Nuclear Medicine

Had the same lady as last time give me the radioactive iodine dose today. I’m not sure if they all act this way, but she’s fun… not intentionally, but in the way that she makes it feel so dramatic. 😏 And I get it, she works in that department every day, so a person’s gonna want to keep as far away from all the radioactive stuff as possible, so I don’t blame her. 👩🏻‍⚕️ … 🥢💊☢️  🤢 It also has the side effect of making it seem like this pill is really going to be doing something, whatever that something may be.

Before they even bring the pill in, she had me go through a practice run – having me put my hands exactly where they need to be, telling me how to get the pill out of the container without touching it or anything else, and then how to gtfo while having to pass near as few people as possible. Of course once the lead container is opened and the pill is out, she stays as far away from it and me as possible – but, probably just from habit, that’s mostly how she acts even through all of the tedious paperwork and talking beforehand.

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Don’t mind how dusty my entertainment screen is (or the custom commands 😏), but I’ve decided to take this as a sign… this was the first song that played (at random) in the car as I left the hospital parking lot. (Video Link: Back to Life – Hailee SteinfeldI’ll even give credit to Mom, since I was talking to her on the way in, asking that if she was able to give any help guiding the medicine during the process this morning, that I’d be happy to take it. 😌 Oh, and they remarked how shit my thyroid levels are (in a good way, for the dose/scan anyway) and it’s no wonder I feel like utter shit and fall asleep all the time. So, there’s that. 🤷🏻‍♂️😟

Still can’t start up my meds until after the scan, and until after the doctor has reviewed the results to make sure that they “came out okay” for lack of a better term. It’s a typical long test where you have to lie still in a tube for about 45 minutes, so there’s always a chance there could be some sort of blur or error or something, to where they’d wanna do it again in a few days or whatever. 🤨 But with any luck, by this weekend I’ll be on my way “back to life” at least in as far as my thyroid and energy levels are concerned. 🍀🙏🏻🙂

Unfortunately, I’ll have to avoid stuff like this until I’m less radioactive. 😟 Wish she could understand.

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Run Down

Not bitching, just noting… I’m really starting to feel the affects of going without my thyroid meds. 😒 I had every intention last night of doing those two things that I mentioned, and while I did get the grass seed down (and the rain clouds that were coming dried up, thanks) I absolutely crapped out as soon as I came back in.

I remember washing my hands, to get rid of whatever the “blue” is on all of that seed, but after that – I was just out. 😴 I don’t even remember falling asleep, but it couldn’t have been much past dark. I’ve experienced a wide variety of side effects from the various meds I’ve tried or been on, but never has my energy dropped to zero (in what felt like) instantly like that.

And surprisingly, even after sleeping a long time last night, it doesn’t seem to have done anything for my energy today. Thankfully nothing was on the schedule for today, so I’ve just been tending to Maven and hoping that this is just an anomaly – and not the lack of meds catching up to me and showing it how it’s gonna go for the next two weeks. 😬

I’ve yet to call my attorneys, to see if I should maybe try to reschedule the “independent” workers comp exam (which is currently scheduled a few days before the radiation dose) to another date, because up until last night and today things did feel sucky, but still manageable. 🤔🤷🏻‍♂️ I suppose the next couple of days will help me figure that out on its own. I’ll admit though, this is gonna suck even if it just stays the same… so I really do hope this is just a hiccup rather than a sign of things to come.

The other symptom… feeling like I’ve got a much shorter fuse than usual, and less ability to bite my lip when I probably should. I guess it’s just a good thing that I’m not interacting with too many people right now. (But it is a good reason to consider moving my workers comp exam, I suppose.) Toni was the first person to tell me that I might notice that general feeling… and she’s still got her thyroid, but has that kind of reaction if she misses a few days for whatever reason. Makes me wonder if people with “anger management” issues might also have a funky thyroid and not even realize that could be part of the problem. 🤷🏻‍♂️🤨

Okay, This Heat Can Go Away

I’ve got all the supplies now, so today will be flea and yard day. It is miserable stinking hot out, just like it seems like it has been for the past two weeks straight – so again, as long as the rain holds off, I’m going to wait until evening before I spray on some OFF and go out to scrape up the dirt and lay down the grass seed. It just looks like we’ll have a few days of showers this week, so it might have a fighting chance even though it’s not the optimal time of the season to plant grass.

