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As some of you know...I haven't felt good for quite a few months.  So tired and just sliding down and down.  I kept struggling to keep up my normal pace and failing miserably.
 
I spent the past four months seeing doctors and trying to figure out why I was feeling this way.  My doctor would change some meds (I only take three) and I stopped some on my own.  Each thing helped a little, but I was still fading.  Every single day if felt as if I was walking around carrying a 200 lb. weight after running a mile and not sleeping for 4 days.  I had terrible restless leg syndrome and leg cramps, my muscles just felt like they weren't getting any blood supply.  When I would climb my stairs at night to go to bed I would be gasping to breathe and dizzy, nauseous and just felt like I was going to pass out.  My heart would just race!  I did this every time I had to walk for more than 20 feet.  Heck, I needed to sit on a chair to scramble an egg for breakfast.  Any exertion would make me gasp for air.  Everyone would ask me if I had used my inhaler, but I kept screaming "It's not my asthma!  I know what asthma is!  I'm a nurse for Christ's sakes!  An inhaler is not going to help this!"  My pulmonologist agreed with me.  Told me I was controlling my asthma beautifully and my lungs were in good shape.  I saw a cardiologist in January who did an echocardiogram and a treadmill stress test and said my heart was in good shape.  I was getting frustrated because I was getting sicker and sicker and my brain function seemed to be getting foggier and foggier.  AAACCCKK!!!

 

Last Thursday night I was watching tv with my husband and I asked him to bring me some ice chips.  What!!!  I don't like ice chips...never eat ice chips...hate the crunching on my teeth.  Then a light bulb went on.  All my life the only time I would eat ice chips was when I was anemic in my 20's and 30's.  OMG!!!!!  Why hadn't I pieced this together?  Friday morning I went to the ER.  My hemoglobin level was 8.5 (normal is 12-16).  I was admitted and was given two units of blood.  The level went up to 10, but then down to 9.5, then leveled off at 9.7.  Still not good, but good enough to go home and have some tests scheduled to find out where my blood went.  My labs were normal back in December.  On the lower side of normal (12.7) , but normal just the same. 

 

Every time I saw a doctor they would ask me how I felt and I would say "Like crap!" and they would look at me and smile then look at my labs and go on to other stuff.  They were reading my numbers and not my body!  Even the ER doc.  He took my history then seemed perplexed and started ordering tests to rule out blood clots, etc.  I asked him to check the hgb because when the lab assistant drew my blood it was dark and thick and didn't look like my normal blood samples.  He came back into my room within five minutes and told me I would be getting admitted and having a couple of units of blood transfused.  Gave me a high five and said "Good call!"   EEEEEKKKKKK!!!!!!  

 

I came home yesterday and it felt so good to be in my own environment.  I slept 7 solid, uninterrupted hours last night. I can't remember the last time I did anything close to that. It feels good. I was worn out for sure.  I'm not looking forward to all the testing to come, endoscopy and colonoscopy, to start with, but it has to be. The docs want to know where my blood went. It was a major drop in just a few months. So we'll get me fixed and I'll be good as new then watch out world.

 

This just goes to show you how tough us quilters are.  During the worst of this I hosted a fabric swap, participated in a different swap and the day before I went into the hospital I helped my friend get her quilt quilted and I covered two cushions.  What was I thinking?!!!  Just goes to show I wasn't thinking...I was putting one foot in front of the other and pushing onwards.  The world had better watch out when I get this under control.  I've got projects to do!!!!

 

On a high note...I just ordered my two red fabrics for Linda's swap.  Yay!  Looking forward to it!  I'm ignoring the fact that I don't like red quilts.  I'm stepping outside my box! 

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Oma, so glad you figured out what was going on.  I can't believe you did so much after hearing your symptoms.  If you can do that much not feeling well I can only imagine what you will do when the energy is back. Yes, the world better watch out you will be on fire.  Just had a thought.  Maybe the red quilt can signify the rise in your blood count.  Hope they find the cause soon.

