Monday, September 09, 2013

Health Updates

So, it's a good thing my body and I had this amazing trip a few weeks ago, because my body is struggling again! Yep, it's time for another health update

First, the good stuff. I have been released from therapy. I love my occupational therapist and she has done amazing things for my arm ... range of motion is fabulous, and pretty normal. This is so far from where I started and I'm so thankful for that. I'm starting to strength train now. It's awesome. I am currently using a two pound weight, which I'm sure seems "cute" to some people, but hey, I'm okay with using two pounds. It's where I'm at and that's okay.  I'm using the compression sleeve almost daily and the heat and humidity definitely make me swell so I'm avoiding being outside at those times (and thankfully this summer hasn't been too terribly hot or humid, which is good for me!). The arm is looking good.

However, because there always has to be a however with me, my iron levels have completely tanked. Again. In October I will try to get iron via IV again. I'm all sorts of nervous about this. Last time we tried this (just under a year ago) it didn't go so well. I had an allergic reaction, we had to stop the IV and I wasn't allowed to try any more treatments. Last week I tried an iron pill again, just to see if I would react to it, and I did. However, the doctor feels like we need to try again - my levels are just too low to let them remain this way {which I agree with, but am still feeling nervous}. They will go much slower this time, premedicate me with benedryl and we'll see what happens. Of course, it would have been better to start this, oh, now-ish. Except, I don't have any insurance, and I should have it in October, so, October it is.

I can't lie. I am really upset about this. I don't know why, after starting to get better, they have tanked again. Some ideas are being tossed around, but without insurance there's not much to do at this point. And when I get insurance, the primary objective will be to raise those iron levels. I have about a million questions, but not a lot of answers. Because the blood test results came in after insurance ended, there was no doctor's appointment to discuss it. Just a phone conversation (which was not rushed in any way, but still, I really need an actual appointment). My doctors are being great about all of this though, really working with me and being understanding. I've been consulting Dr. Google, which some say isn't smart, but I'm trying to avoid all the OMG YOU ARE GOING TO DIE IN 21 SECONDS sites it's linking too and instead trying to arm myself with some concrete information, based both on what I'm thinking and words the doctors have used with me. I will definitely be pushing for some testing to see if we can find the root cause of this when I can because I feel like I can't keep doing this yo-yo thing with being okay and not being okay.

I can't lie, I'm extremely frustrated about all of this. I'm also definitely having moody swings and being a big crab at time {side note: did you know that low iron causes crabbiness, moodiness, and irritability?}. And it causes exhaustion. Which I am definitely feeling these days - more so on the hot/humid days. I've been napping almost daily again - which may be the only benefit to having low iron, I can nap and no one can complain about it LOL!

The timing of all of this feels really annoying, since there is this gap in insurance for me. But, I'm still trying to remind myself that it's not all that bad in the grand scheme of things. For now, I'm hoping there's a simple cause to the anemia, that it's not going to be chronic, and that the IV goes much much better this time. I'm still trying to hold on to loving my body, even when it isn't working perfectly. It may not be absorbing iron well, but my arm is getting stronger. And I really do appreciate that very much!


  1. Brandie, I wish so much that you didn't have to have a "however"--that it could just be pure, unadulterated good news. Still, I'm grateful for the good news, and totally in awe of your accomplishments. Nothing about them seems "cute" or little to me. I think you rock, and I pray that health issues get out of the way so that you can continue to rock to the full extent of your natural abilities.

  2. I hope you get to the root of the iron problem and the treatments are easier on you this time around. (((hugs)))

  3. I've been working in an infusion clinic (I'm a computer person, not a nurse), and I know that a lot of the patients there have iron problems. That gets really frustrating for them. I hope you get some answers soon and you can get new insurance.

  4. Jessie10:55 AM

    Have you tried supplementing with Chloerella? It might help to take a good therapeutic dose of that until you can get back into the Dr. It helps with iron. I slip it in my green juices. Hugs to you!!


Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)