Sunday, March 18, 2007

Countdown to Radioactiveville

So it's been two weeks now that I'm off my Synthroid and on the low iodine diet, and I have to say, it hasn't been that bad. I've been feeling tired and lightheaded, yes, but am only today starting to feel a bit creaky in my joints and achy, so I feel like I'm ahead of the game. I've still been able to walk the dogs at least once or twice a day and do dishes and laundry. Today I even visited the hairstylist for a root-and-highlights. (Doug drove and picked me up though. Due to the lightheadedness I'm not comfortable driving more than a few blocks.)

Thank goodness for heat-and-serve meals my BIL prepared, though. I don't think I could have done nearly as well on this very restrictive diet without going into Deprivation Mode had I not had a nice meal to look forward to each night (and leftovers for lunch the next day). With my history of compulsive dieting and bingeing, I know that feeling deprived tends to set me off and trigger overeating. Especially with my metabolism at about minus three right now, I'm glad that hasn't been an issue.

Tuesday I go into the hospital and around 5pm they'll bring me the radioactive iodine pill in a little lead box. Once I take the pill, I'm pretty much in isolation until Thursday morning, when I get a full body scan to insure that the radiation is leaving my system at the desired rate. Then I get to go home, but have to limit my contact with other living things for a few days. But at least I get to start taking my Synthroid again when I get home, halle-freakin-luja. We met with the doc and the "radiation safety technician" on Thursday to go over the process and precautions, and what you read on the web about this process is far more cautious and alarmist than what we were told, which is a relief. My boss and co-department head were both delighted to hear that I'll be able to have my Blackberry in the room with me, as long as I keep it in a sealed plastic baggie. Wednesday through Friday this week I worked from home, and it was nonstop from 7am until 6pm each day. The dogs are loving having me home, as I let them hang out in the front room with me while I work on the computer. When I get back from the hospital, I'll be able to pet and visit with them, just not sleep in the same bed for three nights. (Same rules as for my human family members.)

I asked the radiation safety tech if she knew where I could get my hands on an old-fashioned Geiger counter that clicks with increasing intensity the greater the radiation present. She seemed amused and said "most people don't want to know." I explained that I was a bit of a science geek, and that I thought it might be fun to call up my sister and some other people I know and say, "hey, listen to this...that's me!" She smiled a half smile and said, "we might have one still laying around somewhere, I'll see what I can do."


Blogger Maya's Granny said...

This is so interesting. I had a radioactive iodine uptake on my thyroid in the mid 70s and it wasn't like this at all. I went in, drank some chalky yunk, waited a while, and had the x-ray. It was long ago, so I don't remember how long I waited or if I came back the next day, but I know I drank something, there was no pill in a lead box, and no one warned me that I was radioactive, so I'm thinking it wasn't at the same level as what you are having. Mine turned up a cyst on my thyroid, but a couple of years later I had a cyst on my ovary and they gave me birth control pills for it and both cysts went away.
The body does odd things, doesn't it?

11:39 AM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

It sounds like yours was more a diagnostic dose; with me it's intended to kill off any remaining thyroid cells, so I'm imagining the dose is probably higher. Also according to my doctor, they've gotten more stringent about exposure, and that they didn't used to require isolation but now they do just to be on the safe side.

One odd side effect that I'm noticing today is that my face got a bit puffy overnight. Glad this will be done soon!

1:49 PM  
Anonymous citizen spot said...

Well, I hope you don't turn into a giant Gila monster and attack LA, or gain any crazy ass super powers (unless the super power was the ability to make Tony Snow actually tell the truth!).

And you are a geek, what with the gieger counter infatuation!! :)

Anyways, happy irradiation. You probably get worse from the dang blackberry. ;)

4:22 PM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

If I do get any superpowers, I'll lt you know, but the docs assure us it's highly unlikely. :-) I'd imagine I've already had much worse what with all the dental work and x-rays I've had in the last few months!

4:52 PM  

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