My RAI Experience : Part 2 – Taking Radioactive Iodine

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Three days. Three days in isolation after taking radioactive iodine. And three days away from my Sugarbean! I haven’t ever spent that much time away from him. The longest was the one night I stayed in the hospital for my thyroid surgery and that was when he was 5 months old. I thought three days was going to kill me!

Turns out it didn’t.

And he did really well, too. It was kind of a bumpy ride getting to this point. In January (2018), I had planned on going off my thyroid meds like I was supposed to, doing the low-iodine diet and doing RAI after a few weeks. Well, one thing and another kept getting in the way and it kept getting postponed. In the process of plans changing, I didn’t want to go back on my levothyroxine just to have to wait the allotted time when I had to go right back off. So from January to June, I not only did not have a thyroid in my body but I also had ZERO thyroid medicine. Can you say, ZOMBIE??? My doctors asked me how I was functioning. Um, coffee. And lot’s of it.

Finally, the day came and I was ready. The diet was tough (I’ll write another post about that later) but I pushed through it. Went to the hospital Monday morning – no food or drink by the way – and checked in and waited. Then to another waiting room and waited. Talked with the technician – did I drink? did I smoke? last period? all that jazz. Talked with the head of nuclear medicine and asked him all of my questions. Turns out I needed to take a pregnancy test (even though I told them there’s no way I would be, they needed it documented anyway), so I went to the lab and got my blood drawn and then back to the nuclear medicine waiting room and… you guessed it… waited. And then I waited, and waited, and waited. Friendly reminder that I have not eaten or had anything to drink since I got up about 7:00 and it was now closing in on 1:00.

Just kidding! It wasn’t this intense.


They finally call my name. I put on a gown and gloves and the nurse does the same.  She takes out this metal cylinder and places it into a bigger cylinder made of cement (I think) with padding all in it. Then she takes out this small bottle, the radioactive iodine, and inserts a syringe full of water. She hands it to me and I shoot it back. Once more full of water I shoot back another swig. It tasted like metallic water, nothing horrible.

And I’m done. That was it.

Easy-peasy. I had to wait to eat but I could drink water and chew gum so that helped out tremendously. The rules said I could be around people up to 5 feet for 5 minutes, but not the baby. But I wasn’t going to take any chances with him so I didn’t want to stay at the house. I didn’t have anywhere else to stay so I stayed in a hotel. By the time I checked in to my room and got settled, I could finally eat. Yay!

Look for PART THREE where I’ll tell you about my three days in isolation and the supplies I brought with me for my sanity.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

What do you think??