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Anemia Message Board

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Hi everyone. In the past few years I have experienced extremely low hemoglobyn (sp?) and hematocryt (sp?) levels. I do have an undetermined autoimmune disease that is looking mostly like lupus and I'm on prednisone 5mg a day for lung problems. I've had major surgery to repair broken bones due to my severe osteoporosis and have always needed transfusions. I've got another one coming up in 2 weeks to get a hip replacement. I broke my right hip last May and I've been without one since then. I've had so many surgeries that I'm considered a "super transfuser" with antibodies. The hospital often finds it very difficult to find donor blood for me during surgery. Anyway, considering that background, my primary care physician sent me to a hematologyst. She said that I don't have anemia that is caused by iron deficiency and that I shouldn't take iron supplements at all. She could only explain my anemia as my body's inability to make enough red blood cells. She put me on Procrit and it has helped me as long as I take my shot about every 2 to 3 weeks. Thank goodness for my pharmacy insurance!! Procrit is very, very expensive. I'll go to the lab every 2 weeks for a blood test and then I call to get my results. The nurse then tells me if I shoud take my Procrit or not. Sometimes I can go 3 weeks between shots. This month I needed 2 shots in a row. When my numbers (H&H) are low my symptoms include extreme fatigue, feeling faint when I stand up suddenly and everything in the middle of my sight line goes black - like a total eclipse of the sun. This also happens when I'm on the toilet and I'm contracting my muscles to have a bowel movement. Not all the time, but if I have to give anything other than just mild pushing, I get the same feeling of being faint and seeing the "blackout" in my vision. Also, when my numbers are low I always feel cold. Can anybody relate to my symptoms and, if so, what kind of anemia could this be? Thanks for any information you can provide. I absolutely hate feeling like this! :confused: KathyMac

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