Nuclear Medicine Adventures

Wahoo!!  I am radioactive!!

Okay, perhaps that statement requires some explanation.

I was diagnosed with Graves Disease in 2008.  It is a hyperthyroid condition that overworks the thyroid and pumps too much thyroid hormone into the system.  Thyroid hormone helps keep the metabolism running, so too much makes the metabolism a bit crazy.  My resting heart rate would be 120-140.  It is supposed to be 60.  Details.  Based on my information at that time, I fully expected to be on meds for a few months and then live in remission for the rest of my life.  Well, turns out I have been fighting the roller coaster of pre-clinical hyperthyroidism for three and a half years.  No fun.

So now I am pursuing the more traditional treatment for Graves.  Radioactive iodine(I-131) is ingested and then absorbed by the thyroid, permanently injuring the gland and lowering its hormone output.  Today’s adventure in the nuclear medicine clinic was exciting.

It is an exclusive club.

The radiation safety officers (ha, what a job!!) brought me a whole bunch of paperwork to sign.

It had all sorts of rules about who to be around and how much.  I can only hug people for a maximum of thirty minutes per day each.  Ummm, what?  Ha!  These rules are hilarious.  One of the things that absolutely must be done when receiving radiation treatment is a pregnancy test.  Pregnant women have no business around high doses of radiation.

As evidenced by this lovely sign.  Well, this became quite the issue for us.  It took almost two hours for the lab to come back with the fully expected negative pregnancy test result.  Ugh.  So we waited.

 

Sitting under this sign for two hours is weird.  We sat there so long that I took a picture of it.  Thankfully I had the best company for this weird day.  My sweetheart got off to come to the hospital with me because he knew I was nervous.

Best husband.

Finally when all the tests were done, I got to go back and get my pill.  Wanna see the space age container it came in?

I asked if he was gonna send me to the moon next.  Looks like a space capsule!

So now begins the adventure of what happens when you treat your thyroid with radioactive iodine.  Lord willing, things will settle down and I will be medicine free for a couple of years.  I am so thankful for my husband’s job and the great medical benefits.  This condition needs treatment and I am so blessed to have access to good care.

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