Wednesday, June 27, 2012

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'....

I've been having some puzzling health difficulties lately, and so I've been seeing a lot of doctors, everybody from my family doc to various and sundry specialists.  At each office visit, just as part of the routine, each respective nurse has been taking my temperature and my blood pressure.  Suddenly, after years of a perfect (for me) BP of 117/72 I have suddenly taken off.  I have been averaging -- averaging!!! -- pressures of 167/105.

In short, I am ready to pop.

My family doc has put me on medication, lysinopril, which is slow to work but easier on my system and not so interactive with my numerous other medications.  After a couple of days on it I'm already down to 130/92 -- still dangerously, outrageously high, but clearly coming down.  So far the only side effect I'm noticing is fatigue, which I can live with since I'm chronically tired anyway thanks to my anemia.

Speaking of you know, last October my blood iron saturation percentage dropped from 18% (20% is normal) to 2% over a period of six months, despite infusions, transfusions, shots, pills and the rest of the works.  We were unable to find out why or how this was happening.  I stopped taking any iron supplements over a month ago so as not to mask any symptoms, watching myself like a hawk for any indications that my blood was about to give out, so to speak, so that they could get me to a hospital or a hematologist or somebody before any crisis got too bad.  I found out I was a bad risk for the Pill Camera endoscopy, which we hoped would find out if I was bleeding somewhere that other tests weren't seeing.  Last week I went in for my quarterly blood tests...and they came back so different that at first I thought there had to be some error; they couldn't possibly be MINE.

But they were.

It took seven months for my blood iron to drop from 18 to 2.  In six weeks it has climbed back up to 17%.  With no iron supplementation of any kind.

Completely inexplicable.

They repeated the tests, just to make sure it was really me.  It really was.

When I had my upper GI series, the radiologist mentioned off-hand to me that, while he was no specialist in blood or liver function, he was of the opinion that my other docs had in fact overloaded my liver with iron, and the liver was so attuned to iron that it was acting like a sink, or a magnet, or a dumping ground for all the iron entering my system.  He thought that maybe if I just stopped everything, the situation would right itself.

It appears he was right.

So we'll keep an eye on things, but it was sure nice to get a bit of decent news for once, even if I had to get stuck twice for blood tests to get it.  Meanwhile, a big Oan "hello!" to High Blood Pressure!  You can have a seat over there between Crohn's Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis, in front of Peripheral Neuropathy, Unknown Neurological Degenerative Disease, Mediterranean Anemia and Chronic Asthma.  Welcome aboard!!!

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