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When does the anemia go away???? When does the anemia go away????

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Unread 08-20-2002, 10:16 PM
When does the anemia go away????

I had a LAVH to remove fibroids. I suffered from anemia for almost a year before having the surgery. I am 6 weeks post op today, and was hoping I would have a lot more energy. I'm discouraged because I feel more tired now than I did before surgery! I know a lot of you have been anemic, and I'm hoping you can give me an idea of how long it took for you to have more energy after your hyst. I am taking an iron supplement, and I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever feel good again. I think my DH thinks I should be a new woman by now, and is getting a little sick of me being tired all of the time. I don't think anyone could be more sick of it than me! Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Unread 08-20-2002, 10:34 PM
When does the anemia go away????

Hi Patty,

I too had surgery because of fibroids & anemia and was still tired at 6 weeks but went back to work at 6.5 weeks. I was tired the first week (missed my naps!) and am still not up to my old self, but am feeling energy return daily.

Are you on any hormones? That can have lot to do with energy level as well.

Hope you start feeling better --- keep us posted!

Unread 08-20-2002, 10:41 PM
When does the anemia go away????

Patty...Ihave been anemic off and on for over 10 yrs. I was extremely anemic before my surgery and was put on megadoses of iron supplements and folic acid, but theydidn't build up my blood much before surgery and afterward my gyn said that it will take a long time to get it up to normal. What iron supplement are you taking? My GP said to take Ferrous Glucomate because it is more potent than other supplements. He also prescribed folic acid, tho i know you can get it over the counter. Did the dr tell you to take the iron with vitamin C? I always take it with orange juice. The vitamin C helps it get absorbed faster. Depending on how low your hemoglobin was, it may take a few months to get back on your feet. I still get very tired at 10 weeks..plus I have been bleeding still since the week after my surgery and am getting discouraged thinking i'll never get my blood count up if i keep bleeding. You should call your dr and ask him if there's a certain supplement that would be better for you, if you haven't done that already.
Now on the subject of your DH.. Ask him to imagine how it must feel to be losing buckets of blood every month..not knowing how well it will be replenished..short of a transfusion. Then he can imagine how it must feel to have half of your insides ripped out of you and having your body stitched back up again...and having hundreds of internal stitches so some other major organs won't fall out. See..this is why men don't give birth...there would be a very empty planet if we had to depend on them to procreate.
Tell him to back off and give you a hand with things at home and maybe you wouldn't be so tired. When you are anemic is essential also..just as it is in order to recover from this VERY MAJOR SURGERY that you just had. When i was first daignosed as anemic over 10 yrs ago my GP made me take 2 weeks off work and told me I was to do nothing but rest...and believe me, i couldn't do much more than sleep. But after those 2 weeks were up i could tell a big difference in how i felt. So i think you should lie down and sleep for 2 weeks..if hubby wants you to be better, he will keep quiet and j ust throw the afghan over you if you're cold.
Good luck!

TAH,BSO for fibroids and heavy bleeding; adenomyosis; severe anemia
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Unread 08-21-2002, 02:09 PM
When does the anemia go away????

Hi Patty!

I have been chronically anemic for several years also. I found out that your body makes smaller than normal red blood cells when you are anemic all the time. Once you are NOT anemic anymore, it will still take your body 4-6 months to replace all the current *little* red blood cells with normal size ones. (They are made in your bone marrow....) It is important to keep taking your iron supplements (take them with extra Vitamin C to enhance absorption per my doc), eat healthy foods high in iron and avoid tea and coffee if you can, they inhibit iron absorption.

It is important to not do too much work/chores/exercising past the point of fatigue. Walking would probably be the best option. The smaller red blood cells cannot carry all the oxygen your muscles need yet, that is why you will still get tired. I am 3 1/2 weeks post op and still very tired also. My doc put me on BC pills 7 weeks before surgery, so I am using that as the start date for *curing* my anemia. I figured out it will be almost Christmas time until I have all new red blood cells!

