RAI 1 – MY STORY

by May 12, 2020R.A.I.

Introduction 
This is part 1 of a series entitled ‘RAI’, which is short for ‘Radio Active Iodine’. It entails my story about the medical treatment with RAI.
It is about why I got this treatment, and its consequences. The article is quite long (half an hour read or so) and could very well fit as a chapter in a book. The follow-up articles on this topic are shorter and are about other conclusions that I have been able to draw from my experience with RAI.

Disclaimer: No medical diagnosis or form of treatment can be made with the help of this article. If you have complaints as described, use your common sense at all times and consult a good doctor. Nor do I provide medical advice. In a lecture I can tell more about my own experiences and opinion.

Nevertheless, the time has come to publish this in a more extensive form, although I have written it down for myself several times over the course of two decades. This was due to the structure which has been subject to constant change.

Reflective episode
And that is because of the unfamiliarity with the subject and the enormous complexity of it, and everything that is surrounded by it. Therefore it had to be seen from many perspectives, and it was also seeking for the right words as I had to live through quite some challenges for such a prolongued time.

And also, it is more or less ment for people who have never delved into this. Anyway, after this reflective episode (of around 15 years basically) the time has come to bring it out in the open, and that moment is now.

My story
In July 1997 I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid gland. This is a small organ at the bottom of the neck that lies over the trachea in the form of a mini shield. The doctor called the rapid action ‘hyper-thyroidism’. This word comes from the Ancient Greek word ‘hupér’ which means ‘over’ (in the sense of ‘overflowing’, or ‘too much’), and ‘thyroidism’ from ‘thyreoiedes’, meaning ‘shield shape’. Obviously the Greeks used to compare it with their armor at the time.

The medical term in Latin is ‘Glandula Thyreoidea’, and ‘glandula’ stands for ‘gland’. Since the thyroid gland also resembles a butterfly in shape, the organ is often referred to as butterfly-shaped in appearance.

Diagnosis
According to the doctor, it turned out to be an auto-immune reaction. Due to certain antibodies present in the blood, the thyroid gland starts to work too quickly. This can make you feel really bad, including too fast of a heartbeat, weight loss, feeling rushed, being agitated quickly, trembling hands (which I only had a little bit), and also pain behind the eyes and swelling of the eyelids (due to inflammatory reactions of the eye muscles). I was prescribed thyroid inhibitor medicines. However, the thyroid gland started working too fast again as soon as I stopped taking the drugs.

Thyroid Ablation
After using this medication for a year and a half, doctors persuaded me to a definitive treatment. This is called ‘Thyroid Ablation’ a bit of a bizarre name for a medical treatment where the thyroid gets nuked basically. In my case it included the destruction of the functioning of an otherwise perfect healthy thyroid gland. In order to do so I had to take a capsule with Radioactive Iodine (RAI) for thyroid ablation.

The idea was completely against my feeling and intuition though, and I was not in favor of it at all. However, it was said that continuing with the thyroid inhibitor medication was dangerous because it could alter the blood count. Since there was still limited internet around the year 2000, and I was also unfamiliar with patient associations in America, where I lived at the time, I had no information to consider any other options.

Cheers!
So there I was, I sat somewhat timid on a stool in a large American hospital. The Asian MD handed the capsule on a tray, dressed in a white doctor’s coat with a lead apron. The capsule looked like a vitamin pill, oblong in shape and two-tone. I was allowed to pick it up with my bare hand -by the way unprotected- and put it in my mouth. The doctor gave me a plastic cup with some water to swallow the capsule. Jokingly I raised it in the air as if to toast, and said ‘Cheers!’. I hoped to give the loaded moment an optimistic twist.

The Sip
Then I took ‘The Sip’, which was probably more of a large ‘Gulp’ due to the size of the capsule. In Dutch, this treatment is still called ‘The Sip’, because in the past, instead of a capsule, the radioactive iodine was given in liquid form, dissolved in water. I swallowed the capsule, thus with a large gulp of water, and a few small sips afterwards, as the plastic cup was only filled for 1/3th with water. And that was it. Next, my (then) husband, our son and my radiant self went home by T. I felt it burn in my stomach. It turned out to be a bitter pill.

Six to eight weeks
The first 6 weeks I felt better than ever, which in retrospect was due to the pleasant side effect of a high dose of prednisone course that I had to take during that time. The prednisone was needed to suppress inflammatory responses from the radiation. Prednisone often makes you feel very good, which I didn’t know then. So I thought, ‘Yes, that treatment works perfectly!’ Doctor happy too. The form and dosage of radiation that I had been given lasts for 6 to 8 weeks, decreasing by half every eight days in effect.

