19 December 2009

Appt With My GP #3—Iron Infusions (Monday 14 December PM)

Good news…I found out last week that I have been accepted for the clinical trials for people that have iron deficient anaemia and can now qualify to receive my IV iron infusions for free, and they will pay me travelling expenses. The nice part is that all I have to drive to is my GP’s office. This past Monday I went for my first visit. The clinical specialist drew my blood to get a baseline haemoglobin level, and then she attempted to start the IV. Well, my veins are pretty much shot. She tried three times to find a vein, and then she finally called someone from the lab to see if he could start the IV. Boom, on his first shot he found one. It was a painful one in my wrist, but still the same, he got it started. When I had to have IV iron infusions three years ago, they gave me 25mg over a six-hour period. I had to have three at $1600 a pop. I can no longer afford to go back there.

One of the things they are testing me with is a new solution that will allow them to give me 200mg IV push over a ten-minute period—such an improvement. Once the iron was injected, the clinical specialist had to observe me for 30 minutes for any type of reaction such as anaphylaxis. I did not have a reaction so I went home and turned on my stereo and sat on the couch.

An hour later, I found myself nodding off. However, it was not a case of slowly getting sleepy and just closing my eyes. This hit me like a lead balloon. I almost could not move—all my muscles felt slack. Then I realised I was bone-chilling cold. Now, to save on money, I do keep the house rather cool in the winter, but I already had on thermal underwear, sweat pants, a sweatshirt and my thick terrycloth robe. I was freezing. I tried to get off the couch to snuggle under my covers and barely made it back to my bed. It took 20 minutes before I started to feel warm. As tired as I was, over the next two hours, it seemed that I just clock-watched. However, when I got out of bed (now much warmer) I had vivid freeze-frame images as if I had been dreaming. I was not as tired, so I went to my kitchen to make a pot of hot tea. What a strange experience.

The rest of the day was uneventful so I dismissed the entire episode. I am just glad that I can now get my much-needed iron infusions free. I wonder how many sessions I will have to have to raise my haemoglobin back to normal range (it was 9.0 before the iron and normal is generally around 14-16 for females). According to the protocol for this clinical trial, they can give me up to 1000mg over a two-week period, but stop at any point once my haemoglobin is within normal limits. I hope I do not have to have too many since they had such a hard time starting the IV. You should have seen my arms after this session—I had four nicely forming bruises where each attempt was made!©2009

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