I arrive the next day at Vanderbilt, quite unsure of what is going to happen. Immediately after drawing some labs, the doctors in NMI (Nuclear Medicine Imaging) begin the RAI process (Radioactive Iodine treatment). I was given a pill, which I believe was for the uptake.
Following the RAI pill, I had to go sit in a room for several hours. When they finally called me back in, I was placed in a room by myself, away from everyone and then an IV was begun and the guy said it contained the radiotracer (ok, so now I am a remote control gps, right? lol). I think this was the funniest part of everything that happened thus far, because they told me to stay away from security posts at airports. I was like, mmmkkaaay? They said precautions like this are necessary because of the amount of radiation that will be emanating from my neck could expose not only friends and family to radiation, but will most likely also alert security and set off alarms, especially in the airport. What was I now, a robot? lol So I took their advice and stayed away from the airports and at least one arms length from my friends and family for the next 24-48 hours following RAI scan and uptake.
There were a lot of windows and doctors on well-lit machines on the other side of one of the walls. They told me I would be in there for 30 minutes to an hour. As soon as these funky fluids started running into my veins, I noticed I kept getting colder in my arm, and in general, and I heard over the speaker that there was a blanket in there for me if I felt cold. Then a man came in completely covered from head to toe and had me lay on a metal table with my head back, and my neck extended, and he then covered me up. He told me they would be scanning my thyroid for hot/cold spots, as well as nodules/masses/goiters, from several different angles, to see exactly what was going on.
I came back the next morning and had to sit in a chair, with this probe touching my neck for a little while as they took more images. Once that painless proceedure was done, I was told to go sit in another room for a bit as they went over the scans and test results because they found "mostly cold" the day before (ok, so is this a good thing or a bad thing??).
I was told to come back the next day to talk to a new doctor and possibly have an ultrasound. (ok, nah, this isn't unnerving, is it?) I was then placed on a low iodine diet and reminded to flush twice as my body would be ridding itself of all the radioactive stuff. FUN, I mean what doesn't have sodium in it!?
to be continued (the results)...