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I need help adjusting to Full Thyroidectomy and preparing my home for R...
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I need help adjusting to Full Thyroidectomy and preparing my home for RAI.

I am new to this forum and not sure if am navigating correctly.  However,  I would like to post a question regarding RAI and preparation for it.  I just had a T/T on 3/19/2010.  I was just informed by my Endocronologist that I will be needing RAI treatment.  I will be having a two night stay in a hospital, but the rest of the recovery will be at home.  My husband and I are pretty freaked out. We do not know how to prepare our home for this.  I have questions about exposure to radiation.  For example will he be able to drive me home from the hospital?  I also need to know how to safe guard our home.  Do I need to cover things in Plastic etc...  My doctor has not really informed me of what to do?  Do I need to wear gloves all the time?  I have a 25 year old daughter & a 6 year old grandaughter that vistits my home quite frequently.  Can someone please give me advise I would really appreciate it.
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Well, first of all the RAI has a half life of about 7 days, but most of the radiation is flushed out of your body by the end of the second day.  You should not, however, sleep in the same bed for 7 to 10 days.  Body fluids are the most radioactive, so flush the toilet twice, rinse out the sink after you brush your teeth, wash your clothing seperately for at least that week.  A lot of the rules about RAI have been revised, I did not spend any time in the hospital.  I took the pill and drove myself home.  After the two days are up, you can sit in the same room with another person, just not too close, say 6 feet.  If you are in the hospital for two days, you will be totally alone, the nurses don't like to enter a room full of radiation, so bring lots of books/magazines to read...sometimes they will require you to leave them there.  Drink lots of water the first day to flush your system, and bring sour candy to suck on to assure that your saliva glands keep flushing.  You can find more information on Thyca.org website, there is a wealth of info there.  I would ask your daughter and granddaughter not to visit for a week, though.  Don't worry, in the grand scheme of things, this kind of radiation is not too bad.  I don't think you will need to wear gloves or cover stuff in plastic, just don't cook food for your husband and lick the spoon, better to stay away from food preparation for the week.  
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1244639_tn?1270987766
Thank you very much for your response.  However, if you would be so kind to answer a few more questions, I would greatly appreciate it.1.) Since the nurses do not like to enter the room would you advise that I take my own bottled water? 2.)Since my husband Tito55 is taking off time from work because of my other health issues should we cover the door knobs and faucet knobs in the rest room for his protection 3.)I currently am extremely Hypo as I have not been given any hormones. My husband insists on driving me home.  Do you think that would be a good idea.  The hospital is only 45 minutes away?
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, in regard to hubby driving you home, how big of a car do you have?  Will you be in the hospital for the first two days?  If you are staying a day or two in the hospital, most of the radiation will flush out of your system in the first day or two. You will have use of a bathroom, but if you prefer bottled water, bring at least a couple liters...you will want to flush the system (you will have to pee every hour or so!)   My neighbor who was a chemist told me the first two days were the highest radiation.  He worked with RAI 131 for years.  He told me that if you drink lots of water, the radiation is pretty much gone after the second day.  If you are going home right away after dosing, I suggest you drive yourself.  Lots of caffeine will help!  If hubby Tito55 is driving home after two days, you can sit within 6 feet of him, so if your car is small you may want to rethink.  If you are being sent home immediately after dosing, I would suggest you drive yourself and keep to yourself in a room with its own bathroom at least for the first day and night, then only use that bathroom yourself for the next day or two.  Do not prepare food, you may contaminate things with saliva or tears.  When I was dosed, they let me take synthroid the day after the RAI, I took it early in the morning the next day and went back to bed...I felt this HUGE adrenaline-like rush about 20 minutes later...it was great!  Remember to take your synthroid on an empty stomach with a full glass of water, then wait at least an hour before you eat anything.  This helps the synthroid fully disolve and get into the bloodstream.  I take mine at around 4 am, when I get up to go to the bathroom, that way I know I don't have anything in my system.  I use one of those pill boxes with the days of the week on them, so I know when I took them, even when I am half asleep!  The important thing is try to use a seperate bathroom, and when you use the bathroom to flush twice, wipe the sink and any splashes, and do not sleep together for a week or 10 days, that should really take care of the radiation issue.  In regard to the knobs, I would just use a towel to wipe any knobs after you touch them, really the important thing is bodily fluids, so if you sweat excessively, you should wipe everything down.  Good luck, you will be fine!  Let me know how it goes =)  Hugs to you and Tito55...I will pray for your speedy recovery!
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