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I haven't been on here in awhile, was finally starting to do a bit better after a long struggle with fairly severe anemia, and am having quite the setback. When it all started, my ferritin was at 0 and my hemoglobin was only 77. I squeaked by without a transfusion; however, needed weekly iron injections that I now receive monthly, in addition to oral supplementation and B12 supplementation.

I try very hard to eat right, get regular exercise etc. The anemia is the result of severe endometriosis, which I have had two surgeries for and am now due to have a hysterectomy. Just waiting for the date to come (I live in Canada, long wait lists) Anyways, it all started a couple of weeks ago with a bad flu/strep throat infection that I just couldn't shake. My doctors weren't too happy with me as they advised I take a week off from work (I work long hours on my feet, and I have a second job from home doing freelance writing so I work almost non-stop) and I only took a day and a half. After the half day my day job was on my case about the time I had missed, giving me crap and saying that I couldn't miss anymore.

I had an extended absence from work (almost 8 months) which was medically supported while this was going on, and when I returned, they basically expected me to be 100%. They seem incapable of understanding that perhaps a person won't be 100%, there are shades of grey. They don't get that. My doctors were tempted to keep me off indefinitely, but I wanted to go back as I started feeling better, and I was on a disability so I couldn't do my writing either without jeopardizing my pay and I missed it.

Long story short, I have now had two periods inside of three weeks, am freezing cold, dizzy and have had two minor black-outs. The pain is nearly unbearable but i live alone and am frightened to take any pain meds because I can't take NSAIDs and the narcotics will make me more dizzy.

Last count (before the two very heavy periods) my ferritin was at a 9 and my hemoglobin was at 120, but the way it was explained to me, because it's so low, it would be very easy for me to drop very quickly again. I'm bleeding so much, I called my surgeon and she told me to stay on bedrest today and she can see me first thing tomorrow morning, as she is trying to keep me out of the ER. Of course this resulted in missed work, so now I'm upset and scared that I'm going to get in trouble.

Any advice? Is it accurate that with a ferritin of 9 I could potentially see a rapid drop in my hemoglobin due to one heavy period? I'm definitely paler than normal, can't stay warm for the life of me...and I'm foggy and have a terrible headache so something is certainly going on.

I'm just wondering how you guys cope with this kind of thing? I don't have many supports, work is upset with me, my family says they can't understand why it "keeps happening" and also tends to say things like how "it's not like you have cancer or something really serious" and they just make me feel really guilty. So when I'm supposed to be resting, I'm crying and feeling badly about the whole situation. It really sucks. I just hate that it keeps getting in the way of my life, I feel like the epitome of 2 steps forward, 1 step back if you know what I mean. And it's just so frustrating because I want to do so many things, and I would to be reliable and dependable and everything...but I can't control these things happening, and when they do, they wipe me completely out.

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