Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Solstices, fairies and medical mutterings (FD)

Last year I had a big celebration for the Summer Solstice, and I was going to go one better this year by celebrating Fairy Day too.  But that's not how it worked out.  No.  As it turns out all I ended up doing was baking and decorating a cake and leaving a cherry offering for the fairies (they were really sweet cherries, and I'm told fairies like sweet things, so I figured they'd enjoy some).

So, what happened to change my plans? Or, more to the point - since it's the truth of the matter - what happened to stop me making any plans?

To put it simply: illness.

I've been feeling unwell for a while, but my old doctor is taking forever to get my notes to my new doctor (and will only accept a kick up the backside from me if I show up in person at the surgery; not an option since it's in Wales and I'm in England).  Because of this my new doctor wont see me or treat me for anything, leaving me with a trip to Accident And Emergency as the only option to get treatment.

I accepted I needed to go 2 weeks ago, but it was the week where funds are low and so are our cupboard contents, which would have been an issue if they kept me in hospital, since Kelly couldn't go shopping if I couldn't be home with Kero.  We had been doing our shopping online, but Kelly likes the outing so we hadn't booked any, and the slots were all already filled for the day our money came in by the time we agreed it was necessary for me to be seen.  Because of this I refused to go to A&E until I knew Kelly and the dogs would have food.  This meant it was last Monday (a week ago yesterday) when I finally went to A&E.

To cut a long story short: after establishing my heart and lungs were perfectly fine they began battling to get blood from me to check my iron level (which I was sure was the issue).  When - eventually - they managed to persuade a vein to work it was in my wrist, and they put a canula (sp?) in it to make sure they could get access again if they needed more blood.  Eventually they discovered I was right; my iron level was 8.1 (it should be between 12 and 14, or so I'm told).  This was worrying since I'm taking enough iron supplements to give me 133% of my RDA of iron (an inaccurate term, since "percent" means "out of a hundred" but it's the case in this situation) and this on top of whatever's in my food each day.  My blood pressure was good though at 124 over 80.  I almost ended up staying in hospital, but they let me out after all (I was at the hospital from about 1:00pm to just before 9:00pm, despite having been seen almost immediately when I got there).  I went home with pills to take and a sore wrist from the canula.  I couldn't use my hand properly for most of last week, and couldn't do anything about it since energy work is impossible when you have no energy to work with.

Anyway, the doctors are now trying to figure out the cause of my iron supplements not being effective enough, which is good because my old doctors kept just insisting it was because of my weight, so it's nice to have doctors who want to listen to me about the fact I'd love to get the weight off but with how I'm feeling it's all I can do to do simple daily tasks.

So that's both why I didn't do anything to celebrate the Summer Solstice or Fairy Day, and why I'm so behind on reading everyone's blogs (and haven't been on the forums I follow in over a week).


Anonymous said...

Ohhh dear, Tori i am sorry you have had a rough time of it. I hope your iron levels pick up very soon.
sending hugs your way
June x

Rita said...

Sorry you've been feeling so crummy and tired, but glad to hear that these doctors are going to try to find out why the iron supplements aren't working! That's good to hear, anyways.
Seems ridiculous that your old doctor won't send over your records! That's nuts! Can these doctors request them and get them on the stick over there in Wales?
Maybe once you get settled in a new clinic over here they will be much better doctors and find some solutions. I hope so. *hugs*

Deanna said...

Ah, the old anemia issue...I know it well. Mine dropped to 7.9 and the exhaustion is almost overwhelming. Once one is anemic, it takes WAY more than usual dosages of iron. Even one with 133% is not generally enough. Although the RDA for menstruating females is 18 mg., once anemic the recommended amount is 50-60 mg. twice a day for a couple of months. Trouble is, that much is often pretty hard to take. It makes my stomach hurt. Which is why I don't end up taking the RX and I continue to be anemic. ;)

So, all that to say that if they rule out bleeding issues and unusual causes, chances are you (we?) just need to take more iron and increase our intake of iron-rich foods. One other thing that can be a contributing factor is drinking too much tea. I know this is an issue for me. I try not to consume tea with my meals anymore because tea blocks the absorption of the iron in food. And consuming a good vitamin C source helps increase iron absorption. I know you are a vegetarian and my iron levels dropped considerably during the time I was 100% vegetarian. It's not impossible to get enough iron without meat but it does take a little more thought and effort. I've chosen to temporarily add some beef to my diet but as I'm sure you know, increasing one's intake of beans, lentils and dried fruits can help, too. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon. Being tired is absolutely no fun.

