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Friday, May 29, 2009

FINALLY! A reason for the exhaustion

I know you'll find this hard to believe, since I'm so witty and funny and whatnot, but over the last several months, I've been exhausted. I don't mean just tired, I mean exhausted. Barely able to function, exhausted. I would sleep 10+ hours a night, take a 2-3 hour nap every day and still be completely worn out. It's been getting progressively worse for a few months now and last week I finally decided to go see my doctor to find out what was going on. They drew a ton of blood (seriously, I need that stuff) and did a bazillion tests. Today I had my follow up for the results. The first thing my doc said he wasn't surprised I was tired. He was actually more surprised that I was upright and conscious. Well, with an opening like that, I was a bit concerned. He sat down with me and went over a bunch of numbers that didn't make much sense to me, but I smiled and nodded like I knew what he was talking about. My iron levels are beyond low. The normal range is 25-170, with 25 being on the edge of anemia. My level is 15. My blood itself has a very low red and white blood count. He said my blood is mostly fluid and nearly opaque under a microscope. Nice, huh? My binding agent is good (on the upper end of the spectrum even), but there are so few blood cells for it to bind to. So now I have to take iron supplements. Hurrah. If, after a month my iron levels don't increase, I may have to do a transfusion. No thank you.
He said I need to eat more green vegetables, especially spinach. I actually laughed at that. I eat spinach almost every freaking day. Indy and I grew salad spinach from seed for a school project and we are now overloaded with fresh spinach. If I ate more, I'd turn into Popeye.
On the up side though, he said my kidney and liver levels were at the level of a teenager. He's incredibly impressed with how good a shape my internal organs are. Yea for me, I guess.


Melissa Miller said...

I wonder why they are at such low levels then?
I hope it all gets straightened out very soon for you. Feel better...:)

Take care and have a nice relaxing weekend.
~Melissa :)

marty39 said...

Hopefully the iron supplements will do the trick. I really do hope you're feeling better soon. Take care. Hugs, Marty

Scribbler said...

When I was a very young woman -- about 20, I think -- I had a hemoglobin count of 8! The Dr. said he was amazed I could sit up. I received injections of iron and the b vitamins every other day. In addition, I was told to eat liver and spinach each day -- that was a real thrill.

It didn't take long before I was feeling much better, however!

I do hope your iron supplements do the trick, but you might try calves liver. Sliced very thin, pan broiled with onions and lots of butter, it is quite tasty.

Now, of course, my cholesterol is a concern, and I can't eat liver at all!

As the late Gilda Radner said, "It's always something!"

Hope you're feeling better soon.


Crazy Shenanigans said...

I don't know where some people get their energy, I really don't. If it makes you feel any better you've got about 60 times more energy than me..

Bonita said...

I'm glad you have your answer and a plan of action. Did he have any idea why the level was so low? What's the underlying cause?

A friend of mine ate KFC's chicken livers to help with her iron when she was pregnant. Those might be easier to stomach than plain old liver. Eating raisins may help too, and beef.

Just make sure you take it very seriously and jump right on doing what you need to do. Low iron can lead to other things you don't want.

nkh said...

I had this same problem a couple years ago and my doctor threatened me with a transfusion as well. And I craved ice. I would drive to the convenience store several times a day to get a big class of ice. The doctor put me on iron supplements and I felt better in a couple weeks. Now I keep close eye on my iron levels and when I start feeling run down I take OTC iron tablets for a couple weeks.
I'm sure you'll feel better in no time.

Margo said...

sorry you're so tired. I'm glad they figured out what the issue is so easily. so many people it seems have these kinds of issues and doctors can't figure out what is going on. Hope you feel better soon!

Struggler said...

Good thing you went to find out what might be causing it. And I'm sure it was a scary thing to hear, but, as the others say, it's great your doctor found a cause and it sounds like you can tackle it and come out on top.
Regarding spinach, I warmly suggest you check out the wikipedia page.
This contains info on the decimal point problem which makes us all think spinach is really high in iron when in fact someone messed up. Might be good to know before you force yourself to eat even more!
Best of luck!!

BeautifulWreck said...

I also have low iron right now. I am taking supplements and eating more iron enriched foods. Love the effects of that. NOT.

I hope you can get your levels high enough and can avoid the transfusion.

Nikki said...

I'm glad you have an answer. Hope the iron works for you.

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