My temperature regulation and energy levels are already way out of whack due to being off the thyroid meds, so that doesn’t really encourage me to go out and sweat again, but as long as I just take my time and be conservative with my actions it should be fine. Then the flea powder for the carpets… it’s supposed to be left on for a minimum of an hour, with 24 hours actually being ideal. Of course that’s not gonna work, since animals are also not supposed to be in contact with it, so I’m hoping I’ll have the oomph to deal with that in the evening around bedtime.

Maven always follows me into the bedroom and craps out when she thinks I’m going to sleep too, so I’ll probably start that routine early tonight, get her in there, get her where she’s settled and not worried about what’s going on outside the room… and then I’ll get back up and dust the entire carpet. I should be able to leave it on for several hours before vacuuming everything up… even if it means shutting the bedroom door and annoying her if she thinks she wants out for some reason.

Then I’ve got the spray for whatever areas the powder isn’t suited for, so hopefully after tonight she’ll have far fewer itchies than the day before. She’s still actually not that annoyed by them, so they must not be too bad, but she will come over to me more often and “give me her face” so I can use the fine-toothed comb on it. She’s kinda weird, but I’m lucky that she tolerates almost any type off “fuss” now, whether its grooming or just getting eye boogies.

Comb, Goo, Powder, & Spray

Several days ago I went around the inside and outside of the house, spraying the porches and squirting down “poison barriers” at all the doorways, to kill and/or keep out the spiders, ants, bees, silverfish, etc… and while that seems to have actually worked pretty well, one of the potential pests that I hadn’t thought of managed to make their way into the house somehow. 😒

I noticed Bubba scratching a little more than usual, but I figured it was just from it being so hot and her fur starting to get kinda long again. But nope… took a closer look yesterday evening when she came and plopped down on me, and somehow she’s managed to get fleas. 😞 Well… fleas are managing to get her. 😿 I didn’t see too many, and with her being mostly white they’re usually easy to spot, so hopefully I caught it somewhat at the beginning. 🥺🤞🏻 And we do go outside for a few minutes at a time now and then, but always with her lazily & happily slung over my shoulder – cuz she’s a priss and doesn’t really care to touch the grass. 🙄🙂

Luckily I still had one dose of that “between the shoulder blades” goo treatment that Genesee suggested, from last year when I had to give her (and the house) the treatment. So I went ahead and completely combed her out, applied the goo while she was distracted with lovins, and then immediately got online to order flea powder for the carpet and flea spray for the other areas and soft furniture. Surprisingly (and I did google it extensively) this type can not only be used on “stuff” but it can be used directly on your critter as well. 😳🤔

Rather than spraying it on her, which she would of course hate, I’ll probably spray it on one of her favorite brushes – doing the “Don’t worry, nothing going on, nothing to see here…” routine while I squirt and brush, squirt and brush. 🙀🚿🧐 And honestly, with the flea goo already applied, once I get the carpet and furniture treated I might not even have to do anything more than get the dead ones and their dirt off of her with the fine-toothed comb that she also already likes. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Poor kitty. 😕 She can be old and grumpy like me. 😾 Last thing she needs is this annoyance. It’ll be handled.

Once More For Good Measure

The bulk of my current thyroid treatment has been set up. Blood draw, three weeks without any thyroid meds, limiting iodine intake in my diet for that whole time, another blood draw… then the hospital (if the results of the second blood test allows it) will schedule a time for me to go there for the iodine radiation pill again, with the full body scan about a week later. Once everything is said and done (and only if there are zero issues along the way) I’ll be spending a little over a month without my thyroid and without the meds that replace its functions. And no, I’ve got no intention of googling to see how bad it might get.

Same as last time, I’ll have a protocol that I will have to follow for the week after I’ve taken the pill. No contact with anyone for the first few days, no contact with kids or pregnant women after that… washing everything I touch, keeping my distance from the cat when possible, using plastic utensils and paper plates… all that sorta fun stuff. Only this time I have no idea how I’ll physically and mentally feel due to being off of the thyroid medicine for so long. The next month or so will be an adventure.