Gained a bit
But then it started. I felt increasingly sick and gained 20 pounds in two months. At first I thought this was because of the high prednisone cure, because that’s another side-effect. A large dose of prednisone leads to increased appetite, an increased cortisol level and thus increased fat deposits. Unfortunately, however, the increased weight after stopping prednisone wouldn’t budge, no matter what diet I followed, or how little I ate.

60 Complaints
But the internist had not promised me that. After all, I would feel good again and lead a normal life? Well, nothing could be further from the truth. In the years that followed, I adjusted my dose of thyroid hormone replacement every now and then, but that didn’t help much. I spent days, weeks, and months desperately searching the Internet and patient forums for information about what could be the matter with me.

Just for fun, and also to get an overview, I had written them down: I now had more than 60 complaints, several of which alternated, and no one could help me. Incidentally, I had an allergy to cow’s milk proteins and soy since birth, accompanied by bronchial asthma and eczema, for which I once lived in an asthma center in Davos for a year, aged 15, after being seriously ill and bedridden for six months. But now, I felt miserable again, but in a completely different way.

Puzzle pieces
As you can see from the scinti-scan below, made from someone who received RAI intravenously, not only is the thyroid irradiated, but other organs are also exposed to radiation.

The organs that have absorbed the radioactive iodine here, are mostly glands with internal secretion, that assimilate iodine during metabolism, such as: the thyroid gland, the parathyroid glands (are very small), the pituitary gland, the adrenal glands, the stomach, the esophagus, the intestinal system, the bladder and the sex hormone-producing organs.

But I did not know that at the time, because I only came across this image on the internet 10 years post treatment. And I had asked the MD if the radiation could end up somewhere else in the body. ‘No,’ she said, ‘… it will go through your blood for a moment, but it will all accumulate in your thyroid until it’s destroyed.’ But when I saw that image, and the explanation with it, many puzzle pieces suddenly fell into place. It wasn’t certainly flowing through my body ‘for a moment’.

Enough indications
You can imagine that if several glands and organs have slightly diminished function, problems can quickly arise. And that was the case with me, which is why I had anything and everything tested over the years after ‘The Sip’ (basically ‘Gulp’), whereby test results often deviated from the norm, but were not very worrying for the doctors.

For me, however, those were enough indications, time and time again, that there was more going on. And so they were puzzle pieces that I had discovered myself, with the help of several online experts and specialists, mainly fellow patients with lack of thyroid and/or other hormones. And also through some of the related hormones and substances (such as B12) to be tested.

Personal injury
Typically, all measurements were just below the reference value or close to the lower limit of the reference values. However, thyroid function was completely destroyed. But the thyroid gland and other glands with internal secretion are part of several ‘hormonal axes’. These are the glands that deliver hormones to the blood that respond to each other through registration and feedback or ‘feedback loops’.

They do this by reducing or increasing the release of hormones according to the needs of the body. Radiation can damage this feedback mechanism of the links of a hormonal axis, as the tissues work less well. This can be classified as injury due to radiation to glands with internal secretion, but also to all other digestive organs that use iodine in their metabolic processes, such as the stomach, intestines or pancreas.

And then it depends on how high the radiation dose has been, and how the condition of the body was at the time of administration, e.g. how much natural iodine was in the tissues already, because this influences the effect. In hindsight I must have been deficient in iodine, as I had reduced my salt intake at the time.

Effects?
So after my ‘Sip’ -me swallowing the radio active capsule with a sip of water-, I got lots of symptoms, such as gaining weight (as stated before), but also symptoms like mild hair loss, joint- and muscle pains and muscle weakness, and more. I will try to describe a few.

Cartilage and bones
For example, I got problems with my knees, back and neck (cartilage and bone building). I’ve developed a light but noticeable scoliosis over time and sometimes I experience backpain. This might have to do with low growth hormone (= a pituitary hormone), which labwork showed a few years after the radiation treatment. It can also have to do with me not having sufficient calcitonin (a hormone the thyroid produces as well) and parathormone (a hormone produced by the parathyroid glands). It might also have to do with me often hanging in my chair because after a while I do not experience enough energy to keep me sitting or standing straight. It can also be a hereditary factor, but I don’t think so as I always had a very straight posture (at a young age I used to dance classical ballet a lot, but also jazz and pantomime). It might also have to do with all factors together.

