..Instead, the Nuclear Health doctor entered the room apologizing. She mentioned that whomever checked me in had placed me in the wrong room. Sooo, she escorted me to the room in which was more fitting for me.
At least that’s what I assumed until we walked in the room!
My knees buckled at the sight of everything being cellophane wrapped!
Well, not the floors. Those were covered with that white paper that’s usually on examining tables. The telephone, drawer handles, nurse’s call button, sink, toilet and even the bedrails were tightly sealed with clear plastic casing! I became slightly dizzy as my heart’s tempo picked up and I stepped back a little. Doctor “Nuclear Med” noticed, so she “caught” me by placing her palm on the small of my back and told me that it was all precautionary and easier for cleanup.
I felt the urge to cry, but I fought it.
After confirming which things would be left in the room with me, the doctor told me how the radiation would be studiously administered and again educated me on what to do when the radiation arrives:
*When radiation arrives, DO NOT cross “this line.” It will be brought to you.
*DO NOT touch the straw! Place your hands behind your back and with one effort, consume all of the liquid and then take four steps back.
*DO NOT open your mouth for one hour. No talking, eating or drinking! (Dude, I’m in a room by myself, whom will I audibly talk to! Maybe that was a trick to get me admitted to the 5th floor. LOL)
*If you vomit outside of the toilet within the hour, put these gloves on, pour this charcoal over it, sweep and flush it. Call nurse to notify me.
*If you have diarrhea within the hour, call nurse to notify me. However, if you have not had a bowel movement in the next 6 hours, call the nurse to notify me.
*I will come back in one hour to check the radiation level. DO NOT cross "this" line and DO NOT open your mouth until I leave the room.
*Although not recommended, you may have visitors. However, they must check in at the nurse’s station first so that they can receive preventive attire. (She must have forgotten that I had to do this ALONE!)
*A nurse will periodically knock at your door to check on you. DO NOT open the door. Just signal “OK” if all is well.
Now for my personal responsibilities, (although I believe I mentionedsome of this here):
*Drink plenty of water, (Ahhh, I left it in Sister “J’s” car! So the doc had a nurse bring in a cup and small pitcher of water for me), when you think that you’ve drank enough and can’t drink anymore, drink more anyway.
*Food will be served on paper tray. Discard it “here” when you are done.
*Flush all uneaten food.
*DO NOT open the transfer door until signaled to do so, (food, new linens and new gowns were placed here to avoid contact).
*Shower and wash your hair at least three times daily and/or after each bowel movement or upon profuse sweating.
*Flush all excreted body fluids, except blood. If for any reason you bleed, “Are you menstruating?”
“Okay, good. But, if you start or hurt yourself and bleeding occurs…” call a nurse to notify me. We have a special disposal course of action for human blood, (Human blood? What other types of blood would they have in here? Hmmm, faintly scary! LOL).
*Try to keep busy and it’ll pass by quickly.
I complied with the regulations, signed paperwork, received an I.D. tag, :) and was told that she would have the I-131 brought in. Ten minutes passed by when a cart pushed it’s way across the threshold of my “Plastic Fairy-Tale Land” with what reminded me of an armor-locked parcel on top of it. The next sight provoked my moaning and meltdown of tears…
“…Now we know that if the earthy tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling…We live by faith, not by sight…” 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 NIV