normal. I almost feel like a junkie waiting for my fix

 
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