Take into account that this is the hottest time of the year, and as my husband says, even normal healthy people are wiped out from the humidity and ! Add on to that that you are recovering from anemia AND major abdominable surgery, OF COURSE you are still tired! It takes 6-12 months to recover from surgery and 4-6 months to recover from anemia, so you're hubby will just have be patient, so 6 months minimum!! If you do a web search on anemia, you may be able to find the articles on anemia I did and print them out for your husband to read. I like the idea of showing unsopportive folks the the pelvicfloor website so he knows what happened to you during surgery.

You might also want to get your thyroid levels checked, this helped me alot. I had been misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, it turned out to be low thyroid levels and chronic anemia from all the heavy periods and fibroid hemorraghing. Just another thought.

I know how it feels to be exasperated at feeling tired all the time and not able to do what you want to do.

Good luck!
Unread 08-21-2002, 04:41 PM
When does the anemia go away????

Hi Patty, I was slightly anemic prior to my surgery and lost a lot of blood during surgery, which made me severely anemic. I am now 12 weeks post op and still get tired. I am good during the day, but by the evening, I'm ready to crash. I continue to take the extra iron and a multi vit with iron and it does help.
My Dr gave me an extra 2 weeks at home before going back to work due to the anemia. It helped, but I was still exhausted when I got home. Just continue to take it easy and try not to overdo it.
Unread 08-21-2002, 07:43 PM
When does the anemia go away????

Hi Patty,

Though I was not anemic before surgery, I hemmoraged severely after surgery. And even though I did have a blood transfusion, at three weeks I am still extremely tired. My doctor said that even though the transfusion replaced most of the blood I lost I would probably remain tired for months to come. It takes time to rebuild the blood in your body, take the time you need to rest.
Unread 08-21-2002, 08:11 PM


Give yourself a break. You've been through quite an ordeal, starting with your female problems, anemia beforehand, then surgery. Has the doc rechecked your cbc (complete blood count) to check on your hemaglobin, hematocrit, red blood count, to see how the supplements are working? That's important, to get it checked every so often to make sure you're coming up, not going down in those counts (I'm a nurse = LPN). I was fine before surgery, hemaglobin around 13, but lost blood during surgery (which my doctor said I had minimal blood loss during surgery) , had terrible bruising right after surgery (black from my bellybutton to the tops of my thighs) and my hemaglobin dropped down to 6.3. She said I had to have a transfusion - 2 units of blood, to get built back up. I really didn't want to do that, but felt so weak and bad, I did. It helped, alot. I've been a blood donor before, so I know how picky and careful they are to screen. Besides, when you need blood, you need it. She said the lowest number she'd allow was 7.0. She told me, while smiling, "you could be in a car wreck on the way home and have no reserve." Wanted to smack her so bad, since I felt so bad at that point. Anyway, keep an eye on those levels, give yourself time. My hemaglobin was up to 9.0 the next day or so, and I checked it where I work at, it was up to 12.4 about 3 weeks after surgery (my doctor didn't check that - I did), plus I checked my urine and had a slight uti, asked the doc on duty (one I work for) about it, he gave me 3 days of meds and cultured the urine, which came back basically ok. Give yourself time. I still get really tired, need the naps, wonder how I'll go back to work the weekend after Labor Day and make it. Be nice to yourself. Those blood cells do take a long time to come up to par. I noticed I would have a pounding in my head, my heart raced (pulse to 120-130)when standing and up, and feel faint and dizzy. My blood pressure was really low, too, while in bed, for me (88-90 over 50-60). I'll be praying for you. Be sure to ask your doc any questions, cover all the bases, keep up the supplements, take your time recooping, don't overdo.
Unread 08-21-2002, 10:09 PM
Thanks to all of you!

I am very grateful to all of you who responded to my post. It helps so much knowing I'm not alone. I had never been told about Vitamin C helping to absorb the Iron. My Dr has me on Slow Fe, and has never said anything about Folic acid. My blood work several months before surgery showed an iron level of 13, and the low normal is 37. My hemoglobin was somewhere around 9. I have asked my Dr to repeat the tests, because he just has me on one iron pill a day, and I wonder if maybe I might need more! My Dr. said I needed to wait about 3 months to have it checked again. I will start with the Vitamin C, and let DH read your replies. He sure isn't too sympathetic with this recovery. Thank you again so much!

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