Featured Slider

How I've Been Combatting My IDA Diagnosis (Iron Deficiency Anemia)

A little over a month ago, I shared my story.

I finally received a diagnosis which would explain most if not all of my symptoms and since that day, I've been doing everything in my power to combat this diagnosis. 

My case of iron-deficient anemia, b12 and vitamin d deficiencies is extremely severe. While supplemental pills were initially given a chance, my primary doctor and hematologist heavily advised me to move forward with an iron infusion as soon as possible. They knew it was my goal to treat these issues with as little invasion as possible, but also to treat them with vigor. 

Going to the hospital for my first infusion was not at all an unpleasant experience! I arrived at the cancer center (as infusions and chemotherapy are administered in the same area) and didn't quite know what to expect. Would I have my own room? How long would the infusion take? How would it make me feel? Of course, these are my experiences and will vary for every individual. 

I found the staff to be super friendly and knowledgeable. My nurse wanted to make sure I was comfortable and offered me a blanket and snacks, if I was interested. I had actually come prepared with a protein bar and bottle of water so I politely declined and made myself comfortable in my own private room. I knew there were two different possibilities for infusions and one was four hours long. I hoped it was the shorter one, and it was! 

The bags and dark circles you see are from many years of deficiencies that I’m only beginning to conquer. I look forward to looking “well” and healthy but most of all, feeling it! 

The IV was pretty standard (I've probably had 50+ for a variety of reasons) and painless. They first administer a bag of saline for hydration and then proceed with the iron. She mentioned that few people will experience unpleasant side effects during the procedure, but it's rare. I felt fine during the entire infusion. In total, I was in the hospital for about an hour and with a 30 minute commute each way, my experience was around two hours. 

My doctors told me that I should begin to feel the benefits of the infusion within a couple of weeks. Some people seem to feel different within days and for some it takes weeks. I'm over a week post-infusion and I think I may be feeling a bit better. I still have multiple unpleasant symptoms but I was able to vacuum a few rooms of my home today and not feel like I was about to pass out. To me, this was a huge win and I will take it. I also recently invited my parents over for dinner that I felt I would be able to prepare. I haven't done this in over a year. It's something so simple that many people may take for granted, but for me, standing in a kitchen for a prolonged period of time is quite difficult. Dinner turned out great and I even went to a store that same day! 

I'm blessed (in my opinion) to not work outside of my home right now which means I can spend every single day, getting better. I can pick my children up from school and spend the evening with them. I can cook my little family dinner and rest afterward. I can play card games, build Legos and watch movies with my sweet boys. I can watch them run through the woods while I straggle slowly behind and enjoy every precious moment. There have been a few instances over the last year and a half that I couldn't get out of bed. There were evenings that I could only stand for 5 minutes at a time and need to lie down. I clearly remember the horrible day I thought I must be "out of shape" and determined in my mind to ride my bike which very nearly sent me to the emergency room because I had NO idea what was actually happening inside of my body. Looking back on that experience, I'm amazed I didn't pass out in the road with my son standing by. 

I appreciate every single day as the gift that it is. I may not be able to run with my boys, ride a bike with them, kick the soccer ball around the yard or play tennis at the park... but I WILL. I know that I will. I so look forward to that day! In the meantime, I will sit with them while they play with Legos, engage in meaningful conversations about Ninjago characters, play an ultra competitive game of hearts and watch Wheel of Fortune and America's Funniest Videos. I do what I can and try to find creative ways to be involved with my family while they patiently wait for me to feel like myself again. I'm grateful and blessed. I've explained in detail what I'm going through with my health. My two boys who are 10 and 8 understand so much about health and wellness. They know how important vitamins and nutrients are and what can happen when our bodies are not receiving them. They (along with their amazing daddy) are my greatest gifts on this planet and I love spending every single day with them! 

The infusion was a positive experience for me but did leave me with about a day and a half of "infusion flu" as my body tried to process. It was just one difficult night and day of fever sweats/chills, muscle  aches and a headache. By the second full day after, those symptoms had subsided. I definitely recommend having the infusion if your iron-deficiency is dangerously severe. In addition, I am also taking vitamin D and self-administering vitamin b12 injections. I am so hopeful. There are more paths to exhaust such as a GI visit this coming week and possible future tests, but it will all be worth it in the end. Thanks for following along in this journey. It is my hope that my experience may make just one person more aware of their own health and well-being and hopefully encourage all of you to take care of your amazing bodies! It will tell us what it needs, if we will only listen.



No comments

We love hearing from you! Thanks for leaving us some comment love! If you're a new follower, please leave your link, so we can follow you back!

Sleep Tight with Sweet Night!

New Year Sale - Up to 40% OFF