Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

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Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by kami3 on Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:00 AM

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I will get my first dose of RAI on 12/10.  I have 3 small children 6,3 and 8 months.  We are trying to hard to make a plan of where I should go or where they should go during the treatment. We are really struggling. I don't want to come back to my house. I feel like I will forever have the RAI here and that I will be putting my family in danger. My parents live over 2 hours away so I can't get there to stay with them.  I want to be in the hospital for this. Do they even do that anymore?  My doctor is telling me to stay home and send the kids somewhere else.  I don't want to bring this into  my home. What can I do?

RE: Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by Tavish on Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:00 AM

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I went in the hospital in August for 1 night for 100 mcc of RAI. I wanted to be at home but my hospital was not yet allowing OP RAI. Ironically, had I done it in September, I'd have been at home, no kids and enough bed/bathrooms for us to be separated. It all depends on the hospital, your own life circumstances and your doc and the dose.

As I understand it though, you are not bringing it into the house. When you are safe for the kids, anything you touch or any other item that got exposed will also be safe. So if they tell you that you can be near your kids after 4 days (for example), the things you touched would also be safe after 4 days. It has the same half life whether it is on you or the furniture. You may want to talk to the nuclear guy in the hospital. I got more info from my nuclear med guy than from my doc.

Lori

 

RE: Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by kami3 on Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:00 AM

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Thanks Lori!  I understand what they are telling me about the half life, I'm just thinking why not take the extra precautions.  I think it is more mental than anything.  Staying in the hospital has never even been mentioned to me.  I have a call into my doc.  I'm going to do everything I can to get them to let me stay at least 1-2 nights.  Wish me luck!

RE: Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by clarke on Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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I justhad RAI on Nov 8th with a dose of 100 mci.  I have no small children, youngest is 15.  I stayed in my bedroom and had my own bathroom on Sat and Sun.  Monday I did come out of my cave and sat downstairs most of the day, just told everyone to not sit next to me.  

The nuclear doc will give you specific precautions based on your dosage.  The only precaution he mentioned that needed extreme care would be holding infants and being near pregnant women.  He told me a week to 9 days.  I work with 5 year olds -  Had RAI on Saturday, told me I would be ok to go back to work on Thursday ( I took off through today - the following Monday).  As far as sitting on furniture and carrying radiation throughout the house - he told me the only way that I would contaminate the chair was if I peed on it.   I still through an old beach towel under me on the couch if I laid down incase I drooled or sweat.

Is there a friend or other local family member that could take your kids for several days?  Unfortunately, yours aren't at an age that they know why mommy can't hold hold them.  Or maybe is there someone you could stay with and have the kids stay at your house?

 

RE: Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by Karen321 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hi

 The half life for the rai on surfaces is different than in the body. In the body, it is absorbed by the cells and is no longer a threat to other people after a certain amount of days. The number of days that is still varies from nuc. med doctors and hospitals. The radiation left over on surfaces takes at least 40 days to be completely gone. That's not saying that it has to be completely gone to be completely safe, I am not sure about that. I just don't want you to be misinformed about the difference. You may be safe to be around after say 7 days but your urine, for example, if splashed accidentally during your isolation period, or possibly sweat residue, will not be safe after only 7 days. My husband had 160 mc. of RAI and he actually had to come home too. We were nervous wrecks about it but he stayed in our shed in the backyard. (Heated and electricity and cable and a bed added to it. lol) He stayed there for 5 days and then kept his distance from me and my son for another week. Definitely talk to the nuclear med department. My husband said he had to sign something saying he had precautions in place before they let him leave after swallowing the pills for RAI....I wonder if you simply say you have no precautions, they would be forced to admit you. Good luck, this is the WORST part of the whole thing...figuring out what to do about exposure and children. (in my opinion.)

Take care, Karen

RE: Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by kami3 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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UPDATE:  I spoke with my endo. today and she is very understanding. Looks like it might come down to what my insurance will pay for.  I hate to have $ even be an issue but if it is thousands and thousands of dollars we can't pay that out of pocket.  She said she was going to investigate for me and get back to me soon.  I can't wait to hear from her. 

RE: Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by kami3 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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We have family very willing to take our children for the entire time.  I just don't want to come into my house even if they are not here.  My parents are 2 hours away and I don't want to ride in the car with them that long. Plus, I need to be close for the scans.  I would not stay with anyone else. 

RE: Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by Char02032 on Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:00 AM

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I didn't stay in the hospital.  Talk to the radiation safety guy/girl prior to treatment about recommendations.  Send your family on a two week vacation.  You will only contaminate your house if you get your bodily fluids on surfaces.  This means urine (especially), poop, saliva, tears, sweat, etc.  These fluids are especially radioactive in the first 4 days.  Drink and poop a lot to speed things up!  If you keep careful control of your fluids, wash, wash, wash your hands, take lots of showers, etc you will not leave radiation in your house.  I brought a geiger counter home from work and the only stray radiation detected in the whole house was a few spots on my toilet.  The rest of the house was totally clean.  (I hadn't cleaned the bathroom yet, and we had 2 1/2 baths so I called one of them exclusively mine).  It takes 80 days for radiation from I131 to be completely gone from a surface.  It takes a much shorter time to get it out of you because of the mechanisms to get rid of it (urine, feces).

RE: Will they put me in the hospital for RAI treatment?

by rs4914 on Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hi, I had 200mCi of I-131 one year ago, November 5th, 2007. I am also a Radiation Safety Officer so I had dectectors with me to monitor the radiation. I-131 should flush through your body in about 10 days. The more water you drink the better. I stayed in the hospital for 30 hours and returned home. Radiation could be detected with in 10 feet for 7 days. Dectections were also in the toilet and also in my lounge clothes. You should not be around young children for several days and even when levels drop avoid extended stays, such as sleeping, holding, hugging for long peroids of time, 2 weeks. I know that will be very hard for children these ages. If the dose is lower the time will shorten. Remember it is important you get the treatment,
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