Heavy periods
I also had heavy periods every month (from which I could thankfully conclude that my pituitary gland was partially still working properly, despite a low growth hormone that was diagnosed later). For years I have been walking around with iron Ferritin values ​​that were far too low (around 14), even once that the GP called me for a blood transfusion because of a ferritin level of less than <2.

I remember crawling over the floor from my living room to the kitchen that week, to pour a glass of lemonade for my son, who was a toddler at the time and was unable to get it out of the fridge himself. For a moment I no longer had the strength to walk! My son said, ‘Mum, you are acting weird.’ So I thought (with brainfog and all): ‘I’ve got to call my doctor again.’

More complaints
However, according to the gynecologist, there was nothing wrong with the uterus. But the MD could not explain the cause of the long and heavy blood loss during menstruation either (which I found out many years later was due to low progesterone). After that I took iron bisglycinate tablets for years, self-financed, because the iron tablets that the doctor prescribed gave too many side effects, not really good for the liver either.

After years of misery due to anemia, a low amount of progesterone released in the uterus through an IUD turned out to be a solution. Unfortunately, I couldn’t handle other forms of oral treatment such as taking the daily ordinary birthcontrol pills as medication to reduce menstrual bleeding (thus not for its actual purpose). It would make me depressed. And I had this with all kinds of pills with synthetic progesterone and /or estrogen in it, (which I had previously tried to relieve debilitating menstrual pain and bloodloss, which would usually last for three or four days a month), also the pills with low doses. Tried them all, been there, done that. I feel much better on natural hormones!

Heart complaints
Another complaint that arose over time after treatment with RAI is a troubled heart that has had a lot to endure: fast beating, but sometimes also on the slow side or irregular, regardless of whether my thyroid values ​​are ‘hypo’ (too low), ‘euthyroid’ (balanced) or ‘hyper’ (too high).

Buddha belly
My belly was also swollen due to an increase in belly fat and to this day it still feels slightly painful and tense. The tissue on my stomach and thighs and sometimes breasts (2nd half of the cycle ‘Masteopathy’) could hurt a little when touched, but there have been a few episodes where it was really very painful.

Eye complaints
I also suffered from pressure behind my eyes. That is an eye condition that can occur with both an underactive- but more often an overactive thyroid gland. And it occurs quite often after treatment with radioactive iodine, due to the sudden release of all stored thyroid hormones at once in the bloodstream. This can result in severe bulging of the eyes, not at all a comfortable condition!

I even wrote two brochure booklets about this, in collaboration with a professor endocrinologist and specialist ophthalmologist, which was published by a thyroid patient association. I was a board member of this organization with the portfolio PR and Information. I did this for almost four years. From this position I met and spoke to several people who unfortunately developed these serious eye complaints, most of them especially after treatment with radiation, which meant that they had to undergo several major surgical operations afterwards.

Miserable
I was also sensitive to bright light and shrill noises, and my skin became very dry, often with chapping in my fingers and heels (occasionally bleeding), which hurts when walking. Often I had disturbed nail growth with ridges or crumbling nails. I was often dizzy, light-headed, had hypoglycemias every day (and therefore had to consume sugar or carbohydrates frequently), and sometimes I still had brainfog and forgetfulness. And last but not least a total lack of energy.

Lack of energy
Due to my weakening and lack of physical energy, long distances cycling or walking, as well as household chores or gardening, are often tough, and it also takes a long time to recover from exercise, ranging from one day to three days. Sometimes it also results in forgetfulness, poor concentration or memory loss (for example, forgetting an appointment once, or not being able to ‘hold’ information properly, as I call it).

Muscle strain
Since ‘the sip or gulp’, I always have muscle pain or fibromyalgia, even without exertion, while it feels as if I have run a marathon for hours, or did intensive aerobics or weight lifting without any training beforehand. Walking the stairs has always been a strenuous exercise after I took the RAI-capsule, due to the muscles in my upper legs feeling very weak, sore and have a lack of strength therein. Even washing my hair in the shower is often tiring because I have to keep my arms up, which I therefore have to let them hang in between while showering, to regain muscle strength.

Test methods?
My low blood sugars usually suggested low cortisol and/or insulin resistance. If the thyroid function is too low, the adrenal function also goes down, which can also be related to those complaints. This is also stated on the package inserts of any thyroid replacement hormone, and doctors should know this. By the way, in labwork results, my thyroid levels usually showed a ‘normal’ euthyroid state. However, the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood serum is measured, but not the absorption or action of it in the cells. (very important this).