AliceKay said...

Oh wow, Tori. So sorry to hear what you had to go thru just to be seen by a doctor. I hope they find the cause of your low iron level and get you back in tip-top shape. Low iron levels sound pretty serious to me, so I hope you're starting to feel better. *hugs*

That corgi :) said...

Tori; sorry to hear this!! Glad you are getting it worked out though; hoping the doctors come up with some type of a treatment plan for you that raises your hemoglobin and keeps it where it should be so you don't start feeling like you did last week!


ChicagoLady said...

I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well, and hope the doctors can get your iron levels up where they should be very soon.

Toriz said...

Thanks! *Hugs*

My new doctors have been requesting the notes since February. They've even put a red mark (which measns "urgent" and tells them they need to keep checking up on it) beside my name on my file on their system. *Sigh*

When my iron dropped to 7.5 before and the only reason I didn't go to hospital was my refusal to go, I was told about the tea. Now I only drink caffine free herbal teas. I never drank coffee so that wasn't an issue. Plus, I take my iron stuff with orange juice to help with absorbtion. I triedadding meat back in my diet but ended up crying over my dinner, giving it to the dog, and eating something totally unhealthy, so it was worse than ever. I spoke to the doctor (both then and now) and the doctor agrees I'm doing all I need to dietwise. I snack on raisins almost every day, 90% of my meals involve iron rich foods (broccoli, peas, spinach, etc) and I keep my caffine intake to a minimum (I say "to a minimum" because chocolate has caffine in it and I eat that plus drink cocoa). It helped that the doctor was also a vegetarian so knows what a vegetarian would eat, and the non-meat options for getting iron in your diet. Like I said, she was happy with my diet. Thanks for the tips though. :) Oh, and I know what you mean about the extra pills sometimes. I'm hoping I don't have to stay on the extra ones for long, because my stomach is complaining already!

Thanks. And, yeah, they are pretty serious. Low iron levels means low oxygen levels in the blood. That's why they checked my heart and lungs first, just to make sure the dizzyness and shortness of breath wasn't a heart or lungs issue. Apparently other than actually fainting I ticked all the boxes for anemia symptoms: dizzyness, shortness of breath, chest pain during physical activity, constant headaches, and extreme fatigue.

Thanks; I hope so too! I've been dealing with this on and off since I was in my teens, and it would be nice to get it sorted (especially since it could be the reason for my lack of success in the becoming a Mother department).


Chrislyn said...

So sorry to hear you have been ill, Tori. I hope the Drs find the root of the problem soon. It's great that your Dr is vegetarian and understands the diet. Being vegetarian is blamed for so many issues when it is not the culprit at all, unless you eat nothing but junk food! Doctors are starting to finally understand this.
I have been vegetarian for 30 years and am in much better health than when I ate meat--Of course my whole reason for being vegetarian is for the animals--I know I could never eat meat again either! (sorry to go on -- I am just very passionate about this)

I do hope you get to feeling better soon!
Sending healing thoughts and hugs!

Toriz said...


And don't apologize; I feel the same way!

Deanna said...

Dang Tori~ I'm sorry you've not been feeling well. I am astonished that it has taken this long for your Dr. to get your medical records transferred. That is criminal. I hope they get the problem sorted out and you are feeling more energetic soon.


Toriz said...

I know, it's beyond a joke with the medical records. And there's no excuse for it, especially with most of the stuff being stored on computers these days!

Anyway, thanks! *Hugs*

Intense Guy said...

Well, it sounds like they did a rather thorough job.

I guess you know what it means to have a "cast iron stomache"...

(I know, its no joking matter)

Hugs - I hope you feel un-anemic soon.. Did they suggest a blood transfusion?

Toriz said...

LOL! (You actually made me chuckle; thanks!)

If it had been lower (or if I end up keep going back with it not going up) then a blood transfusion is a possibility. As it stands at the moment we're trying to avoid that.