Meh… there was more doctor stuff today, plus I’m likely gonna be radioactive when I’m supposed to have my next WC doctor appointment, so I’ll have to figure that out… but I just don’t have the mental energy to really keep at it this evening. Found out a couple of sad things with some other friends… I dunno, this day just ended up being pretty crappy. I’m gonna try to get some sleep and try to start fresh tomorrow.

I’m glad that at least this stuff is all on track now and we’re moving forward, I guess…

Oh… My Scan / Blood Tests

I guess I never got back on here to update about my follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist. 🤔 Before the doctor even came in, the pre-doctor person took my blood pressure and asked me if a student and intern could join the doctor when he came in to talk to me. Meh… what do I care? Sure… all are welcome, all are welcome… 😏 Gotta let the young people learn so they can fix the old people like me in the future.

He’s an interesting guy… doesn’t seem bothered to convert “data” into user friendly word blurbs for the average schmo to understand, but that’s actually okay with me. 👨🏻‍⚕️ I’d much rather have a shitload of numbers and charts than a generic “You seem fine.” or whatever. 🤓 And with four tubes of blood, and more than four different comprehensive tests – I was surprised to hear him read off all of the numbers while also saying that almost all of them fall within the appropriate range for someone who is getting better. 🤷🏻‍♂️

And then the full-body scan, which looked for glowing remnants of thyroid tissue that had absorbed all of the radioiodine 131 or whatever it was… this one is more subjective than objective, since it’s looking at an image rather than something that produces numbers against a chart. 🤔 But on the scan, he said that he saw nothing that indicated that there were any stray thyroid cells left in my neck, which also means that if the cancer truly started in the thyroid and hasn’t spread to anywhere else… then it’s pretty good news, eh? 🙂

He did make sure that I understood that even though the results of the scan seemed ideal, that it doesn’t mean “Woohoo! Cancer free!” of course. But it does mean that as of right now I’m in pretty good shape, so when I go through my next round of treatment in about five months, I’m starting off in a better position than a lot of folks that have had the same surgery as me. But yeah… five months from now… 😳

This next round of treatment is actually going to be worse than the first. Something to do with having the thyroid medication in my body for so long, so I’ll have to actually stop taking it for at least three weeks before they can even consider moving on to the next step. 😒 Several more blood draws, another round of radioactive iodine treatment, another full scan… and at that point, if the results are the same as this last one, they can feel pretty confident about saying that I’m cancer free. I mean, as much as anyone, even a doctor, can really “declare” something like that. 😕

I’m sure it’ll be one of those deals where if I’m good on the next one, then we’ll probably wait a year until we do it all over again… I dunno, I’m just assuming at this point, but you’d figure that each time all this fuss comes back as “Looks good.” they’d let me wait a decent bit longer before we start at the beginning with the treatment and testing. So, yeah, pretty good news… I just wish I physically felt better than what I do. 😟 Seriously, the way I’ve been feeling over the past few months, I’d have put money on the results coming back with something concerning. But I’ll take the good news and try not to dwell on it too much. I’ll just put this one behind me, and when it’s time to worry about round two, that’s when I’ll start worrying about it.

The Rest of My Month Looks Fun

  • Pharmacy  /  monthly visit to jump through hoops for meds
  • Psychiatrist  /  intake appointment
  • Dentist  /  temp crown removal and permanent crown installation
  • Endocrinologist  /  injection #1 prior to 131 treatment
  • Endocrinologist  /  injection #2 prior to 131 treatment
  • FMC  /  nuclear medicine department for radioactive iodine (131) treatment
  • Home  /  (one week of isolating myself from the humans)
  • FMC  /  full body scan 7 days after 131 treatment
  • Psychologist  /  first “real” counseling session
  • Rehab/Pain  /  monthly WC appointment

Spent most of this morning on the phone, trying to wrangle all of my other appointments around the iodine treatment schedule – since that’s the one that is the most important, and the one that effectively removes a week of possible scheduling time from my life. 😒

EDIT: Just got off of another call with Dr Walter’s office. We’re now trying to figure out how much of a pain in the ass it’s going to cause… me being seen by his PA rather than directly by him, because Dr Walter is my “physician of record” when it comes to anything related to my workers comp claim – and they love finding any reason that they can to deny me treatment or medication. 😠 This sounds like it will be a work in progress, and we probably won’t know what the negative side effects are until they happen.