After following with my endocrinologist, I was sent to the hospital to get more extensive tests done before going into radioactive iodine treatment. For three days, I underwent a series of testing; ultrasound, MRI of the neck, and additional blood work. All this was done to find out the appropriate treatment. I followed the doctor’s recommendations and opted for radioactive. Radioactive Iodine Therapy (RAI or I-131) is taken as liquid or capsule form. The radiation is used to destroy the thyroid cells that are using too much iodine instead of surgically removing the thyroid gland. After a couple of days later, I underwent the radioactive therapy. I was given a radioactive capsule and approximately three hours preceding the treatment; I was sent home. I was giving specific instruction to minimize immediate close contact for a minimum of seven days, specifically of contact and body fluids such as saliva and other excretions. The hardest part of being isolated for seven days is seeing my son’s little face (he was then six years old) trying to open the door and asking me why he couldn’t come in or if I was sick. That broke my heart, but I explained the situation to him, and he became the best nurse a mother can ask for.
A month later, my body began fighting against me. It began with hives and red spots all over my body, my lips swelling. These symptoms resulted in another hospital visit for an unknown allergic reaction. Then I blow up like a blowfish. My face swelled, my eyes protruded, and I gained weight. In three months, I gained approximately sixty pounds and went into a deep depression. For the next five to six months, doctors didn’t know what was going on with me. That’s when it all began: my doctor started changing my medication trying to find something suitable to give some balance to my thyroid activity because my thyroid was not acting properly. I continued explaining to my doctor that I felt that my body was intoxicated from the radioactive therapy which not an easy task getting him to listen. Interestingly, my doctor was reluctant to listen to my concerns. Recently, one of my co-workers underwent the same procedure that I did, and no medication worked until she went to a rejuvenation spa and had a series of tests and thyroid therapy. I decided to speak with my current doctor to see how that, or a similar treatment would work for me.
I have been searching for someone out there who has experienced the same symptoms as my case after radioactive therapy. Just recently, I found a Natural News article of a woman who underwent radioactive therapy. The dosage she was given caused her to be highly radioactive. Because of this overtreatment, she had to be isolated for three days in a lead-lined room. If interested in reading more, follow the link:
The lesson learned here: prior to receiving treatment, research and prepare a list of questions for your doctor. The worst place to be is in the dark when experiencing the trauma of a debilitating illness.
Z., Isabelle. Woman overtreated for thyroid cancer was isolated in lead-lined room for three days because she was emitting so much radiation. Natural News Network. 15 Jul. 2016. http://www.naturalnews.com/054671_cancer_overtreatment_radiation_treatments.html. Accessed on 19 Feb. 2017
Milas, Kresimira. Radioactive Iodine for Hyperthyroidism. Vertical Health LLC. 27 May 14. https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/hyperthyroidism/radioactive-iodine-hyperthyroidism . Accessed 21 Feb. 2017.