I was horribly anemic before my DS. I know my numbers were always marginally low due to extremely heavy menstrual bleeding for – well – decades! But they went way south when William was born via emergency c-section – his head was so stuck in my pelvis they had a hard time getting the kid out, and I lost 9 units of blood in the process. For over 5 years before my DS I was *always* battling anemia. Tried all sorts of iron supplements, but my doctors didn’t feel like anything horrible was happening because of my anemia. So I accepted it for what my normal would be.

Had my DS. Started taking different iron, and lo and behold – my iron numbers finally came up in the normal ranges – and stayed that way for over 5 years!

The past year or so my H & H were kinda wacky, so when I went in for my hip replacement in August my surgeon felt strongly that I needed a 10-day course of Procrit injections to get me ready for my surgery. He went majorly to bat with my insurance company – finally talking them into covering the injections. (Which is good, because even with great insurance coverage, our co-pay was still over $500!) So – had the injections.

The day of my hip replacement surgery I remember waking up in recovery and seeing a bag of blood hung and being given to me. I asked the nurse about it and she told me that they’d harvested my own blood and were giving it back to me. (I’d been told beforehand that hip replacement is a very bloody surgery.)

So, I go on with recovery – nicely, I might add. Did notice some kind of different things going on over the past few months – some insomnia, some itchy skin, some little owies that took AGES to heal, and then this big need to consume sour stuff (was keeping Smartees in business!). Went in for my labs at the end of December and the next business day I got a call and letter – both – from my PCP notifying me that my ferritin level was 10! Good grief! It had been fine in August!
So, it was determined that I needed to see a hematologist and pursue iron infusions. Saw the hematologist on Monday of this week. His opinion was that the Procrit injections, combined with the hip replacement is what finally did my ferritin levels in. They scheduled me for an iron infusion – had it on Thursday, actually.

Had iron dextrose given – which can sometimes cause an allergic response, and being that I’m the queen of the allergic response, they proceeded cautiously. I was given 50 mg of Benadryl via IV and then given a test dose of the iron. No reaction – woo hoo! So, I got cozy in my comfy recliner, and slept through the 4 hour infusion!

I’m pretty amazed at the changes that I’ve noticed since the infusion:

I’ve slept through the night both nights – I’ve not slept through the night in over a year – before the hip replacement it was from hip pain, since then, from anemia!

I haven’t had a single sour candy – don’t want them, don’t care about them. Amazing!

I’m not as cold. It was taking four quilts and a heating pad on my side of the bed with me wearing flannel PJ’s and 45 minutes to get me warm enough to fall asleep. I love that I’m warmer!

I feel more satisfied with what I’ve eaten… I don’t know if that’s the right way to say it – but it seems that I’m not as hungry or something.

Just a few things. So far – only positives from the experience. I’m so thankful for a proactive PCP, a really educated hematologist, and the wonderful care I received during my infusion!


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