RAI treatment & living with young children


I am hoping someone can help and provide advise, I am going for RAI treatment in September and I've been told that after 4 days of being discharged things can return back to normal although because I have 2 children that I won't be allowed to have any contact with them for a further 6 days, what have other people done in this situation? 

The thought of just staying somewhere else for 10 days is killing me and also the thought of being at home and not being able to have any contact with them is also killing me, im starting to get anxious about the situation and im not sleeping


Dawn x

  • Hi Dawn

    It's natural that you feel anxious at the thought of being away from your children for 10 days. I haven't been in this position but I've found these previous posts on this topic which you might like to have a look through to see how other people have coped.

    Wishing you all the best


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  • It's not easy for us to give advice on this topic because different hospitals have very different protocols, iodine doses vary a lot depending on circumstances, and each individual will process the iodine at different rates.

    My hospital was VERY strict and had me hiding from babies and pregnant women for something like 3 weeks (it was a fantastic excuse to work from home at a time when that wasn't the norm). Other hospitals will take a radiation reading before releasing you and may tell you that your level is low enough to not follow any restrictions. 

    So probably the best approach is to plan for not seeing the kids for 10 days and keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't come to that. 

    Whilst you are in the hospital, take lots of showers, drink buckets of fluid and you'll do the best you can to flush it out of your system and reduce the overall radiation. 

    The people who tend to get the longest restrictions are those with hospitals that are still giving big doses (there was a study done a few years back that established a lower dose was acceptable for many people), and people who've had extensive neck dissections or have metastatic spread. That doesn't mean you've got spread if you're told to isolate - it could just be that "that's the way we do it at this hospital".

    Best wishes


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  • Hi Dawn,

    I am currently in hospital having my RAI treatment. I have two young children and already itching to get back to them!

    The physics team said they will pop all the data about my radiation levels into a graph and will be able to let me know when I’m discharged how long it will be before I can get back to the kids. Sounds like it varies case to case depending how quickly you pass it through your system. 

    I should be going home today so will let you know what they say about timescales!


  • Hi Dawn,

    I’ve just spoken to the Physicist and I’m able to see my children (ages 1 & 2) on Sunday. Had the Radioactive iodine Monday so about a week away from them in total. 

    Can vary case you case but hope that helps! 

  • Thank you for sending the previous posts they were helpful

  • Awww thats amazing news, I have been admitted today and they have said they will let me know when i am discharged on Friday what my levels are and how long i need to stay away from them, i have decided to stay at my mums until i can go home, i have said we call skype any time so hopefully that will make me feel ok as well as them. 

    Oh wow you were in hospital 5 days bet you will be glad to get home to see your babies and your own bed :-)


  • Thanks Barbara, oh wow that was a long time! i have gone in today and have mentally prepared myself for 10 days but if its sooner then great, i have taken quite a few drinks with me and sour snacks, i plan on having a few showers a day i will do anything to get the radiation levels lower sooner


  • Im due to have RAI just waiting for a date i have 4 children was worried about same thing hope you get better soon reading this post has made me feel abit better knowing it could be less days then they say and everyone is diffrent