Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Whistle Shot

I checked into the hospital for my dose of RAI 131 at 9 a.m.  Unfortunately, Nuclear Medicine cannot admit patients to the hospital so we had to wait for ENT, who was in surgery all morning....grrrr.  The upside was, we got to take lots of pictures of the room I'd be staying in for the next 2 days.  Above is the picture of the toilet.  I forgot to take a pic of the sign that said, FLUSH 3 TIMES!!!  Everything was covered in plastic and lead.  Lots of photos inc:
The door to my lovely toilet
Lead screen behind the bed

Finally, at 2:30 p.m., after a ridiculous little neck check by ENT, Nuclear Medicine comes into the room with what looks to be a small crock pot on a rolling tray.  They open the thing and it is lined with about 4 inches of lead.  At this point, Jim Jones and his special Koolaid flash through my mind.  The tech pulls what looks to be a shot glass with one pill in it out of the crockpot with a set of jam tongs and says, "don't touch it, just throw it back and swallow."  I try to do this, but the thing is stuck.  The tech tries swirling it around in the glass, gives it back to me and it still won't come out.  So I decide to keep the glass in my mouth while flicking it with my fingers.  All I can think of were my bad days of whistle shots in TJ as the lyrics, "Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.  I'd like to drink you with a little salt and lime" dance through my head.  Meanwhile, the nuke doc is at the other end of the room and the poor tech is still standing there trying to help me.  I succeed in getting 1/4 of the pill hanging out of the glass.  Exasperated and probably afraid he might become a mutant after such long exposure to the radiation, the tech says, "just pull it out with your teeth!"  I do what he tells me and we have success.  "Thank God!",  he exclaims.  I tell him all we needed were a few whistles to make the experience complete.  He says, "sadly, I know exactly what you are talking about" and laughs.  Mazel tov!

After taking the pill, I don't feel anything.  I feel completely normal except very tired and really cold.  So, I decide to go to bed at about 8:30 pm.  The next morning I wake with hugely swollen glands and look like a bullfrog.  RIBBIT.  The picture below is two days after the initial swelling.  It was much worse the first day.

Go to the previous post and you'll see what my neck normally looks like.  I am released from the hospital on Friday at about noon as my microrads are reading at 2 which is really good.  When I took the pill, they were at 21!  I am so glad to be home.  I did get the dreaded dry mouth and lost about 50% of my taste.  I've discovered a lovely side effect; an oily taste/coating in my mouth while eating.  I don't know if this is the loss of taste or some of the RAI coming out.  Anyway, the Dr. prescribed me some oral hydrocortisone and it has worked wonders with the swelling.  I've also been massaging my glands while alternating with moist heat.  It really helps with the pain and swelling too.  I am starting to get some relief from the dry mouth but the Crisco taste is still obtruding.  Today has been much better.  The weather has been a little chilly and I LOVE it!  I went for a long walk in the early evening and plan on doing the same tonight.  I went later so as to avoid other walkers.  I did pass one woman, but went about 6 feet around her into the street.  She probably thought I was crazy.

I am recovering quicker than I thought I would.  I just need to stop doubting and keep my faith in the Lord.  I know he is working miracles within me.  Fierce Faith!

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