Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's a ME post.

I usually don't make posts strictly about ME, but I haven't posted in awhile, so, deal.

I have deduced that I must Vulcan. Or some other kind of life form. I do not have iron based blood, or at least my body doesn't like being an iron-based life form. My body obviously hates iron, as was determined at my iv infusion yesterday. Being anemic all my life, and having doctors for years drolly tell me, "You have low iron" with all the importance of "You have a hang nail", I never took anemia seriously. I just figured I would live life in a mostly dopey, energy-bereft quasi-life. Until one day I went to a new doctor who put me on prescription strength ferrous sulfate, which my gastro-intestinal track would rebel at every time I would give the prescription a chance. After a few months I would just give up, giving up energy to spare myself a shut down colon.

So at my last yearly round of blood work, it was suggested since my HBG was in the single digits, that I would have an infusion of Venefor, basically a solution of iron sucrose dripped into a vein over the course of h-o-u-r-s. I arrived at the infusion center, thankful I wasn't there for chemo treatments like most the inhabitants there. Knowing that Venefor can cause allergic reactions in some patients,the technician started the test run drip of a diluted solution, and within two minutes I was reacting adversely. Hot flashes, shakes, numb extremities. It felt like my brain was trying to leave my body. Shortness of breath was beginning. I shakily told the technician, "I feel really weird, get this out of my arm NOW!!!" She couldn't turn the machine off fast enough.

I had a whopping 10 ml infused. Not a lot.

So, I ended up calling my husband at work to come to drive me home, because after sitting for a hour spent, I was still experiencing waves of panic, which only got worse as the day progressed after I came home. Last night I was ready to tell my husband to take my to the ER, but then around 9 pm, I finally was able to take my nighttime dose of xanax and within 10 minutes I was able to talk without getting short of breath. I took one more benedryl to help control the histamine reactions I was still having (which are hard to separate from panic attacks) and slept the sleep of the drugged.

This morning, I am much better, but I am not pushing myself.

I called my doctor yesterday, Dr. Dry-As-Toast-Left-Out-On-The-Counter-Overnight-Then-Put-In-A-Dehydrator, and told him I will be more than willing take oral ferrous and mirilax for the rest of my life and live with the occasional nausea. After all, it could be worse, as I remembered the chemo patients I saw in the room with me, dealing with far more than I could ever imagine. He said that he will never let me have iv infusions again and wrote me another script of intestinal-biding ferrous sulfate.

Funny thing: I had read enough about this procedure to know what the negative results could be, and asked the technician about the chances of having an allergic reaction, anaphylaxis being the most serious. She assured me said she had never had a patient have a negative reaction.

"Well, I hope I am not your first". Jinx.

One percent of patients who have infusions do have bad reactions such as mine. Maybe I should go out and buy a lottery ticket.


  1. Sheesh! I'm so glad you stopped! That's scary. I so don't trust Western medicine.

  2. So have you recovered yet?
    I just got to this post -- crazy week it's been.
    TAKE YOUR IRON. Ask your doctor for an easier to tolerate formula for iron -- I believe one exists.