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Unread 11-03-2003, 11:32 PM

I have been fighting anemia for a many years. Seems every doctor or hematologist has a different cut-off for transfusions. Mine was 5.0--and I never quite reached that level although I came close a number of times. I did receive weekly venofer infusions for 26 weeks prior to surgery--they would not do the surgery until the iron level was at least 12! I sure got tired going for those infusions, and I'm sure the insurance company got tired of paying for them at $1,800 per infusion. Finally after three months of lupron (no bleeding), the iron levels were up (13.2) and surgery was done. Even after surgery the level was 11.1. The iron pills I was on took a very long time, tend to cause constipation and can be really hard on your stomach--I was taking 4x day.
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Unread 11-04-2003, 12:56 PM

Hi Deb--It seems funny how Dr's differ on how they handle things. I am also chronically anemic. I went into surgery 10/10 with a 10.9 hemoglobin count. (13 is supposed to be normal).
When I came out, it was at 8.8. My Dr's limit before transfusing was 6.0. Fortunately, I did not drop that low. After surgery,
I felt pretty good, little pain.
Unfortunately, 10 days post-op, I had an infection. Symptoms were severe abdominal pain and excruciating headache, fever. I went back into the hospital for 3 more days to be on IV antibiotics and fluids. This took care of the infection, but as you can relate to, I am SO wiped out. My hemoglobin has not inched up past 8.8 yet. The Dr. has prescribed me to double my iron supplement, and work on iron and protein-rich diet. She thinks my low iron caused my system to be weakened to fight off infectons, because she said usually infections that happen as a result of surgery show up in less than a week.
It has been 11 days since I returned home for the 2nd time, 3 and a half weeks post-op. I feel like I had to start over in my recovery. I am just starting to walk short distances because I feel a need to build up my strength since I have to go back to work in 2 and a half weeks (financial need).
So, you are not alone in the low energy department! I feel bad for you to have to go through the transfusions though, hope the surgery takes care of that need by eliminating your periods!
Take care, and take it easy!

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