May 1, 2014

Day 80: (Not so) Ironwoman

Earlier in the week I had a blood test done that was requested by my normal doctor.

Some background info:
I have always had low iron (ferritin) levels and I take iron supplements sporadically to boost my levels. My levels have always been at the very lower end of the normal spectrum, not quite low enough to be classified as anaemia. The healthy range is 18-160ng/mL blood and the last time I had a blood test (about October last year) my levels were at 23ng/mL. I ended up having an iron IV where they inject an iron solution straight into your blood stream, and this increased my level to 60ng/mL. I have taken iron tablets pretty much consistently since then.

I couldn't take the tablets after surgery for about 6 weeks due to numbness in my mouth, I couldn't tell whether I had actually swallowed the tablet or not. Anyway I have been taking them religiously since about this point and I figured I would get back to normal soon (hoping my levels didn't drop too much over the 6 weeks).

ANYWAY..... cue call from my doctors receptionist today when she informs me my levels have dropped to 6ng/mL!!! WHAT!

My doctor wants me to get an iron IV again but I simply can't afford it at the moment (it's quite pricey!) so I am getting them to write me a prescription for some heavy duty iron tablets. Hopefully these manage to boost my levels!

I think the reason they are so low is because I wasn't able to eat any food that had iron in it for a good few weeks after surgery, and I obviously haven't been eating enough since then! I am going to work on getting more red meat and other iron-rich food into my diet. Hopefully this combined with the tablets boosts my iron levels.

Beware of dietary deficiencies when recovering from surgery!

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