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[LEFT]Hi. I was looking for some information about people's personal stories about Iron deficiency anemia on medical forums, but surprisingly that's hard to come by, even on the internet.

But this forum said it's a place to talk to others about medical issues, so here goes.

I am a 27 year old woman who has always had irregular and sometimes very heavy menstrual cycles. I am under the impression anemia isn't something I have always had when things are going like they should. I donated blood in high school and after the iron test, I must have come up normal enough to give. Still, many many times I have noticed the symptoms of anemia show itself during/after excessively heavy periods.

In September of this past year I was having problems with excessive bleeding but this wasn't that uncommon for me so I don't bother a doctor for it. Other than absences from my job and sheer hassle, I go on with life. This time though I began having disturbingly large and excessive amounts of blood clots. Since I had been through all this before and was fine after taking vitamin supplements and resting I didn't do much about it. Not to mention money for doctor visits wasn't easy to come by since at that time I had one month until I was married and would be on my husband's insurance and my job didn't provide it yet. (We had moved to our current state only 8 months prior)

Less than a week and a half into the excessive blood loss I felt very light headed in the kitchen and started to see black...just a rapid dip in blood pressure. That was uncommon for me.

Other than anemia, I am a healthy person. I exercise and I have never smoked. I just lay down on the couch and didn't feel much else for the next several days.

3 days after this (still bleeding as heavy) I went to take a shower right after walking downstairs. I remember getting in the shower and then (I assume) a few moments later I found myself on the bathroom floor. After this initial pass out, I could not regain blood pressure and I remember being very scared and trying to dress only to fall again and hit my chin on the counter which caused quite a cut. Up until that time, I had never passed out in my life. I was also alone since my (then)boyfriend was already at work. I remember getting to the couch and entering a forced sleep of sorts and fading in and out of consciencenous.

It was like a switch had been thrown and all of a sudden I could not rise to my feet without passing out or nearly doing so. I was in a haze but I still thought I could pull through because it WAS an embarrasing issue. I am a pretty modest person and truly wanted to at least be through bleeding before I went to the hospital. I knew what was in store and used the money issue to stave off my boyfriend from calling the squad. That and trying to make it seem like it wasn't as bad. He only saw me pass out twice and that was the day I went to the hospital.

Through it all, I say I passed out about 15 times. Yes, I am stubborn. I hate being seen as weak and have always solved my own problems with health but I couldn't ignore it this time.

At the hospital the thing I heard repeated over and over was how pale I was. One nurse said I was the palest living person she'd ever seen. It kind of amuses me that since they didn't have a room available when I got there, they put me in the hallway...I am sure I scared or disturbed quite a few people. At least that is what I remember seeing on their faces.

I realize that people say different labs have different measures for blood levels, but here was mine:
Blood count 14
Hemoglobin level was a 5
Blood pressure was 115/44
Pulse rate 120 (my normal rate is about 68)

I am not sure to this day how close I was on the brink. I actually felt like I was going to die at one point while I was at home. Since then, I have read that a hemoglobin level of 5 can be a step away from a coma or heart failure. I don't know anything about the blood count. The doctors wouldn't answer me straight when I asked if I was close to death...maybe too morbid...I don't know. One doctor did say that if I had waited a few more days, I could have bled-out. I think that was actually my answer in so many words.

Within an hour I think, I was given 2 blood packs in a blood transfusion. I spent 3 days in the hospital. I didn't eat much and they kept me on Ambien. I had every embarrasing test they can possibly do to a woman as well. Maybe that is why I am not as shy about talking about it now :p

There has been no cause found for my excessive bleeding. No fibroids, no cancer, I don't have diabetes, nor a thyroid condition....I know this because it's what they tested me for. Not that I know what those have to do with anemia. I do know this "problem" runs in the family. My grandmother supposedly had a hysterectomy in her 30's. Never got the full details...but I
know my mother and sister had/have irregular periods but nothing like me.

I'm on BC now to control the bleeding so it doesn't happen again. I've been taking iron supplements since September....complete with the lovely gastric problems that come with taking high amounts of iron.

I know I did a lot of talking, but maybe I can provide some insight on what can happen and prompt people to get to their doctor sooner...since waiting so long only made that inevitable bill higher. [/LEFT]

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