Not sufficient
Tests are often not sufficient, which has also been internationally confirmed by many thyroid patients. It has been scientifically substantiated for a long time by all kinds of doctors, patient groups and individuals, internationally for more than two decades now.

This has not yet led to better forms of treatment internationally, and unfortunately, not even through the writing of scientifically substantiated books and the signing of petitions by many (I estimate hundreds of thousands, probably even up to a million), and the conduct of legal proceedings by a few. Now, who or what will help for this vast suffering group then? Say it.

All time low
An absolute low point for me was when an MD called my ‘free cortisol’ which was way below the reference values, ​​’circumstantial evidence’. (With this my aldosterone was too high). These were previous test results from a private doctor’s office with international standards, and for whatever reason not taken seriously when asking for a 2nd opinion.

Lifesaver
But this alternative testing actually saved my life (all funded by myself and my mum), because a few days after, I was submitted to the first aid for a few hours while having a high heartrate (120 p/m). This was going on for days and weeks, I had a dizzy feeling, and had to take sugar nonstop by drinking lemonade and sweetened tea. I was nauseated, without knowing what was going on, because the testresults of the private labwork I had done prior, hadn’t arrived yet. Only a day later the results came in, and this doctor called me to inform me some labwork was seriously out of range, and I said ‘Yeah, I’ve noticed’, and he send the proper prescriptions right away to my pharmacy.

However, if one walks around like this undiagnosed, and the cortisol (corticosteroid) would even go lower, there is a big chance that one will end up under the green sods within 24 hours. Thus my complaints were simply denied by other doctors, even though some of the labwork results were skewed, and often turned out differently, sometimes far below the reference range, but usually just slightly below the norm. So it turned out afterwards, that my adrenal glands were functioning less (including low testosterone -which women have too!- and DHEA, etc.)

Two different causes
The explanation I have myself, is that very little is known about reduced functioning of the adrenal glands due to injury from radiation, and due to a reduced function of the replacement thyroid hormone (which appeared to be the case as well, later on).

These are two different causes, and for me it works double, because I have both. But measurements for this are simply not included as standard in the diagnostic protocols, nor in the treatment protocols post RAI. Hard to believe, but true. There is no medical protocol for RAI induced damage to glands and organs.

Throat complaints
Unfortunately, the last 10 years or so, I can no longer sing well, while I liked to sing for hobby as a soprano and mezzo-soprano in a choir. It is as if my vocal cords now scratch when I want to get higher tones. But I also no longer sound tonal. I miss it enormously that I can no longer sing. I also sometimes have swallowing problems, or I quickly choke on eating or drinking, sometimes in my own saliva. My tongue often hurt when I was eating (especially after citrus fruits) and looked like the so-called red ‘beefy tongue’ which is a result of too low B12. (but eating lots of meat did not help).

I also had slight notches on the sides of my tongue with a white border, the so-called ‘tooth indents’, which according to a hormone specialist had to do with to low aldosterone, which, like cortisol, is also an adrenal hormone.

Tinnitus
A high pitch tone tinnitus in my right ear is another of those debilitating symptoms, which I’ve now had for the past 9 years. Something was damaged as a result of inflammation caused by being temporarily under-dosed with thyroid hormone, including edema (swelling due to increased fluid in all tissues). Sometimes it also feels like I have mild tinnitus in my left ear.

Tinnitus can also be caused by other various factors, including low iron, low thyroid hormone and low potassium, which I have all. Sometimes the tinnitus was really bad, while that was going on I have also had episodes with poor sleep, and once I didn’t sleep for three nights in a row, which was also due to a prolonged accompanying high heart rate (the latter I went through for months). This can occur with being severely underdosed on thyroidhormone (which many patients and some doctors do not know). Potassium and Magnesium can give some temporary relief with that.

In time, I managed to find out by intensively searching online, that it was because of new fillers in the medication for me back then. These fillers absorb the thyroid hormone when they get moisturized (by the saliva). But not being able to distract the hormones from the filler was due to me having less gastrointestinal juices, I concluded afterwards.

Here’s the reason why: The stomac is the second organ after the thyroid, to radiate the longest after RAI has been administered. So my body has less capacity to disconnect the thyroid hormone from the fillers in the tablets. Bizarre, but true. And then the hypothyroidism becomes a dangerously sliding downward scale.

Hypo or hyper?
In a sense I had a hypo- and hyper condition at the same time. And sometimes one hormonal deficiency was masked by another hormonal deficiency, so that diagnosis based on symptoms is only for an extremely skilled doctor, who uses special diagnostic methods of the functioning of hormones and the hormonal axes, and has made this his or her life’s work.

