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Am I Contaminated?

IowaBo
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2010

How do I know if I am safe to be around others. I know they say 5 days, but how do you know. What do you clean everything you have touched with. Is it going to be safe for me to kiss my grandson? At hospital they told me 5 days for my pregnant daughter and grandson, Doctor's office said 7 and Thyca says 8. How do you know? I don't want to hurt anyone. Does everything you touch have to be disinfected? What about books etc?

lp
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

I never got a straight answer out of anyone -- it was all different from each person. I had 100 microcuries, and was told 3 days. I was overly cautious after that with children, as I know it can affect them more than an adult.

The "best" answer I got was from the radiology tech who measured me after my dosage... he stood about 1 meter (3 feet) from me and measured me with something that looked like the speed gun police use to catch speeding drivers. Tech said if he stood that distance from me for 2 hours, his exposure would be equivalent to a chest x-ray. After that I thought, "oh! that's not as terrible as I thought." I mean, honestly, I thought paint was going to peel off the walls in my wake.

You urinate out about 90% of the radioactivity after the first 24 hours, and after that, it keeps getting less by half as the days go on (per my dr from nuclear medicine). Anything that you've touched/used, from a book to a chair, will have the radioactivity (think little invisible particles), but it will dissipate over time as well (while I have no definite answer over how long that time period is).

This was challenging, because I had the same questions, and felt that I would need to scrub the walls after my treatment was over. Everyone I spoke with was a bit blasé about the whole thing (as they've done this several hundred times, and this is our first exposure to this scenario)... the bottom line I got out of it was to stay away from people, wash clothes/linens separately, flush 3x after using the toilet (lid down), rinse shower after use, and then just go back to normal life. Anything else I was thinking of doing was to satisfy my own personal comfort/paranoia.

My treatment was December 17, and I hosted Christmas Day dinner the following week. When I left after the follow-up scan, I asked the doctor again if it was okay for me to go around kids, he said yes. I said, "okay, let's say they are YOUR grandkids... I can hug and kiss them and give them presents?" and he said, "yep! what'd you get them for Christmas?" Good luck with your treatment, and try to think of your isolation as a mini-vacation.

IowaBo
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2010

Thank-You. I've been pretty freaked out by this. I will ask about that device to measure my radioactivity when I go for my scan. Too bad it doesn't really glow so I could be confident in getting rid of it, but that might freak me out more. Thanks again!!!

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