Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Red blood cell frustration.

Here's the sequence of events:
Summer 2011: feel crappy. Train for marathon. Attribute crappy feeling to marathon training. Run marathon October 2011. Realize maybe I'm broken.

Fall 2011: Go to hematologist. Have! No! Iron! (hemoglobin was ~7, ferritin was 5) Start supplementing heavily. Feel... better?

Winter 2011: See hematologist again. Iron increasing. Somewhat. She says: keep taking iron. I say, ok!

Later Winter 2011/early 2012: See hematologist again. Iron not increasing. Take more? Take more often? Everything's ok!

April 2012: More lightheadedness. More sadness. Same numbers on blood count. Dr. says stay the course. I pursue an appointment with a gastroenterologist but the ones in my area need a referral (?!?!) even though my insurance doesn't require one. Hematologist will not give me a referral.

July 2012: Hematologist again. Numbers are now going down (12.1 vs. 12.6). Well damn. Dr. still says, things are ok! Maybe take this different type of iron? Oh, and definitely call me if you start feeling worse. Do you feel ok? Call me if you feel bad. No really. Call me. Absorption issues? Yeah you probably have absorption issues but let's not worry about that for 3 more months. You're fine.

Here I am. Eight months after my first hematologist appointment. I feel better. I think. Most days. I honestly don't know what "normal" energy feels like. I know I'm a least better than I was during marathon training but now there seem to be more hard days. More lethargy. Runs seem marginally harder. Is this all in my head? Does 12.1 g/dL versus 12.6 g/dL even make a difference? Why is my doctor giving me such unsatisfying answers? She mentioned giving me IV iron but she doesn't think it's wise for me to see someone else?!?!  We're looking at INFUSIONS of iron before we look at "maybe something else is going on"!?!?!?

My favorite part of the appointment: "Are you bleeding from anywhere?"....... I would have told you about any gushing I have going on. I promise.

I am... frustrated. I technically have borderline normal iron levels.... and i'm taking 600% of the RDV of iron! Seriously. 600%!

So many exclamation points.

I have an appointment Friday with my general practioner, who took the very first blood samples way back when in October 2011 and recommended I go to a hematologist. Hopefully she'll have a more holistic view aside from "take more iron and come back in 3 months" and we can discuss what else might be going on here. I could have fun things like gastrointestinal bleeding or Crohn's or Celiac. Or I could just be bad at turning massive amounts of iron into anything useful (unless you consider mild nausea useful).

p.s. everyone who got here by googling "baby turkeys": Hi! I only have one baby turkey picture. But welcome nonetheless!

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