Summary
Above is just a selection from a long list of complaints that I did not have before taking RAI. I could really fill a book with it. Basically, I felt much sicker than before the RAI treatment in my hyper-thyroid phase, although that was certainly no fun either. In fact, I was so hyper that my doctor advised against an international flight at the time.

For years in my hypo phase after RAI, I experimented with various replacement hormones and substances for the thyroid gland and other organs. I visited four different hospitals and four alternative doctors and a dietician (the alternative doctors and dietician do not reimburse all). I received supplementation for the other organs, such as for my adrenal glands, years of B12 injections (which did not help, because in retrospect my body was unable to convert that form of B12), many dietary supplements such as enzymes, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, etc. etc.

Legal advice

And oh well, I had also obtained legal advice, but to no avail, because ten years after the date of a medical treatment it is no longer legally valid if you sue a doctor or authority for that. In my case that would have been very difficult anyway, because I had medical treatments on two different continents. But I don’t think that legal rule is correct. In this case, it requires an intensive study to understand the effect of RAI. And there was no proper informed consent given whatsoever.

And although I had a suspicion for those ten years, that besides my thyroid also other organs were affected, I had no evidence for the true cause of my complaints, besides slightly deviating labwork, sometimes far below the norm. But they were usually conveniently written off by all doctors as symptoms of an auto-immune disease. Well, try to convince a cat! Me no more!!!

Proof?
By the way, to actually be able to prove personal injury by RAI, I reckon in hindsight, one has to get a scintiscan every week for 6 weeks after oral intake or intravenous injection, and the first 10 days every day. This is how you can prove how the radiation has distributed throughout your body, and for what strength and length of time. Another way is to closely monitor symptoms prior and after the treatment for many months and years, which would be great for empirical evidence and research as well.

Fillers in medication
Incidentally, I got sick several times because of altered fillers in thyroid medications, and supplements (such as microcrystalline cellulose – E640. This is woodpulp, micronized in a laboratiorium, which I’ve read online can also enter the bloodcells. Once in they might not get out that easily, which leads to swelling of upper tighs and other tissues).

But only in hindsight did I learn to recognize the dangerous slowly downward sliding scale of the hypothyroidism, which can lead to death when not treated. I did take 8 different variants and combinations of thyroid medications over the years, because I didn’t know what the cause of them not properly working was.

Was it me, was it the quality of the medication, such as the freshness (e.g. how long have they been on the shelves?), or the quality of the fillers, or a combination of it all? I’ve spend weeks and months online searching! It has happened that the manufacturer suddenly changed the fillers without notice, which again gave me an adrenal crisis. By the way, multiple E-numbers that end up in our food nowadays, and in many supplements, can also cause such complaints. Know what you eat so to speak.

B12, enzymes, conversion, low pH etc.
Anyway, because my stomach was also injured, I have a B12 deficiency for the rest of my life. When tested, I also found myself frequently having a low pH in blood and urine, having seriously low vit D levels, low magnesium, calcium, enzymatic function, etc, etc. And, as stated previously: my stomac produces lesser gastric juices to properly digest the cellulose filler in the thyroid hormone medication and other supplementation tablets.

Uptake and conversion
Thus I can’t detach it from the thyroid hormone, causing the effect of the drug to decrease. Nevertheless, labwork shows perfect or even high values! (By the way, this microcrystalline cellulose is designed in laboratories). And another filler based on calcium is also very bad since it absorbs the thyroidhormone as well. Most doctors and pharmacists KNOW thyroid medication has to be taken seperatly from calcium supplements. Then why do they use it as a filler? I also had problems converting the thyroid medication, which can be related to many other factors as well (selenium, iron, low enzymatic functioning, no T3, low cortisol, etc.).

Finance
Because I was no longer able to work 40 hours a week, and had no partner with an income, nor savings, I was in a low financial status. And unfortunately most of the medication and supplements that made me feel better were not reimbursed by my health insurance fund. These include a good quality Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin B12 tablets in easily absorbable form (methyl, adenosyl), Vitamin D3, Potassium, Enzymes, natural Progesterone, Estrogen, and so on. I have to take these for the rest of my life probably, because my body isn’t obviously generating or processing enough of it.

Wardrobes
In the attic there have been 30 bags for years with nice clothes in all sizes ranging from size 36 to 52! (The latter 50 sizes only when I was on a high dosage of prednisolone). Every time another size came in, I was forced to replace the entire wardrobe. This turned out to be very expensive, espcially because we have four different seasons in the Netherlands (which can vary from cold winters to hot summers and everything in between).

