Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 4% Solution?

There may not be one.

If I believed in a god, I would have been praying to it this past week to simply let me die.  In addition to the viral sinus infection, which is only now beginning to loosen its hold on me (although I can still barely speak and have strained muscles all through my torso just from coughing, for crying out loud) I got some pretty awful news from my gastroenterologist.

Last October, my regular blood tests came back showing an iron saturation level of 18%.  20% is normal.  I had been complaining of fatigue, so my doc brought me in for a series of iron infusions, pouring what looked for all the world like rusty water directly into my veins.  I stopped my oral intake of iron supplements so as not to risk overloading my liver with too much iron.  After the infusions were over -- about twelve weeks -- I repeated the testing.

Iron had fallen to 9%,

Went back on the oral iron supplements, which add up to just over 1,000% of the daily recommended amount, and repeated the iron infusions over another twelve weeks.  I went back for more blood work last Friday.

Iron is now at 4%.

I do not appear to be bleeding anywhere that I can see or test or determine, but my iron is dropping like one of Wile E. Coyote's anvils and nobody seems to know why.  Do I have leukemia?  Some other sort of blood disorder?  Do I need a hematologist?  An endocrinologist?  Dr. M'bogo from The Addams Family?  Nobody knows, or if they do, they ain't talkin'.  And that includes my lovely wife, a family physician of some few decades' experience.

All I do know is that I'm exhausted, and I can't shake even the simplest of colds without weeks and weeks of misery.

As they say in Avenue Q, it sucks to be me.

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