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Had a Hysterectomy! Did it FINALLY Cure My Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Last I posted, I mentioned the possibility of a hysterectomy.  Long story short (perhaps I'll blog about that next), my surgery was canceled because the insurance company decided the day before the surgery they would not pay for it!  To say I was a mess that day is a huge understatement.

Fast forward, I sent the insurance company a long letter detailing my day-to-day existence with anemia and the side effects from my too-frequent infusions. They approved the surgery.

I'll blog more on the experience of surgery but I ended up having a Da Vinci Robotic Hysterectomy.  The doctor made four small incisions and operated the controls from outside my body! 

Let me just say, this surgery was far more difficult on me than I thought it would be.  Recovery has been slow but, reading online, I see that is common for many women which makes me feel just a bit better.

About six weeks after my surgery, I had my bloodwork done.  I was a nervous wreck.  I didn't feel anemic but, then again,…
Recent posts

Getting Serious About My Iron Deficiency Anemia - It's Hysterectomy Time!

WARNING: May be too graphic a post for some

I was diagnosed with Iron Deficiency Anemia more than thirteen years ago and have been treated with iron infusions for more than five years.  Although a hysterectomy has been suggested a few times over the years, I never took it seriously.

I am now.

So what has changed?

I am not 100% certain my anemia is caused by my cycle.  We've stopped my periods with the use of birth control pills.  I still needed infusions.  I've lessened the flow radically with Lysteda.  Still needed infusions.  Had to give up the pills because, after an extended time on them, I just felt down and lethargic (yes, even more lethargic than with my anemia...I felt the difference).  I quit the Lysteda because the migraines it caused became worse than the pain associated with my period.

But, my periods have become worse.  I did a crash diet a few years back and it seriously altered my cycles.  They were never great to begin with but they've become absolutely unb…

Month Two of Lysteda (Tranexamic Acid)

I posted last month about how I was trying generic Lysteda (Tranexamic Acid) to slow my period. It worked and it was amazing!

I only took the pills twice last month and what a difference it made.  I ended up having a light period for about eight days.  That length of time is not unusual for me but I do usually have several days of heavy bleeding and really appreciated not having to go through that.

So a month later and my period starts again.  At the first sign yesterday, I took two tablets in the morning and then again in the evening.  Stayed light.  Took two this morning and still very light.  I think I'll take two more at bed time (they make me sleepy) and then just see how I'm doing tomorrow.  If it picks up, I'll take two more but I'll have to do it when I'm home for a few hours.  I just feel so exhausted after taking them but a couple hours later, I'm doing much better.  The only other side effect seems to be a slight headache.  Nothing major and doesn…

Discovering Lysteda and Slowing Down My Period Way Down!

I haven't had much to add the last couple of months.  Just been on the ever constant cycle of infusions.  I had my last infusion in June.  I decided that, despite the way iron pills affect me, I was going to find a 'gentle' iron and take it daily.   I really wanted to prolong the time between infusions.

Oh, the daily iron caused so much pain.  I 'stomached' through it but I just don't do iron pills well.  So, in July my doctor decides we should check my levels.  My ferritin was down to about 10.  So discouraging.  I lost ferritin and iron more quickly that month. 

Well, I chucked the iron pills.  Not worth it.  I also put off my infusion a month.  With a level of 10, I'm considered borderline and they are okay if I wait. 

So, had my infusion in August.

In the meantime, my OB GYN and I have been discussing what to do about my period.  Not sure my period is the cause of my iron-deficiency anemia but it can't be helping. 

A couple years ago, I made the …

Infused (again)

I posted last week about feeling so fatigued and it was time to get my blood levels checked.  Yep, I was right, no ferritin left in my body and my hemoglobin was dropping as a result. 

And, so, I got right in there for an infusion.  Still using the Ferrlecit and still only doing one infusion rather than two.  I think for me mentally, doing one infusion is so much easier.  With the Venofer, I was doing five infusions every four months or so and, so one infusion every three months seems really nice.

The infusion itself went smoothly.  I still get Benadryl because I have reacted before and so I just rested and snoozed the entire time.  I think the Ferrlecit infusion ends up taking about an hour and a half.  They do the Benadryl and then the Ferrlecit and then I have to wait a half hour while they monitor me. 

That night, I was exhausted which I usually chalk up to the Benadryl.  I slept for hours that day. 

The next day, I just felt sort of icky like my body was fighting something off…

Waiting on Blood Work

It has now been a few months since my last infusion.  I love the Ferrlecit.  Although, two infusions is recommended, I've been doing one and then it is about three months before I need another.  With the Venofer, I'd have a series of five infusions over five or six weeks and still need a new round three to four months out.  This new iron is so much easier on me.

I have been so fatigued the last few weeks.  It's just that fatigue that makes it hard to get out of bed and with a teen and a tween, I just don't have that luxury.  I have to get my son to classes.  He also does tae kwon do and Scouts.  My daughter dances most days of the week.  I also homeschool my daughter.  As hard as it is, I do function but the fatigue is overwhelming.  One nice thing is that I've been falling into bed at night and sleeping hard for eight to nine hours.  Always appreciate uninterrupted sleep.

So, today I had my levels tested.  If my ferritin is below 10, I'm sure I'll be in fo…

Precautions Recommended for IV Iron

As I draw near to getting another infusion, I am looking up the different types of iron.  I seem to be having a better time of it with the Ferrlecit so I will stick with it as long as my hematologist is willing to give it to me.

I found this article today:

New Precautions Recommended for IV Iron Supplements

Although nearly two years old, I still found it interesting.  Dextran was the worst iron I've had.  They started with Dextran they said because it is cheapest.  However, it also seems to have the more risk for serious reaction.  Indeed, I had a horrible experience with it during my second or third round of infusions.  That seems to be the only iron of which they require a test dose. 

I think, all in all, this is a good article to read.  I don't think it should panic anybody but it is good to remember that severe allergic reactions don't always happen during the first or second time getting infusions.  You don't want to take your infusion for granted and you want to …