It includes: New jackets (summer jacket, winter jacket and rain jacket), also for: new pants, blouses, sweaters, t-shirts, underwear and bras and even new boots in the last sizes. In short, my wardrobe had to be renewed time and time again. Added to this was spending extra money to purchase life-saving medicines and supplements that were not prescribed because of a refusing doctor and/or were not reimbursed by the health insurance fund. (other means, such as asthma medication did).

Damage claim?
All that severely limited me financially. I once made a calculation and think that I have certainly suffered €100.000,- of damage in the 21 years after this medical treatment with RAI. Not sure if this includes the emotional damage it has caused me! (I’ve lost the list with the calculation on it). However, in this way I have lived below the poverty line for 21 years, without anyone having any idea (except for my immediate family and friends).

Thanks to my mother’s two decades of help, I managed to survive. I have often been able to borrow money from her to pay my fixed costs. And I am extremely thankful for having food, a wonderful house with yard, heating, and decent clothing all those years, something that used to be a guarantee if one lives in the Netherlands (the small country that I’m born), but not so in many other parts of the world.

Beauty
True beauty is on the inside, the expression says, but it’s certainly no fun when one’s own natural beauty, including posture and facial expression, changes to the detriment. That is perhaps what I worried about most all these years, and every day, because if you are not feeling well, and you also look that way, it does not really promote self-confidence. Also physically from the inside, organs might be more fat as well, which is not a healthy thing. But I could not help it, the fat burning just didn’t work properly!

The outside world
My illness, or post radiation sickness, is usually not visible to the outside world, because I can still cycle (on an e-bike now), and walk.  But often I have to recover on the couch for a few hours after exercise, and that’s all the lost hours, days, weeks, months, and years that outsiders have never seen, just those who lived in my house. I can come across as cheerful, happy and energetic, which I am at that moment, and even do physical work such as gardening on good days, and then collapse completely when I return home. Sometimes I have to recover two or three days after heavier physical exercise.

Incomplete metabolism
This also happens after eating heavier food (large proteïns, processed fats, starchy starches), that I can no longer digest on a microscopic level. Apparently my body is unable to regenerate the consumed substances for energy production as quickly as is the case under normal conditions. It seems to be less able to break the food down to phytonutrients or something like that. All this leads to poor processing and reduced absorption of nutrients. Last year I also had eight gallstone colics and that is no fun! Hence I appear to have a slightly decreased bile function (only small gallstones), which also leads to a less strong digestion.

Psychic
The years of struggle in dealing with the consequenes of RAI, has certainly had an impact on me. I had to learn mentally and psychologically to take time for myself to deal with this injury. It has also been a process of mourning for the loss of my health and the quality of my life for the past 21 years, a period that is supposed to be the best years of an adult life, where you can experience 100% power of your life.

In addition, I also had to deal with a lot of adversity in the social emotional field, due to certain events in my life, such as a divorce. When you are already sick, it requires even more strength than usual. It was also usually painful when I expressed by sadness about my condition (when I couldn’t pretend to be okay), or informed others about my health status, that I often came across as a complaining person, even more so when they saw me cycling or gardening afterwards.

NDE’s
Interestingly, due to my illness I also had several ‘near death experiences’ (NDE’s), which of course also had an impact. So said, because of my chronic illness, on the one hand I am constantly aware of the finite nature of Earthly life, on the other hand I have been able to find comfort in those NDE experiences themselves. Now that I have decided to bring this story out, it also gives me satisfaction in a sense, because it has also given me many insights, which I would like to share with the world.

Is there more to it?
Yes. For example, I now see much more of the danger of nuclear energy than the average Dutch person, because I myself have experienced what a little bit of fission waste can do to you. Because that is what the radio-active iodine is: fission waste. I will continue with this in RAI part 2, which is technical a bit. But if you’ve already read it up to here… (hahaha).

RAI 1 – MY STORY
Next:
RAI 2 – WHAT IS IT?
RAI 3 – NUCLEAR ENERGY

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©2020 | Margreet Wilschut
www.margreetotto.net



Summer 2019, by a very curious coincidence, the sun just shone on my camera, or watch strap, at the time of taking this photo, reflecting it on the area in my neck at the site of the thyroid gland. You would almost think that this is still radio active … But that is not possible 21 years later. Maybe such a phenomenon is just a little miracle?