Tag Archives: Iron Deficiency Anemia

My Zen Colonoscopy and Endoscopy

I had to have a colonoscopy and endoscopy because I have Iron Deficiency Anemia. The concern is that, I might be bleeding inside? I entered into my “Zen place” as if on automatic pilot. I could afford to be upset by NOTHING.

Black-woman-meditating1

The “prep”, which everyone says is so awful, was a piece of cake! I had to drink a Gatorade/ Miralax mixture and a tiny bottle of stuff that tasted like Sprite. All laxatives. Then, just stay near the bathroom, and wait. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

The actual procedure was even easier. Because my husband and I were running a little late, I entered into my “Zen place”, as if on automatic pilot. I could afford to be upset by NOTHING. At times of potential stress, I am quite good at this. I keep my mind in this moment only. Not 5 minutes behind, nor 5 minutes ahead. I focus on my breathing, taking very slow, deep breaths. I speak very little, and when I do, it’s much slower and even in a slightly different tone of voice. Deeper. At times like this, my “Zen place” is a great buffer against stress. It keeps me calm.

We get to the hospital and the staff is amazing. They begin to prep me immediately.

Nurse 1: Do you have any religious or cultural beliefs that might make this procedure difficult for you?

Me: Well…um, it’s not religious, but, it may make the procedure a little difficult for me. I am depressed and having some separation issues as well, so I need to have my husband with me when I go to sleep, and when I wake up.

Nurse 1: Oh don’t you worry! When you wake up, I’m going to go right out and call him in for you.

Me: No…you don’t understand (sniff, sniff) when I go under and when I wake up, I need him to be (eyes fill now-voice cracks) RIGHT HERE! (Hand on bed-rail indicating…right here!) and tears begin to fall.

Nurse 1 and Nurse 2: Oh weeee understand, and don’t you worry! One of them summons Kevin, who is standing near by, to come to the bed. We’ll have him right here now, and when you wake! The last thing we want is for your blood pressure to go up, so that’s NO problem!

Great…I’m calm and back in my “Zen place”. Nooow, they can start the I.V. to put me to sleep.

I look at Kevin standing by me and say, “Honey, this stuff is not working. I’m not EVEN sleepy!” He says, “That’s because it’s over!

I don’t know what all the fuss is about!

To learn more about relaxation techniques for stress relief, click this link. There are many ways to find your “Zen place”; which is best for you?

Leave comments please. I’d love for you to share how you respond to stress, and what keeps you calm.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Long Loving Marriages, Mental Well-Being, Mind-Body Connection, MS and Depression, MS and Iron Deficiency Anemia, Stress Management

I Like’em Plumpy

I like’em big, I like’em chunky, I like’em big, I like’em plumpy…my veins, that is!

I’m on my way to have my 5th iron infusion and it’s going great! What can I say; I get snacks, talk to people and make friends. What could be better?

The actual procedure is no big deal. I’m not a big fan of needles, but who is? This is how it works; the iron is in a bag and hooked up to me by way of intravenous injection (IV). My first week was for 2 hours, after that I have one hour for five consecutive weeks. I’m sure that varies based upon your needs. I go well hydrated. It helps my veins plump up; and I want plump veins! The nurses can find them easier that way for the IV, so… I like’em big, I like’em chunky, I like’em big, I like’em plumpy!

I Like'em Big, I Like'em Chunky

I Like’em Big, I Like’em Chunky

COMMENTS: YOUR THOUGHTS:
What do you do to make you medical visits tolerable?
Are any of the MS med.s administered like this? Are they working for you?

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2 Comments

Filed under MS and Fatigue, MS and Iron Deficiency Anemia

“We Are In A Dive!” Iron Deficiency Anemia

“We are in a dive!”We’re CRASHING!

And like Denzel…We’re going down!

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron.

Iron helps to make hemoglobin in red blood cells. The hemoglobin then carries oxygen to all of the muscles, tissues and organs in your body. Essentially, without iron, body parts would suffocate (lack of oxygen) and die.
I’ve taken every iron supplement under the sun! They seem to work for a while, but then… we’re in a dive again! WHY?

My mother would say, “That’s easy. It’s because you don’t eat meat. I told you, you need to eat like regular people. You know you NEED a little meat. Everybody knows that’s where it comes from. I bet that’s why you’re always so tired. You ought to eat SOME meat. Come on over, I’ll fix you some liver and onions. “

Mom, you’re right. Eating red meat and organ meat are the most efficient ways to get iron, but I’m vegan so that’s not going to happen. I’ve learned it is possible for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for iron as long as calorie intake is adequate (and mine is not). The key is to eat a varied diet (and I don’t).

I can’t leave out possible absorption issues. Even if I take enough in, my body might not be absorbing enough of it. To help with this, I should have vitamin C with my iron rich food. I’ll keep a bowl of sliced oranges in the refrigerator. Calcium also hinders the absorption of iron; avoid high-calcium foods for a half hour before or after eating iron-rich foods.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-top-vegan-iron-sources.html#ixzz2IaOC5BTr

Another possible cause for women would be heavy menstrual bleeding. Not my issue! (insert Happy Dance here)

And last, but not least, is to have bleeding inside your body. This bleeding may be caused by problems such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or cancer. This bleeding can also happen with regular aspirin use. Bleeding inside the body is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in men and in women after menopause. All I know is, I see no blood and I feel no pain.

To muddy the water; things are more complicated when you have MS. With ANY symptom, MS comes to mind as the first cause.

These are symptoms of iron deficiency that I thought were my MS and ignored:
*easy fatigue and loss of energy *shortness of breath *headache *difficulty concentrating
*dizziness *leg cramps *insomnia

These are the symptoms that didn’t seem like they could be my MS:
* craving for unusual food with no nutritional value (pica): in my case, the chewing of ice (pagophagia)
*cracks at the corner of the mouth (seriously?)
*a”wired” feeling in my legs at the end of the day: strong urge to move the legs, MUST stand, interferes with sleep (restless leg syndrome)

THIS is the symptom that took me to the doctor (eventually):
HEART PALPITATIONS, which I managed to ignored as long as I could. Give away was, falling asleep in my husband’s arms and him feeling what he thought was a cell phone vibrating in my shirt pocket. What shirt…what pocket?
If you don’t have enough hemoglobin-carrying red blood cells, your heart has to work harder to move oxygen-rich blood through your body. This can lead to irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), an enlarged heart, or even heart failure.

Read more on iron deficiency anemia: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ida/signs.html

Now what?
Plan of action: get more iron A.S.A.P. with iron infusions and then…
colonoscopy/endoscopy. We’re looking for blood.

WE’RE GOING IN!

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington

“WE’RE IN A DIVE”

And I’d like to thank Denzel Washington for his cameo appearance in today’s post.

COMMENTS, tell me your thoughts:
Have you ever missed a problem because you “thought” it was something else?
If you are a vegan, how do YOU keep your iron up?
Have you ever been infused? How did that go?

2 Comments

Filed under MS and Fatigue, MS and Iron Deficiency Anemia, MS and Nutrition