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Hi everyone--

I have been anemic my entire adult life (I'm 48), and the situation is getting worse.

Nine years ago, my constant fatigue was labeled "depression" (NOT me at all!). I was put on antidepressants and the dosage was raised whenever I complained of ongoing fatigue. I spent a number of years on various meds for depression and anxiety (huh, and all I really needed was a divorce), which led to a 60-pound weight gain.

Four years ago, a wonderful internist really listened to me; he ran all sorts of tests and diagnosed me with pernicious anemia and iron deficiency anemia. I was put on b12 shots, but they made no difference at all. This doctor married and moved across the country, and from there I went on to have a string of docs who just didn't get it.

Finally I have found another internist who actually listens to me. She put me on 325mg of iron three times a day for a couple of months, only to have my iron level drop to 20 from a "high" of 29. She sent me to a GI doc for upper/lower GIs; there is no evidence of a bleed, but they are concerned that I am not able to absorb iron or b12 (and who knows what else) ingested via food or supplements. It doesn't help that I HATE meat and rarely eat it!

I see a hematologist at one of the top teaching hospitals in the country next week and my greatest hope is that she will have some answers for me. I am a single parent of two teenagers with a 60-mile daily commute...I am worn out! Like all of you, I have the usual symptoms: fatigue, muscle aches, extreme sensitivity to cold, insomnia, shortness of breath.

The hematologist had to review my medical records before agreeing to see me, and I got a call from her assistant within two hours of them receiving my records, so again, I hope she can help me. Is there any chance they'll at least give me an iron shot the first day? Even if they did, wouldn't it take awhile for me to notice any difference? I think I have become accustomed to being tired all the time; I cannot wait to have more energy! My house and yard are a mess because I don't have the energy to do anything beyond working and making (an easy) dinner...then I'm too tired to even get up. It's SO frustrating, as all of you know.

Thanks for taking the time to read this "novel" -- I appreciate any input/advice you can share with me!


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