Saturday, September 15, 2007

Good News

I got a call from my doctor's office this morning. Last time I got a call, the doctor was urging me to drop everything to get to the emergency room ASAP. It was a snowy day, and I was at work, which was 44mi from home. I thought he was losing his mind. I am extremely anemic. I was born that way. I remember my mom taking me to the doctor a lot when I was a kid. They were always pricking my thumb for blood. My mom told me that the doctors thought she wasn't giving me the iron they prescribed since my condition never changed. By the way, my mom is anemic too. So I guess it's hereditary.

Anyway, when I finally made my way down to the hospital back in March, the doctors were baffled. They asked me all kinds of questions like, do I have trouble getting out of bed, do I have chest pains, how do I function? Because apparently, I was a freak of nature. They expected me to be pale with dark circles under my eyes. That was certainly not the case. I wonder how they would have reacted if I told them about the time I had three jobs at once. Two of the jobs were physical in nature. That goes to show that not everything can be explained by science. For the most part, my life was normal. Ok, so I'm always cold (I kept a shawl nearby and an electric heater under my desk). I just couldn't do anything too aerobic. I could walk forever. Just don't expect me to run anywhere. I figured I was just out of shape. But it was anemia the whole time. It's something I never thought of treating because nothing ever worked, so why bother? They wanted to give me a blood transfusion. I'm not sure how I feel about that. If my life isn't on the line (and it wasn't), I'd like to steer clear of that. Instead, they gave me an IV of liquid iron. I felt like I could run a marathon and lift buildings. Yeah, what a boost. But it stayed in my system for a whole two days. I definitely felt the difference when it was gone. And there was no way I could work getting a one hour iron treatment into my schedule three times a week. Not happening.

A couple of months later, someone on the PPK forum told me to try Floradix, a liquid herbal iron supplement. Luckily, the health food store around the way keeps it in stock. I tried it and felt a difference almost immediately. No, I didn't feel like I could fly, but I felt more energetic. That's when I decided I would try exercising again, specifically running and elliptical training. Those were the two things that would kick my ass, and I could never figure out why. So I rejoined the Y in June and started running mid-July.

Okay, so I called the doctor back. My hemoglobin is slowing increasing. It's up to 10.1. Just to give you an idea, it was around 6.1 six months ago. Normal hemoglobin levels for women are between 12.1 and 15.1. So yeah, that's a big positive change for me. The doctor wants me to continue with the supplement. I certainly will. It's expensive, but it's definitely worth every penny. I can now be the active person I've always wanted to be.

P.S. I also lost 5lbs since my last doctor's visit.


Veg*Triathlete said...

Wow! That's awesome news about being able to increase your iron levels. It's especially important to have good iron levels while running.

Christie Love said...

Heck, it's important to have good iron levels while living. I'm just glad it's working. I guess I'm somewhat normal now.

Veg*Triathlete said...

I bet! You must feel so much better :-)