There’s Always Tomorrow 

Since my last post, I’ve had good days and bad ones.

 The day after Christmas turned into a bad one because I decided my leg was doing better than it really was. Instead of walking two houses & turning around, I walked to the end of the block and back. It’s really not a long walk—eight houses instead of two, but it was too much too soon. It didn’t help that it involved walking downhill then back uphill, which increases the strain on the body. Anyway, that led to swelling, more pain medicine, and some anxiety about exercise. It’s not that I don’t want to exercise because I do. I’m just not trusting my mind to understand my body has limits. 

I’ve had other bad days, which typically result from me doing too much. I am doing better about the limits, but it’s involved others (family, physical therapists) having to translate my cringes and having to ask me if I’m actually in pain or just experiencing normal muscle tiredness. Even then I have to keep myself from continuing through the pain. There’s a word for all of that: stubbornness.1

But I’ve had my good days, too. And I am trying to focus on those on the bad days. Hope is an excellent thing to have when you’re healing. 

Speaking of good days and healing, I’ve got two more weeks of physical therapy. The physical therapists have moved me to weight machines, which have caused some pain in other areas, but I’ve progressed rather quickly with them. And I promise I’m telling the physical therapist if it’s too much. 

I forgot to mention how my hematologist appointment went last month. I’m not too iron deficient yet. The hematologist actually said the iron level itself had increased somewhat, which freaked everyone out, until I brought up that I had done a year of Depo Provera before switching to Norethindrone.2 The hematologist said that the birth control may have given me yet another year or two between iron infusions. But he said it is very likely that I will need one next year. He’s going to base the infusion decision on my ferritin level.3 The level has continued to drop at a steady rate since my last infusion4 and he will do the next one when it reaches a low enough level.  ((The development of iron deficiency anemia is a gradual process. If your body is not taking in enough iron, your body first uses the iron that is stored in tissues (i.e., ferritin) and blood levels of ferritin will begin to decrease. If not corrected, the stored iron begins to be depleted as it is used in the production of red blood cells. In the early stages of iron-deficiency, blood levels of iron can be normal while stored iron, and therefore ferritin levels, will begin to decrease.)) But we were all happy about the delays, since, as I’ve said before, iron infusions are very risky.

Anyway, things have been pretty good for me lately.

  1. And I am definitely stubborn. 

  2. The “Mini Pill” or progesterone-only pill, since I can only take progesterone-only forms of hormonal birth control thanks to my family’s—and my—risk of clots. 

  3. Ferritin is a ubiquitous intracellular protein that stores iron and releases it in a controlled fashion. The protein is produced by almost all living organisms, including algae, bacteria, higher plants, and animals. In humans, it acts as a buffer against iron deficiency and iron overload. 

  4. November 2013 

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.