Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No 4% Solution (A Sequel Of Sorts)

So today was my visit to the GI docs regarding my ever-dwindling blood iron, which has fallen from a saturation percentage last October of 18% (which was almost normal) to today's 4% (which is more in the neighborhood of, oh, say, a corpse.)

There was no answer based on my blood work that satisfied the numbers.  It does not appear to be related to my bone marrow; those numbers show that my bone marrow is in overdrive trying to keep up with the anemia.  My hemoglobin is 11.7, which is about as good as it gets, i.e., half normal.  So it's not related to that.  My wife and my by-God docs are convinced that I am, to put it bluntly, leaking blood somewhere.  The problem is, where?  It sure isn't coming out of me, or showing up any place obvious.  (Now if my feet were turning purple, that would be something we could use.)

So more blood drawn today to check other nutrient values (because I have so much to spare) and an endoscopy scheduled for April 30th so I can beat my change to lousier insurance on May 1st.  (An endoscopy is sort of the oral version of a colonoscopy -- the camera goes down the throat to look for problems down to about the duodenum, just below the stomach.)

If that shows where I'm bleeding, great.  If not, the next step is to swallow a mini-camera capsule and have it take pictures of the whole system, from lips to, well, you know.  Amazing stuff.  In the old days they'd have to do exploratory surgery.  This little sucker will take the fantastic voyage through me and beam pictures to a mainframe while it's doing it.  If that shows nothing, then it's off to the hematologist/oncologist because it means something very, very nasty is going on with my blood.  Luckily we have a good one here in Harrisburg.  Even luckier, she is covered by my soon-to-be-lousier insurance.

At least we have a plan, of sorts.  Will keep you posted as I know more!

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