And on Tuesday, I got one.
Thursday, after the kids left, I had a mini breakdown. I called my nephrologist's PA to let her know how I was doing on the new meds he prescribed. When she asked how I was doing, my response was, "Well. My bp seems much better, and I need to have my labs drawn to see how my kidney function, but..." cue hysterical breakdown!
Let me just say that crying to a cop might not always get you out of a ticket, but weeping uncontrollably? "The doctor can see you at 3 today!"
Although the meds are doing their job preserving my kidney function, they are making me crazy. I'm exhausted. I have no energy or desire to do anything. I'm at the end of my rope with the kids before I can even perk my coffee, and we have a Keurig, so that's about 50 seconds into my day. Although I could fully admit that I wasn't depressed, I could also fully admit that the meds were making me nuts, and if I needed to take another drug to counteract the insanity? So be it.
Carol talked me off my ledge and told me to come in that afternoon and we'd see what was going on. I gathered my meds (ace inhibitor, multivitamin and iron supplement) and made my way over to the office.
After a quick vital check and chat with the nurse, Doc T came in with my chart and explained my emotional breakdown.
Doc T: Well, I can see that your iron was low the last time we drew your labs.
Me: Yes! So I did what you said and I started taking a multi AND an iron supplement. When I was buying them, the pharm chick even said I probably didn't need both, but I figured my tummy would let me know if I was taking too much.
I pulled out my goodie bag of drugs and proudly presented my meds like a good patient. Doc T looks at the numbers, whips out his phone and crunches some numbers. He then laughs and hands me back my bag.
Doc T: Yeah. Looking at your chart, you'd need to take this multi AND that entire bottle of iron daily to even try to get you back up to where you need to be. You're not crazy. YOu have no iron. So, we can up your intake and if that doesn't work, we'll try iv supplements.
Armed with a script for iron and instructions on what to take, I headed home. Day one? Killer on my tummy. I decided to give it a week before I called to complain. Three days in, I figured part of the problem was taking 4 iron capsules, 1 multi and 1 vit D all in a day. That's a lot for a tummy to take. So I traded in my 4 over the counter for the 2 prescription to see if that made a difference.
It did. Even worse. So, on to iv therapy we went!
They were able to get me in on Tuesday. I frantically began googling iv iron therapy, only to find medical journals littered with the phrase, "Most common side effect is anaphylaxis and death." Yay! I did find ONE random blog where someone outlined their experience and since that helped ease my anxiety, I'll share my version incase anyone else is googling.
Because I had just had my labs drawn, they were able to determine the amount I needed with no extra pricks or tests. I showed up at the bone marrow center, gave them my name and they lead me back. I was thinking I would have to be admitted and sit in a little lonely room for three hours, but not the case. I got to chill in a large room of recliners and tv. It was like getting a mani/pedi only instead of nail polish, there were needles.
I cozied up in my chair with my book and the nurse came over to verify who I was. We got my iv in (only took 2 stabs!) and they brought over the iron. I asked about the whole death as a side effect and they confirmed that "Yeah, that can happen." I verified that the reaction would be to the iron itself, not to an additive, and that the reaction would be immediate, then it was time to plug me in. They watched as the drip started, and I was breathing easy! Time to kick back and relax!
The iv pushes through straight iron, so it's a slow drip. The iron itself took about 1.5 hours, then they flushed with saline for about 30 minutes just to make sure I got everything. The nurse joked that it looked like Pepsi. After watching the dark, brown liquid drip down, I responded that it looked more like espresso, which was fitting since it was supposed to make me feel energized!
The iv pole dinged that I was done and they pulled out the iv, validated my parking and gave me orders to have labs drawn in 2 weeks. I guess that's when they'll know if it worked and see if I'm able to keep my number up or if this will be a new bi-weekly/monthly thing.
The worst part? Hanging out in the room. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to meet new people, but spending 3 hours with a room full of cancer fighters, post-trasplant patients and bone marrow recipients kinda makes you feel crappy for being there because "I'm tired."
The nurse said it would take until today to start to feel a difference. Yesterday, I didn't have to sit down when I was drying my hair or putting on make-up, so that's a step in the right direction. Now I'm hoping to get a few more nights of good sleep and relaxing with good books. Keeping fingers and toes crossed that all I needed was this little jump start!