Many of us are prone to over thinking stuff, which leads to self-criticism and self-loathing in those of us with self-awareness and a sense of blaming others in those without it. Recently, I know I am over thinking stuff and to counteract that I have tried to be in the now by trying new experiences, which has not been easy, but has been beneficial overall.
From high teas in sophisticated dining establishments to browsing books, I have tried to put my mind at rest and focus on the here and now, which has had a reasonably good effect on my mood, but has drained energy levels significantly. Just when I thought I was feeling better, I was told I had a noticeable drop in my blood haemoglobin. I usually don’t worry about being anaemic unless I drop into single figures in my haemoglobin levels, so couldn’t ignore the results this time. I have felt tired lately but put it down to the expected affects of chronic illness and nothing out of the mundane ordinary.
There’s no obvious cause for being anaemic as far as I can see and things seem to be the same as always from my point of view. It’s a source of frustration for me that I don’t get to see my haematology report myself to check mean cell volume etc, which would give me a clue as to the type of anaemia I have so I can try to decipher what’s going on with me, but maybe that’s a blessing as I would be back to overanalysing stuff and I have learnt that figuring such things out is not my job anymore.
As much as I appreciate the care I get from various departments of the NHS, I couldn’t help feel a little frustration with the pulmonary hypertension team when my practice nurse pointed out that the bloods that indicated I was anaemic were drawn on 8th July and it’s taken almost a month for whoever should be dealing with the results to contact me and when I (over)think about it, there was no plan when I was informed, I took it upon myself to have the test repeated. I see the same nurse to have my bloods drawn every month and couldn’t explain away the delay or the find a reasonable explanation from my point of view as to why I should be anaemic now.
The Pulmonary Vascular Diseases Unit seems so far away in space and time when something like this crops up and time seems to slow,as I run through all the worst case scenarios spawned by various risk factors, including a florid family history of diabetic complications. No doubt, the probability is that there really isn’t anything serious going on, but in all honesty the probability of being diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension was incredibly insignificant, so I no longer trust in low odds.
Is it overanalysing when there could be a significant underlying cause for something? Has my recent reduced reading speed been a symptom of the anaemia I now have? Would it have been easier on me if I wasn’t told I was anaemic? Am I over thinking this again? All I really want is to find my reading mojo, which has been absent for the past month.
You have my sympathies. I completely get that when one is under the long term care of a clinic, that one is very grateful a) that the NHS exists and b) for the care they are giving – but … in my experience the patient has to look out for herself as well, and it is not over-thinking to ask why you had to wait a month to be told that your blood count was so low and why nobody had a plan for getting it up. If anaemia is a regular result of your condition, then you need help dealing with that. I have a friend who lived a tremendously active life when anaemic, and the condition was only discovered accidentally. But she was an otherwise healthy woman at the time! When one already has a chronic condition one depends on one’s healthcare professionals to be on the case.
What do you do when you become anaemic? Do you try and remedy it with diet, or can you take iron tabs (I can’t get on with them at all)?
I take a handful of different supplements every day – poo-pooed by the medical profession who are supposed to be looking after my thyroid condition (my experience of the NHS is nothing like as positive as yours), and I now function, sort of. Which is way better than I was doing before I started taking the supplements. I find adrenal extract particularly beneficial. But supplementing iron I find very difficult.
I have been on ferrous sulphate tablets in the past, but honestly I’m loathed to add any more pills to the varied but substantial lot I already have to take without confirmation that my anaemia is caused by iron deficiency. I sympathise, it’s hard to be the lone voice in a sea of concordance, I have rebelled a bit when I refused warfarin. I will be waiting for the next set of results with great anticipation and a lot of questions if it comes back confirming anaemia again. I was warned when I underwent laparoscopy in 2013, was very anaemic afterwards and was transposed four units that anaemia could cause complications like heart failure in patients like myself, so I do have some cause to be concerned but the ever compliant agreeable patient in my head keeps piping up that a Hb of 9 is not that bad.
When I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia (over 25 years ago) the doctors had no clue as to why. About 9 years ago I decided to try eliminating certain things from my diet: gluten, sugar, dairy, etc. The common denominator for me was gluten. I was not diagnosed with celiac disease, but I have come to the conclusion that I am one of several thousand people who are gluten intolerant. Most of my symptoms have disappeared, including the anemia. I’m sure you’ve probably already tried this route, but thought I’d share my experience in case someone out there hasn’t.
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In the past when I was told I was anaemic the cause was always obvious, but it doesn’t appear to be so this time. If I don’t have any further clue as to what’s causing my anaemia I think it would be a good idea to exclude gluten and it would probably really help control my blood sugar too.
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I was diagnosed with anemia when I was in college, about 5-6 years ago. It was difficult – My doctor knew that my regular blood donations were part of the cause, as well as my height and weight ratio. He put me on FS tablets then. I hate taking pills, so I turned to a liquid iron supplement for a while. Now, I take a daily multivitamin that gives me 100% daily iron, along with folic acid and magnesium in preparation for future pregnancy. I’m able to give blood about 3-4 times a year, which makes me happy.
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I have had iron deficiency anaemia on and off since I was 13, and have never met the criterion to donate blood for one reason or another. Definitely excluded due to the high amounts of meds I’m on.