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Entries in anemia (2)

Thursday
Aug302007

My Puppies & Iron-Rich Foods

I'm having a great day.

I went shopping for iron-rich foods today and have eaten iron-rich today. Including eating beef for the first time in 28 years (minus 4 months). Now I have gas that is scaring the dogs, but hey, I can feel those blood cells growing, right? Small price to pay.

Reading through all the things to - and not to - do, I realized I should not be drinking iced tea. And I am/was an iced tea drinking FOOL since starting the Topamax and stopping the Diet Coke. I quit iced tea today. I cried a lot over having it give it up. Isn't that silly? I cried more about giving up the iced tea than about having to eat beef! I thought that was pretty amusing.

I'm feeling especially wonderful as I write this because I am watching the culmination of Crazy Sexy Cancer - an amazing, beautiful movie on TLC that I hope everyone will take the time to watch. As opposed to the negative, poor, poor pitiful me crap so many shows turn out to be, this entire piece is so positive and so... midwifery-like (crunchy, alternative, women-supportive, etc.)... it was just so wonderful.

I remember when I was so sick with the Cocci- when I had spinal meningitis and a DVT with ankle to groin blood clot and was still attending births. I remember how at the time it didn't seem odd to drag my leg behind me like Quasimoto and keep it elevated with heating pads on it when I wasn't actually moving. I think now how frightfully incredible it sounds that I did something so bizarre! And I also know, in retrospect, it was attending births, that kept me alive.

I tell people I'm a whiner. I am much more of a whiner than my Sarah or more than most people I know, but I'm also a LOT better than I was before I ever had kids. Egads, I was awful before Tristan was born. Once I had a homebirth, I felt I could accomplish anything and really felt like I quit whining altogether. I thought it was weird when people (lovers) told me I was still a whiner. Ha! Little did they know!

So, watching this movie was just that kind of affirmation I needed today as I embarked on my Big Blood Cell Regimen (I don't want to call it an anti-anemia whatever... too negative).

The other thing with today. After two nagging visits with my Endocrinologist, he refused to test my Free T3's and while he finds my TSH and my T3 within normal limits, I find them far too close to the edge of abnormal. So, when I found that lab slip last week with no date on it, I wrote every test on it I could possibly think I might want or need in the next 6 months - the Free T3 included.

IT WAS ABNORMAL!

I see the Endo tomorrow. I am rectified!

So, my dear friend Maureen turned me onto Armour Thyroid and I've spent eons tonight studying it (before the movie) and will mash the doctor up against the wall and force his hand to type the prescription on the computer so I can get it at the pharmacy. I even went on-line and made sure my insurance company (a humongous national HMO) carried Armour as an option med and it does, so he has zero excuse not to prescribe it for me. I need it. They carry it. My deductible is paid. I have no more co-pay. I WANT IT.

(I'm really not that mean to docs. I just pretent to sound like that. I will be strong, but not a bitch.)

One last thing - I went to see The Business of Being Born (Ricki Lake's movie) in Los Angeles a few nights ago with my apprentice Donna and my (hopefully) new apprentice Lexi (and their babies). I will write a Review and a Critique, but really do look forward to you all seeing it, owning it and showing it to everyone in the world you know.

And now, here are my puppy dogs. Just 'cuz they're so flippin' cute!

This is my Digit dog. She is an 8-year old Lab. We love her! She has so much self-control. She never jumps up on the couch, always sits, goes down, stays when commanded... she's such a gentle soul. I can push past her when she's eating and she doesn't even bat an eye. I love my Digit. She's such a good girl.

This is my baby doggy, Cash. Cash will be 2 on January 3 and is the canine love of my life. He's a long-haired daschund who is the cutest thing in the whole world. He follows me like I am the Goddess of the Food Trinkets. Oh, that's right. I am! Cash makes me smile when nothing else can and listens to all my secrets without telling anyone else or without it seeming like it is a burden for him at all. He just twirls around the dining room table, running from Digit, playing, playing... and I laugh and smile and thank the gods and goddesses I am still alive and laughing.

Monday
Aug272007

Puzzle: Help the Midwife (please!)

What does this picture show? I am still exploring myself, so any help is appreciated. The more complete the answer, the better.

- Causes (possible/probable)

- Treatments (herbal/homeopathic/allopathic/alternative/dietary/lifestyle)

- Immediate/Emergent Concerns (risks/hospitalization/lifestyle/etc.)

- Expected Course & Length of Treatment Before Recovery

- Are labs intertwined? Or are they a separate issue? What is happening with this woman?

Hx: 46 year old woman, G3 P3 hx extreme fatigue with unknown etiology. Labs drawn randomly found these values. Not on birth control. Does not have STD or any other chronic disease, but has recently recovered from a long-term chronic illness that included 3 years on a liver-toxic medication. Once the medication was stopped, her cholesterol shot up 400 points, a sign that the liver was having a stress reaction. It has since dropped 350 points in the last 9 months without medication (she refused to add any statins knowing it was a hyper-reaction to stopping the long-term liver-toxic medication despite being harangued to take them over and over). She is still on several medications that she is required to continue including Thyroid medications, Topamax, and minimal bipolar medications. All meds are stable, with the recent addition of a T3 (thyroid). Sx include constipation, extreme fatigue that does not resolve with any amount of sleep (even upwards of 16 hours a day) or the addition of hyper-caffeine/energy drinks, minimal urination despite copious amounts of water and iced tea (usually very watered down) each day. Also, she's 6 years post-Roux en Y Gastric Bypass (which must be taken into account with any iron supplementation). No dark stools, no dark urine.

Yeah, it's me.

TEST ABNORMAL RESULT Just in-range result Normal result NORMAL RANGE

Anemia Labs

Hgb 10.6 12.0-16.0 (6/18/07 11.1) (3/17/07 11.1) (12/14/06 11.8)

Hct 32.2 37-47% (6/18/07 32.6) (3/17/07 32.5) (12/14/06 35.1)

WBC 8.5 4.0-11.0 (6/18/07 6.6)

RBC 3.73 4.2-5.4mil/mm (6/18/07 3.59) (3/17/07 3.50) (12/14/06 3.77)

MCV 86.2 81-99 fL (6/18/07 90.6)

MCH 28.3 27-35 pg (6/18/07 30.8)

MCHC 32.9 32-37 g/dL (6/18/07 34.0)

RDW 13.9 11.5-14.5% (6/18/07 14.2)

Platelets 446 130-400(thous) (6/18/07 365)

MPV 8.3 7.4-10.4 fL (6/18/07 8.3)

Iron 33 60-170mcg

Iron Sat 8 20-50%

Ferritin 4.7 13-150ng/mL - (6/18/07 11.7)

TIBC 405 250-420mcg

B12 538 200-910 - (6/18/07 211)

Electrolyte Labs

Co2 23 21-32 (8/27/07)

Co2 15 21-32 (8/23/07)

Lactic Acid (serum) 21.5 5-20 (8/27/07)

Sodium 136 135-145

Creatinine 1.2 0.6-1.1

Okay, my lab sleuths... help me figure out what is going on, please. The abnormal labs have occurred extremely quickly (my last labs were done 6 weeks ago and looked nothing like this) and I have been feeling tired for years anyway due to varying illnesses, but have been absolutely extremely exhausted the past few weeks. The exhaustion crept up on me. I had no idea that I should tell anyone how ill I could be.

Ready, set, GO!