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golly...hope you get some answers and get all fixed up!  Something similar happened with one of my nursing friends....kept dragging ...kept on going...no one could figure it out...turns out she had that truly wheat intolerant disease which was causing her hemoglobin to bottom out....I know there are different reasons for a low hemoglobin...but I think more and more docs these days have their eyes focused on the testing....and don't see the patient....also..what they little they see as the patient...they only see as "parts" not the whole.....my old doc when I was young...used to ask a lot of questions...and seems could figure out just about anything and also seemed to treat just about anything..the new ones now-a days seem to test more, ask less question, and refer to other "specialists" who just look at "parts"  you can tell I am getting a bit "bummed" because of some ongoing rib pain....latest referral was to a sports medicine doc who's office called to cancel my appt even before I got there...I was told they didn't treat "rib" pain only back pain....WHAT?   anyway...the pain has continued now for almost a year...with me trying to ignore it as much as possible...enough of my rant...Lin

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I am so thankful you figured out what was wrong.  I hope they get you straightened out soon.  What causes anemia?  Does taking iron pills help?  Seems like I have heard that before.

 

Praying for you to feel better, for the doctors to discover what's causing the problem, and for a full recovery.

 

Sending hugs your way.

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Oh my.........so glad YOU finally figured out the problem.   Sometimes we just have to take things into our own hands and get results.    Your situation reminds of of an old Golden Girls TV program........Dorothy was feeling lousy, tired and just unwell.........went to doctor after doctor and they would just smile and tell her it was old age or "all in her head" as they couldn't find anything wrong.........finally one doctor diagnosed her with Chronic Fatigue and she was helped.  Glad you were able to figure it out and now to find out WHY...........will be thinking of you.   Keep us posted !    

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Oma, I am glad you got the answer, you will be better soon. I have a new friend who has similar case as yours my friend. This missing blood caused her to retire in her early 60s, she is now 69 & has to take it easy. She started taking quilting lessons from me 2 weeks ago along with her younger sister, she is feeling much better.

One thing I admire about you is your sense of humor. It makes for lighthearted approach to life which is good for us too, you lift me up unaware of course.

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The chewing ice thing is weird.  Every time during the years I ever chewed on ice I was found to be anemic.  A doctor many years ago caught me eating ice in his office right after my son was born and immediately did a blood test.  Yup!  I was anemic.  Smart and observant man.  I was a new mother so I thought tiredness went along with the territory.  I haven't had a problem with it for probably 30 years so I had forgotten about it. 

 

I should have caught it with the restless leg syndrome too because that's pretty classic with low iron.  Normal levels for women are 50-170 and my level was 3.  I had all of the proper symptoms, but by the time they all manifested themselves I was too sick to put two and two together.  And because I've also been dealing with the newly diagnosed diabetes where they were changing my insulins constantly I thought a lot of the feeling badly was because of that. 

 

And the biggest mistake I made was not taking myself seriously enough when I felt as bad as I did.  I kept making myself "push through it".  Women...we are not invincible.  When we're sick...we need to stop!  The next time I tell a doctor I feel like crap I will make sure it gets addressed properly.  Now I'll step off the soap box.  Thanks for all the well wishes.

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Oma, I tried to send you a personal message but your box was full.  If you're still having a monthly cycle that could be your problem.  I've been borderline anemic my whole life and about 5 years ago when through something very similar.  All colonoscopy, upper GI, abdominal ultrasound showed fine.  Told all this to my OBGYN at my yearly checkup.  After an endometrial ablation, my Hemoglobin has been in the normal range for the last 4 years.  Hope your test results show nothing serious.

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As women, Mothers, Caregivers to elderly parents...........we all tend to put ourselves 2nd or 3rd on the list.  WE are classified as the "weaker sex", but in fact, we are the "stronger sex" - dealing with all this stuff.   I am to undergo a hysterectomy the end of April and I have decided to put ME first for a change.  DH can wait on me, someone else can look after my Mom and I will take care of ME..........12 weeks of recuperation and NO lifting.   I can handle this.  

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Hope you are doing better, Oma.  and thanks so much for sharing.   Brought to my attention that I need to be more persistent with doctor bout my fatigue. 

 

It is wonderful that people share their ups and downs on this site.  Makes my prayer list longer and now it has helped me with  addressing a fatigue problem.  Get well, quick, Oma.

 

Marilyn

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I'm glad you figured it out.  I am so disappointed sometimes in the medical system - it seems so robotic and textbook sometimes.  I'm glad you had the sense to piece some of your behaviours together (ice chips) .   Hopefully,  you can get answers as to where and why this is happening, and it will be an easy fix.  hugs!!

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