My Anemia Experience

I haven’t hidden the fact that I have been severely anemic for the last year since I developed Ulcerative Colitis. My iron beforehand was in good ranges but drastically fell once my symptoms got really bad. I was officially diagnosed last March after I had had small symptoms for 6-8 months and severe symptoms for 4-6 weeks. I started taking iron supplements in February but during a flareup and so much digestive distress it was not absorbing. My iron continued to drop until my condition was in control. I was in remission by the end of the spring and throughout the entire summer but my iron levels were still very low when I returned to school at the end of August. After some time of healing my iron finally started to raise from September-October but then I had another flare up that was worse than the first and was not getting better with the medications I was on.

It was not until Thanksgiving, when I started prednisone, that my flare up finally went into remission. The month leading up to that had been the worst I had ever felt and the least amount of energy and livelihood I had ever felt. It was a rough part of the semester and end of the cross country season for me.

Because of the flareup I was experiencing my iron was again dropping considerably and my ferratin was terrible as well. My doctors finally decided that an iron IV was the way to go. Otherwise my iron was going to just keep going up slowly and drop quickly. It was then just a matter of getting all the details worked out and set up the appointment that I just had on Friday, January 24th.

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It was a 5 1/2 hour experience from start to finish. When I first arrived they had to start with a small test dose that they injected and let sit for an hour to make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction. Then they hooked me up to the IV for the next four plus hours so the iron could slowly drip in. It did not hurt at all but was really boring being stuck in the room hooked up to an IV.

On Monday I went to our school doctor to get my blood work done to see how my body took the IVs. Then on Tuesday afternoon I went to get my results… andddd… good news: My iron and ferritin levels are through the roof! I will not need any more IVs for the time being. My ferritin was around 650 and my iron was around 360. Both of these now fall in the high range, but because I had it checked only two days after the IV it will probably fall some and also because of all the pounding I do with running it is good that it is high so I stay healthy even though there are things I do or have that will make it fall.

I talked with my coach after and we will continue to watch my levels. The plan is to have it check at the end of the school year to make sure it is still good and if not I will have another IV done before the summer. Then, we will also check after summer vacation and again with winter break of next year.

I am so happy to finally have this figured out and to have blood work come back that was good! I am excited to move forward with my training and overall wellbeing.

 

Anyone else suffer from similar experiences?

or have had an iron IV before?

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