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  • What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

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    Old 03-28-2009, 04:46 PM   #1
    Elizabeth T
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    What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    Hi! I had a total thyroidectomy and neck dissection for papillary cancer 5 weeks ago, and now I am waiting for inpatient RAI at the start of June. I am frustrated by the wait, but where I live there is only one facility in the city (not the USA). I am to go off thyroxine for 4 weeks and take T3 for the first 2 weeks of that. I would like to know what to expect for the whole time and would be grateful of any responses, hints and recommendations as I don't know anybody who has been through this. I am still quite tired from the surgery (5.5 hours) but improving! Thank you.

     
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    Old 03-28-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
    REE43
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    I had a total thyrodectomy in Dec & had RAI at home in January. I was isolated for a week and it was not that bad . I was very tired and very hypo so that was the worst part. I also had some swelling in my glands which I found sucking on lemon drops to be helpful. Good luck to you and if you have questions please ask , people are very helpful on this site.

     
    Old 03-28-2009, 05:29 PM   #3
    Reece
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    Sorry about your diagnosis--I've been there, 4 years ago, thankfully doing great since my RAI after my surgery. In the US, we don't usually get to go inpatient. We have to find a place to seclude ourselves at home. I was a little achey-swollen glands and stuff, but otherwise the RAI was not too eventful---once I got my meds regulated, after the RAI everything was fine. Good luck with your treatment---wishing you cleans scans!

     
    Old 03-30-2009, 03:14 PM   #4
    kwebster
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    Hi, sorry to hear about the cancer. I had pap cancer in 2006 and was admitted to a hospital in Virginia for the 3 day RAI ablation. This is the law in my state due to the dosage. I would prepare for isolation. Basically, take stuff to the hospital with you you don't mind tossing - like a pillow, old jammies, cheap cd player with cheap cd's. I also brought my own food (low iodine), and lemon drops - a must!. I brought tons of magazines, books, etc.

    Basically, the process is the radiologist tech gives you the pill and then gets the heck out of the room. My meals were slid in the room. Nurses checked on me by using the intercom. You are urged to shower and drink water frequently. Don't expect visitors, room service. A tech will come in once a day to measure your radioactive activity. If by the third day, it's at an acceptable level, they'll let you go. But beware, you are still hot. I went to a hotel after and stayed away from the kids - just to be safe.

    I felt tired, and somewhat sick by the third day. It took a week to feel somewhat better. DOn't forget to pack your thyroid meds. Take it as soon as you leave the hospital (so long as the doc approves).

    Hope this helps!
    Kathy

     
    Old 03-30-2009, 05:09 PM   #5
    Elizabeth T
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    Thanks so much for your support and information. I feel a little less isolated. -

     
    Old 03-31-2009, 05:50 AM   #6
    herekittykitty
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kwebster View Post
    If by the third day, it's at an acceptable level, they'll let you go. But beware, you are still hot. I went to a hotel after and stayed away from the kids - just to be safe.
    Just out of curiosity, why is it safe to stay in a hotel and be around those people if it is not safe to be around your family? Wouldn't the hotel people be at some sort of risk?

     
    Old 03-31-2009, 07:37 AM   #7
    midwest1
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    I have the same question. I think it might have been Reece who pointed out that the maids who clean the hotel room and the laundry people who wash your sheets might have babies at home, too. How is it fair to subject them to the radiation you don't want your own family to be exposed to?

     
    Old 03-31-2009, 04:31 PM   #8
    AlexaIn2006
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    I am not in this situation, but I also thought about this too. It is a tough call, what do you do? If you are done with the hospital, but still hot, what choice do you have?
    I am not going to judge anyone at all.

     
    Old 03-31-2009, 04:38 PM   #9
    Reece
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    After three days, you can spend limited time with adults, but you wouldn't want to spend time with a pregnant person, cleaning or handling anything from your room.

     
    Old 04-07-2009, 04:48 PM   #10
    Elizabeth T
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    Re: What is inpatient RAI 131 like?

    Here in New Zealand, RAI has to be administered under the public health system (even if lke me my surgry was done privately). I have heard of some people who have a lower dose going straight home, but I have to remain in a protected room with only video contact with nurses for 3 days. Even in a lift, taxi or hotel others would be exposed to radiation.If the medical opinion is casual about radioactive people, no wonder thyroid cancer is increasing!

     
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