I am my own Scy Fy movie. LOL Beanado. Beasquito.
As of Tuesday of this week, I have officially had 29 intense radiation treatments. That is a lot of radiation, y’all. Seriously. 25 treatments in 2012 from breast bone to pelvis, 45 minutes at a time in successive days. 3 treatments at the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 of braechytherapy (internal radiation treatments directly in my vagina). And then Tuesday, I got to drink a shot of radioactive iodine to kill my thyroid.
Honestly, the worst part of the experience has been the wait at the hospital. I got two calls ahead of time confirming with me that my appointment was at 9:30. I got there at 9:30. The girl didn’t take me back until 9:45. She took some measurements of my thyroid through some contraption, which took two minutes. She was really nice, a very sweet girl, who talked to me about my medical history. I think she was shocked. LOL Then, she gave me a test dose, a very tiny dose, that would go to my thyroid and give them more accurate measurements to determine how big of a real dose they would need to give me to kill the thyroid. It tasted like water at first, but it had a nasty aftertaste. Then she says to me, “Sorry we are running behind a bit, but we had you scheduled at 9am.” WUT? I told her I had gotten two calls confirming my appointment specifically stating 9:30am. She rolled her eyes, and said she wasn’t surprised. Apparently their scheduling department sucks. In fact, while waiting for my big dose, another gentleman came into nuclear medicine for a nuclear stress test. He was there at 10, and they said, “Well, your appointment was at 8.” His wife was pissed, and said, “they told me 10:00 – it’s even on the paper I received.” D’oh.
So, I went back in the waiting room, me and my kindle. She told me I could go home, but said I couldn’t eat or drink, and I knew I’d get to working, and didn’t want to be late coming back. She said she’d call me back at 11:50. I really wanted another cup of coffee, but I was good. I sat there, and read for a while, played some Candy Crush, looked at Facebook, and froze my ass off. Seriously. FREEZING. I had worn jeans and a short sleeve t-shirt, and my moccasins. I was so cold. I couldn’t feel my feet after an hour.
I also have Misophonia. One of my triggers is loud chewing and smacking of gum. One of the girls working at the desk popped in a piece of gum about 10 minutes after I sat in the waiting room. And she chomped and slurped and cracked that effing gum the entire time I sat there. I nearly got up and yanked it out of her mouth. I’m always torn in those situations – do I say something and sound like a crazy lady, or do I try to use one of my coping mechanisms? I decided if I said something, I’d rub someone wrong, and didn’t want to rock the boat when someone is giving me radioactive iodine to drink, so I suffered in silence. OMG I wanted to scratch my eyes out. Seriously. Think about other people when you are eating. For some of us, it is pure torture to hear you smack your food/gum or make noises when you eat.
11:50 finally came (good thing…my Kindle died at 11:30 and I didn’t have my charger) but no one came out to get me. I was a little worried at 12:10 when no one came for me, because I had to dial into a staff meeting at 12:30; and subsequently, I had a project meeting at 1:30 that I could not miss. I texted my boss and explained I was still waiting. I told her I’d definitely miss the 12:30.
At 12:30, they finally called me back. The girl took more measurements of my thyroid; as well as measurements of my thigh (because that is most anatomically like my neck). Then she sent me BACK out of the waiting room. Sigh.
The doctor came and got me at 12:40 and took me back. He went over Graves’ disease, and then the treatment itself. He gave me instructions for the next two days. I wasn’t to have any very close contact (at least 6 feet) for an extended period of time with anyone, including the pets. I could not feed my pets myself. I could not sleep with my husband. No kissing or hugging. I had to sleep on my own. I had to wash everything I used myself, and my laundry had to be done separately. I had to drink a lot to flush the radiation from my system. When I went to the bathroom, I had to flush twice and I had to wash my hands thoroughly with soap before I touched the animals or prepared food. I had to sign releases. Then he told me that for 4 to 8 weeks, I could set off radiation alarms. So he gave me a card to carry with me. I told him I’d put it with my bariatric surgery card, and my cardiac stent card. He laughed.
Then, FINALLY, they took me into this sterile room. The radioactive iodine was in a cage with a straw coming out of it. Seriously y’all. I had to verify my name and DOB, and then I drank the iodine. She flushed it with water, and I had to drink again. Finally, a third time.
Then, they sent me home. I got myself a coffee on the way out. Black coffee is starting to grow on me.
So, I’m two days out now, and can have contact with people. My kitties are happy because I can snuggle again. I will be happy to sleep in my own bed. My husband will be happy because he hates sleeping along. I’ve been sleeping in the recliner downstairs.
It will take up to 8 weeks for my thyroid to “die.” My endocrinologist will follow-up with blood tests (hurray only not) and then start me on synthyroid to give me the hormones that my thyroid will no longer produce. It may take up to a year to get that right.
But one step closer to figuring out this whacked up body I was gifted with.
Onward and upward people.
And look for me in a theater near you. I’ll be the one glowing in the dark. 🙂
Edited to add that I made it home in time for my 1:30 meeting with five minutes to spare.