Grisly and Pained


The anemia has officially decided to make a reappearance.

We all knew this day was coming. Or, at least, I knew this day was coming. (The doctor told me it would be something that would happen throughout the rest of my life.) I had my appointment with the hematologist today. Last week, I had my blood drawn, and I was pretty certain that it was low, but I didn’t want to assume because I was afraid I might just be worrying about something that wasn’t really happening. Basically, I didn’t want to convince myself something was wrong until I was sure that it wasn’t just my brain going into some sort of overly anxious state.

My blood counts, the red cells, platelet, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, are not off. My ferritin levels aren’t low either. My iron level is too low. I’m not sure about the binding capacity. Basically, this means we caught it before it got really bad. And that, at least, is a good thing. That keeps the anemia from wreaking havoc on my heart, brain, and other body parts.

I have a feeling that my last period, which was of the took-twice-as-long-to-start-and-lasted-twice-as-long-as-it-should-have variety, may have pushed it over the edge. I’ve been feeling more tired and sore, and I haven’t been reading as much. It’s a little harder for me to concentrate right now. I’ve had more “floaters” over the past few weeks, which is one of those weird things that can happen during anemia.  My skin was paler than it should have been–kind of Cullen-esque without the sparkles and the bright lips. And I’ve been cold, which is weird for me. And I’ve eaten ice a couple of times over the past few days, and soap has been smelling really good–good as in yummy, not good as in fragrant.

I’d also started wondering if maybe the clinging behavior that Amy has had recently might be indicative of the levels getting out of whack. (The other dogs had a tendency to get clingy anytime we were sick.) Though I hate the idea that that’s why she seems to want to spend time around me, I have a feeling that it really is the cause of some of it.

Anyway, I have another infusion scheduled. It’s been around a year since the last one. This one will be split into two doses, and will not take as long to be administered as the really long one that I had last year. (It will be longer than the 30-60 minute ones that I had last summer, though.) The first is scheduled for next Friday. The second will be the following Friday.

The doctor is hopeful that this type of infusion will give me enough iron to last for around 2 years, but, because it’s new, he said he isn’t quite certain will happen. The main worry for me is that my blood pressure will go up, which happens sometimes when I get iron. I also tend to have more myoclonic episodes after the infusions. And, of course, there’s always a risk that they’ll kill me, but I don’t really worry about that beforehand. (The risk of death from letting iron get too low is probably higher than the risk from the infusion.)

Aside from my iron, the doc said that my B12 was lower this time. He did say that that could be because of when I take my shots compared to when the blood was drawn, which I sort of already figured. Oh, and my weight was down by about 20 pounds, so that’s good.


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.