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Showing posts from 2015

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 …

Ferrlecit - My Favorite Iron

Is it possible to have a favorite iron?  Seems strange but, yes, I do have a favorite iron now.

Posted last time about how exhausted I was and I was exhausted.  When my ferritin levels get low, I just get so tired and try to fit in naps when I can.  I'm a pretty busy mom and just don't have time for that level of exhaustion.  Along with the exhaustion comes such guilt.  I feel so guilty for needing naps or just not being able to do it all. 

So, had my levels tested in February.  My hemoglobin was fine.  I think it was in the eleven range which is great for me.  My ferritin however was below 10.

Just a little side note:  If you are tired and suspect anemia, always ask for your ferritin numbers.  Even if your hemoglobin is normal, a really low ferritin score indicates that there is a problem and you will be anemic soon.  Often, exhaustion sets in once your ferritin is low.  You can avoid all the additional problem with anemia if you treat the low ferritin.  Iron pills will usua…

Tired

I can tell when I just start feeling utterly exhausted that an infusion is likely in my near future.  Sometimes my ferritin levels are borderline (around 10) and we put it off for a month.

Usually when my ferritin levels get to about 15 or below, I find it harder and harder to get through a day without napping.  Many days I don't have time to nap and find my brain just feels a bit foggy and have no energy to do much.

Will be scheduling a blood draw in the next week or soon and we will see what comes back.

Some Tips for Your First Iron Infusion

I've been sharing my infusion stories now for a few years.  I've gotten quite a few messages mostly from women nervous about getting their first infusion. 

I get it.  I remember being a bit nervous and having no idea what to expect.  You can read about my first iron infusion experience here:  Intravenous Iron Infusion and Me

Since my first infusion just over three years ago, I've had a number of rounds.  I'd like to pass along a few tips to hopefully make the experience a bit easier for you.

Drink plenty of water beforehand.  I've found it is much easier for them to get the IV in when you are hydrated.  Find a chair close to the restroom.  Yes, this goes back to tip #1.  You can wheel the IV into the restroom and I find it is just easier to be somewhere in the vicinity.Bring a pillow.  You can bring your own blanket but often, if you ask, they'll bring you a blanket.  If you are having Benadryl, it is just easier to nap with a pillow.Dress in layers.  Even if it…

Three Years of Iron Infusions!

Just over three years ago, I had my first iron infusion. 

Backing up a little.  I had ended up in the Emergency Room.  My heart had been acting up and, that night, something just felt off so my husband decided to take me to the hospital.

I told them I was pretty anemic.  I've struggled with Iron Deficiency Anemia since having my daughter.  They did some bloodwork, came back and said, "You're anemic."  Yep, I knew that.  I was told to see a hematologist and so I made an appointment.

So glad I did.  For years, doctors had been trying different iron supplements out on me.  We'd played with my diet.  Things would work for a little while but then I'd be anemic again.  My hemoglobin went down to four more than once.  That's mighty low and I've talked to women who've had transfusions at those levels. 

I had a doctor who had suggested seeing a hematologist but then I moved across the country and my new doctors wanted to start from square one.  Had I known…