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Anemia Message Board

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I wasn't aware that there was an anemia message board until I read it somewhere else here. I will be brief: I am HIV+ and have been for the past 11 yrs (that I know of) and have been illness/symptom free since the beginning. In October, 2004, my primary care doctor did a routine CBS and noticed that my hemoglobin had dropped. By November it 7.8 and I was transfused with two units and it went up to 9.0.
By Feb, 2005, it had dropped to 6.6 (people couldn't understand how I was able to manage to drive 1 hour each way to work and work nearly 45-50 hours per week and other than some fatigue and mild joint pain and breathlessness I was relatively OK). I was transfused with another two units and a few days later infused with 1000 cc of IRon. Felt great!
Coincidentally, in November, 2003 my cardiologist noticed that my spleen was enlarged. A CT scan indicated that it was 12 cm at that time. We re-did the CT scan in Feb, 2005 and the spleen is now 19 cm.
I am being followed by my primary care doctor, a hemotologist, a really good friend who is an MD now doing educational consulting internationally in HIV and AIDS, and, since I work in a hospital, as many doctors as I am willing to discuss this issue with. (Having been a social worker in this community at two hospitals for the past twenty years, I know most of them fairly well.)
ANyway, my hemotologist suggested that I see a surgeon to remove the spleen. So, far, no one thinks this is bad idea no matter how many people I ask.
Given this information, has anyone else had their spleen removed as a result of HIV (I've posted in the HIV area before but this really appears to an anemia issue with a secondary HIV component) or becuase of anemia issues? ANy advice in order to prep for the surgery? Any post-surgery issues I need to consider? Having worked in a hospital for so long, I would prefer they do the procedure on my dining room table but the surgeon isn't interested. Also, my white blood count is 1.3 and the surgeon suggested he might put me in ICU after the operation and in reverse isolation when I get back to the floor. thanks, chris

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