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What should I take to the Hospital ? Will laptop, books, cell phone be affected by radiation?

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2012

I had Thyroid surgery at the end of January. Thyroid Carcinoma was found in both sides of the thyroid, and after low iodine diet I am scheduled for RAI this Thursday 5th.

I have not received any instructions from my doctor or nurse yet, when I got the cancer results in February I was told that I will stay 2 nights at the hospital and that I am going to be given 2 shots of Thyrogen and take tablets of radioactive iodine, but now I am reading that Thyrogen is difficult to find.

I was reading the posts and although I am very optimistic I am worried about the symptoms described by some of you.

Can anybody tell me what to take for the hospital stay? Both for the symptoms and for comfort. Can I take a laptop? My cell? Books? Food? Medicines?


Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2011

First thing I would do is call the hospital. I called at least three times before I went in and they were very helpful. Look up the hospital's website and find the imaging department and call.

I was in the hospital for exactly 48 hours. I wasn't able to bring a cell phone or laptop. There was a phone in my room… wrapped in plastic for me to use. I only brought things that I would feel comfortable leaving behind. I brought a book and a magazine... but honestly, I couldn't focus on reading. I mostly slept and watched TV. The RAI made my stomach upset. I was given an anti-nausea pill that made me very drowsy.

Most important is call the hospital.

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you Rita! You are right, the hospital is the best source, specially because procedures can be different in different states or different hospitals. I have just got the name of the hospital. The nurse coordinator was considering two options. I will contact them tomorrow.
I was planning to take some books, my cell and my laptop, and I was not planning to leave any of them.
I will ask how long radiation remain in the items or if they need to be "clean" or have any procedure afterwards, if it is too complicated I will only take magazines or things that are disposable. I read that is good to take sour candy and some low iodine snacks.

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2012

If u are having i131 whatever u take to the hospital u leave so don't bring anything u don't want thrown out like magazines books etc
I had this three times so I know what I'm talking about.
You should have gotten instructions on what to take and not bring with you. Also you will be in isolation so no visitors I side the room.
Doctors and radiologists will give you the I isotope and then use a gamma ray style radar gun to measure the radioactiveness your body is giving off. Don't be alarmed if you appear a little yellow or green this is normal. I laughed so hard when I turned green!
You will be scanned daily till you have less than 50 millicuries which is safe firbyounto leave.
When you return home no kissing, sex, and close contact with children. Still continue to use plastic utensils and try to use a separate bathroom and flush twice.
Hope this helps

dmj101's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

I hope everyone responds to this..

I cannot get over you are allowed to stay in the hospital for the RAI 131 treatment...
Here in New Jersey .. they boot you out the door... supposedly the insurance companies will not pay for you to stay and my dr and nurse lead us to all beieve the issolation shouldn't be so bad or hard to manage....

Just curious.. where you all are living that the hospital is keeping you there for a stay.

So many in my support group want this to be the case here but can't fight it..


Posts: 186
Joined: Oct 2010

I live overseas, and they keep you for three days in isolation. No internet or cell phone reception either...was NOT fun! I've been through the RAI twice and both times I asked about simply isolating myself at home since I'm alone. They would not hear of it.

I paid a hospital fee - about 500 for the time in.

Strange - some people want to stay in - I am the opposite - let me out!

Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2012

My RAi, which was done in the UK, took place in a lead lined isolation room (en suite, of course!). I spent the first night in the room, to acclimatise myself and for the staff to check my blood results. The next day the room was prepared, with removable floor covering, a (hot) tv and fridge brought out of the en suite and set up for my use, and a barrier set up in the main doorway. My clothing was taken away (so I had something to wear to go home) and my bags removed. I was given the capsule and the door was closed. Meals, drinks and newspapers were brought in and left on the barrier, and I would then take them into the room. The disposable cups, plates and cutlery were put into a plastic sack within the room. Twice a day I was checked for radiation output, by a medic pointing a reader at me from 3 feet away. I also had to self-administer an anti-clotting/anti-dvt injection into my abdomen each day.
Once my levels were down, after 3 days, I was allowed to dress in my outdoor clothes, leaving everything I had worn in the room, and was taken for a scan and then allowed home, with all the restrictions as stated in the earlier post. I was not allowed home by public transport, and had to sit on the opposite side of the car to the driver, and in the back.
As I also suffer from sleep apnea, I had to leave my CPAP breathing machine behind, as that was "hot", but was given another one to replace it.
Thanks to our National Health Service, this was all provided free (except I had to buy the newspapers and any treats from the shop trolley).

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2012

They wouldn't keep me in the hospital either (live in IL). They said unless I had little kids at home I couldn't stay. So I locked myself in the bedroom and my husband and cat's had the rest of the apartment. I only came out to go to the bathroom and my husband didn't use the bathroom in the apartment. He went to one of the community building with a bathroom to take of that and his showers. It sucked, but we made it work.

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