Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Back to the Real World

I'm home!
This is what I found when I came home.
This morning, I left mom's bright and early so that I could wade through the morning rush hour traffic and drive from the east side of Atlanta to the west side of Birmingham. Oy, people need to pay attention to each other. But, at least I'm off the low iodine diet so I had my friend, Mr. Starbucks, in the car to make the drive more bearable. And the car has been completely scrubbed out with 409, so it was pretty darn pleasant to drive. Plus, it was full of gas I got for cheap using my Kroger card:
Sad that this counts for cheap, isn't it?
This time, I parked in the 6th Ave parking deck. This is the third UAB parking deck I've used, and it's my new favorite. Free patient parking for nuclear medicine AND reserved patient parking places right next to the entrance? Yes, please.

No other spaces on either side of this reserved space. I felt so important.
So I used my keen navigational skills and years of airport experience to find my way to nuclear medicine.
At least there's no moving sidewalk to contend with.
Another day, another bracelet.

And then, in to the scan.

This was my third experience in the old radioactive thyroid scanner-majig. This is the same machine they use to test thyroid function, so it's pretty familiar. I've done thyroid scans in the machines at Eastside Medical, at East Alabama, an now at UAB. They should give commemorative pins or something for collectors. And, just like the machines at Eastside an EAMC, the machine at UAB lulled me to sleep. Three for three, sleeping through thyroid scans.

The scans were fine. I have some thyroid tissue in my neck that's currently dying from the radiation- that's the cause of that neck pain. I also have some uptake in my carotid, but we're not going to worry about that. Overall, RAI was a success. Hooray!

My scans. The black spots are radioactive- the big black splotch is the residual thyroid tissue in my neck.
I'm still radioactive, but I can go back to work tomorrow.

The international symbol for "Hug me!"
I think it's something like sixteen more days of school, and then I'm a professional baker! Exciting! My letter of resignation is written and ready to print. My ICES convention registration is finished. I'm going to start my LLC and permit paperwork next week. Holy smokes! Oh! And I have these super cute cake and cake pop stands to show off at my first demo next weekend:

Using suckers to demonstrate the cake pop stands because making cake pops is a pain in the thyroid.
The new phone will be here tomorrow- I chose to sacrifice my cell phone so that I could stay in contact with people and take pictures. Now, it's radioactive and it has to go. But it's ok- I was due for an upgrade, and the texter is messing up on this phone anyway.

Seven days away from my husband and kids was AWFUL!
Sleeping as late as I wanted was pretty good.
The low iodine diet is of the devil.
The food at mom's house makes up for it.
Eight days off of work was the spring break I never had.
Going back in tomorrow is going to be TOUGH. (But Doss made me biscotti, so the day can't be a total downer. You hear that, day? YOU CAN'T BE A TOTAL DOWNER!)

RAI by the numbers:
Trips to UAB this week: 4
hours admitted to the hospital: 23
miles in the car: 1,216
hours in the scanner: 1.5
copay: $200 (I wonder if cancer insurance will work for this treatment, too?)
nights at mom's: 6
cake stands made for the demo: 12
kids' teeth lost while I was gone: 1
days the girl stayed home from school, sick, while I was gone: 2
number of final exams the kids "helped" Doss give to night classes: 2
when I want to see another piece of hard candy: never

And that's most of a part of some of the story of my first RAI treatment.

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