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Radioactive Iodine Treatment

(17 Posts)
BarkisIsWillin Fri 21-Sep-12 23:29:38

Rarely post and never even looked at Health before tonight - respect to those who have reason to be regulars here! Anyone have experience of RIT - dh to undergo this in a few weeks and not sure how much precautions we will have to take at home?

rageandcrying Fri 21-Sep-12 23:43:24

Love your name, Barkis. Can't answer your question, I'm afraid, but interested to hear what others report. I had a friend who had to have it, but we didn't go into details re the implications at the time.

BarkisIsWillin Sat 22-Sep-12 00:02:05

Tks Rage - it's all new territory to me and although have read loads on t'internet would love to hear some real life experience (Mumsnet = real life!).

CMOTDibbler Sat 22-Sep-12 18:17:12

Hi Bark, your dh will be given very detailed instructions by the medical physicist who administers the RIT, but there are a number of things to be aware of. This is the sort of leaflet if he is having RI for hyperthyroid - he needs to be careful with his bodily fluids, not spend extended periods with children or women who are or might be pregnant, and there are TTC restrictions.

The first ones are only for a week or two normally, so not terribly onerous tbh.

If your dh is going to have treatment for thyroid cancer, then the restrictions last a lot longer

This isn't from experience as a patient, but I trained to administer RIT, and was involved in treating thyroid cancer patients

mousemole Sat 22-Sep-12 20:12:51

I had it done about 7 yrs ago. I had to keep away from my ds as you emit radiation for a while after having it done which is harmful to children in particular. Also they recommend eating and drinking from disposable crockery / cutlery. The process itself is quick and painless. The precautions for afterwards were quite significant. So much so that I went to detox in a spa in Thailand for two weeks. I Missed my son dreadfully but it was better than not being able to cuddle him etc at home for the first 2/3 weeks.
Good luck, you will get lots of info on the day of the procedure which will help.

BarkisIsWillin Sat 22-Sep-12 21:11:08

Hi CMOT and Mousemole - tks for response. CMOT - that link is very informative, tks. I know we will be given information but was just trying to get a bit ahead. I intend moving out of bedroom leaving dh with room and ensuite to himself, but was wondering should I move all clothes etc out of the room or are they ok as long as he does not touch them? Clothes will be in drawers, wardrobes etc. Should any books etc that he touches be destroyed? Mousemole - hope you are fully recovered now. We have been given a very positive prognosis so hopefully this one treatment will be all he needs.

CMOTDibbler Sat 22-Sep-12 21:18:54

Things will be OK as long as he doesn't touch them. Books don't need to be destroyed, but would need to not be used by other people for a while. Best to stock up with some charity shop ones that can be then put away for a few months (just cos the paper absorbs sweat).

Remind him he will need to clean the loo really properly himself smile. Including the floor.

ballstoit Sat 22-Sep-12 21:35:16

I had RIT in January, for Overactive Thyroid. Precautions were;

- not to be within a metre of under 5s or pg women for 2 weeks, for more than 10 minutes. So, it was fine to brush past children/pg women in shops, but not to have repeated contact with the same people.

- no more than 30 minutes a day within a metre of pg women or under 5s for a further 2 weeks.

I stayed at parents for 4 weeks, and they stayed at my house to care for DC (am a LP). I couldn't see how 2 yo DD would understand that she couldn't have cuddles for 2 weeks, and even after that 30 mins a day doesn't go far...how do you sit more than a metre away from DC for each meal ?!

- Not to share a bed with another adult for 2 weeks after treatment.

- Flush toilet twice after use, for 4 weeks. Rinse bath/shower/sink thoroughly after use. Do not share cutlery/crockery and wash up own cutlery and crockery for one week.

- No pregnancy for 6 months (4 months til men can father a baby).

No issues with any items such as books, clothing, furniture etc. As my doctor put it, imagine the RIT makes you the sun...people can only be burned by you if they are directly exposed (as if you are 'shining' on them). Other things made be made temporarily 'hot' from you touching them, but the radiation is absorbed into the atmosphere from items in the same way that heat is.

HTH. Please feel free to message me if you want to ask any more.

BarkisIsWillin Sat 22-Sep-12 22:56:52

Tks CMO and ballstoit - sounds like it will be quite manageable. Our dc are teenagers so we should be able to control things well enough. Just have to think forensically.

LadyMetroland Sat 22-Sep-12 23:09:28

I had RAI too in January (waves to ballstoit!!!)

The RAI itself is fine. You just sit in a sealed room for a couple of days (or more depending on dosage and how quickly you get rid of the radioactivity) and watch dvds/read books.

Beforehand you have to do a low-iodine diet which I found quite hard. They say just avoid fish, but I was quite hardcore about it after reading about it online. Do a google search but avoid US information as it's all a bit different over there.

As for precautions afterwards, I stayed away from my v young children for around 3 weeks after. I had a little holiday by myself. Didn't really enjoy it but they seemed to cope fine.

NB: the docs said I was ok to go home after about 5 days as I was at a 'safe' level, but I chose to stay away 3 weeks as DH has a degree in physics and reckoned that no level of radiation is safe for very young children. The World Health Organisation say this too. We didn't want to take any chances so I stayed away for a lot longer than they said was neccessary.

BarkisIsWillin Sun 23-Sep-12 09:25:57

Tks LadyMetro - all positive stories. Will just have to wait now to see what doc says and when it is to be done.

ballstoit Sun 23-Sep-12 11:55:36

Just wanted to mention, that it's pretty unpredictable how soon or how quickly it will take effect. I continued to be Overactive until May, and then became underactive in about 3 weeks. My GP surgery wouldn't do blood test before it's 'due' date (am on shared care with hospital, tested 8 weekly), and I was pretty ill by the time I was finally tested. So, would advise to monitor weight and energy levels closely and push for test early if things don't feel quite right.

BarkisIsWillin Sun 23-Sep-12 18:21:56

Tks balls, have been warned about fluctuations in levels. We are in Ireland so will check with GP re blood tests - it may be a different system here. So far everyone involved has been very helpful, but radioactive iodine will be done in a different hospital. It's a bit overwhelming, but obviously I know that we are really lucky to have such a treatable condition and apart from some pain and discomfort recovering from the thyroidectomy (which was about 10 days ago) it's not likely to involve any major pain.

ballstoit Mon 24-Sep-12 14:29:49

Sorry to be thick (and nosy!), but is your DH having RI and Thyroidectomy? Have never heard of that before. My Dad had Thyroidectomy for Thyroid Cancer but didn't have to have any Radio or Chemo after.

BarkisIsWillin Mon 24-Sep-12 19:46:24

Balls - he has already had a thyroidectomy (half first with large nodule attached), then the following week following pathology results had remainder of thyroid removed. RI planned in a few weeks.

ipswichwitch Mon 24-Sep-12 19:58:11

If you are googling please be aware the rules are different for RAI treatment for cancer (known as ablation) and over active thyroid. If been years since I was involved in the cancer treatment but remember patients staying in a self contained flat in hospital grounds for a whole and all waste (inc toilet paper/sanitary waste) had to be collected daily and stored until radiation levels were safe for disposal. Visiting was also v restricted.

I still do the ones for over active thyroid ad the restrictions aren't as intense- people can go home but with certain restrictions in place - avoid close contact with adults (no bed sharing) for 1 wk, and children for 3wk. Am I right in assuming your DH is having the cancer treatment?

BarkisIsWillin Tue 25-Sep-12 07:18:35

Ipswich - yes, he is having ablation for thyroid cancer. I know we will be told what precautions we need to take at his consultant's appointment. I'm just trying to get my head around it.

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