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Hollyday: I too have been reading all over this forum since I got my lab results about 10 days ago. I am waiting for answers to your questions about as anxiously as you are! Why? Because our situations are SO similar it's almost scary! Your levels are low for sure, but if it makes you feel any better, mine are actually even lower. My doctors are saying that mine are as low as they've seen. I haven't really felt THAT bad like some others have talked about on the forum either. I'm a very active Mom of 3 boys, 12, 18 & 20 - right now I drive them all everywhere. I also run my own interior design business soup to nuts, a lot of it is very physical, installations of window treatment part of it has been a challenge in the last year or two (also the hauling of my toolbox & multiple trips from my van up the stairs to my clients homes carrying my equipment has become almost impossible since about November). I didn't go to the doctor for that either though (I thought I was just getting really out of shape and literally bought a new pair of running shoes the day before my results came in!). I never thought there was anything wrong with my blood. I injured my shoulder in the fall (I think I ripped my rotator cuff while installing a curtain over my head - or maybe it was when I was while building a stone wall near one of my gardens) But then my family did our semi-annual hike up a mountain in NH in November and all I keep thinking as I attempted to keep up with everyone was "oh my gosh, how did I ever get so out of shape"? I couldn't even climb at ALL without my thighs feeling like they were tightening up and just carry the load of me (and I'm an average weight for my height) and my knees feeling like they were screaming out in pain and pressure - let alone that I could hardly sit down just to even catch my breath - I thought my heart was going to stop. My whole family kept saying "come on Mom you can do it!" and I made it to the top but I've never been the same since. I honestly can say I never recovered from that mountain climb last November. I've had arthritis ever since. I just turned 44 last month. I thought for SURE that I had Lymes Disease (2 of my kids have had it). But then I never went to the doctor all winter (haven't been to the doctor in like 10 yrs for ME - only for my kids)...thought it might go away - sucked it up... shoveled too much snow over the winter (and it killed me - I thought I was 100 yrs old).

Well, I've got some big jobs ahead of me and I need to get my shoulder fixed. So I went in there asking for a Lyme test and for my shoulder to be looked at (hoping for some antibiotics to cure my Lyme and maybe a cortizone shot for my shoulder). I didn't get what I was hoping for AT ALL..... Here is what 'some' of my tests revealed (I won't bore you with all of them, just some that I'm finding are here on the forum more often):

- Lyme - Negative (bummer, no antibiotic quick fix)
- Rheumatoid Factor - 27 (5.0 or greater is positive - reference range 0-13.9)
(double bummer - what the heck is THIS?)

- RBC - 4.13 (appears to be on the lower end of the normal range of 4.0-5.2)
- HGB - 6.9 (range 12-15. Also says after this "REPEATED AND CONFIRMED - RESULT HAS BEEN CALLED TO DOCTOR AND HAS BEEN READ BACK") so I knew I was in trouble on the hemoglobin one:dizzy:
- HCT - 26.5 (ref range 36-45)
- PLTS - 557 (ref range 150-450)

- IRON - 9 (ref range 28-170)
% SAT - 2 (ref range 15-50)
FERRITIN - 3 (ref range 10-291)

All the blood stuff was completely foreign to me. I learned by reading on this forum (thank you everyone who posted informative threads in the past!) and asking my doctor. Oh, my doctor immediately made me see a hematologist, a gynacologist, and tomorrow I have to see the rheumatologist (the orthopedic for my shoulder can wait now, we've got bigger fires to put out based on these results above!).

The last 10 days has been a blurr! I can't believe this is all happening to me but you're certainly not alone. My hair has been falling out like crazy (and lost it's lustre) in the last few years too! And oh my GOSH, my restless legs went away after I started taking the supplements too! I'm sleeping better already. My doctor put me on prenatal vitamins first (she was filling in for my PCP). Then my real PCP came back and saw the results and got me in immediately to see the gynocologist that day for my crazy, heavy and long periods that had been going on for probably 8-10 yrs now. I told them my Mom had a hysterectomy at 45 for fibroid cysts and heavy periods and she was anemic until she had her hysto, never again after that. My gynocologist said that I probably have the fibroid cysts but they can probably take care of them right in the office, hysto's are old school for fibroid cysts... I'm not to worry, he thinks the whole anemia problem is a gynocological one. Next day... I see the hematologist, who concurs with the gynocologist but puts me on Farous Sulphate 325 mg, working up to 3 X day (and staying on the prenatal vitamins too since they seemed to make me feel better right away). Hematologist orders more blood work for 10 days later (this will be my 3rd round of bloodwork in 10 days).

Oh my - sorry to hijack your thread with my own issues!:wave:

Today was my ultra-sound (sono-histogram) with my gynocologist. He was shocked and he apologized, admitted he was wrong, my Mom and I were right and it turns out I have one huge fibroid cyst larger than the size of a large, full term baby's head - encompassing my entire uterus, pushing on my spine (causing my all over back pain I hope?). So I said "does this mean we can't just take it out in the office?" he said "No, you're going to have to have a hysterectomy - this is the cause of your blood loss - your anemia".

I'm relieved - we found the cause so early (10 days into this journey after 10 yrs of never treating myself to a doctor visit). But the other side of the coin is tomorrow's Rheumatologist visit (bummer, why did I have to have THAT wrong with me too? Why can't it just be the anemia and hysterectomy issue?).

My fear/question for any experts reading this would be the following. My blood pressure is so low, my hemoglobin so dangerously low that I'm in danger of needing a transfusion (though my gynocologist said I look so good, my complexion, color and whites of my eyes look so good and I still have stamina, that he thinks this has been going on for 10 years, slowly draining my body of my blood stores, slow enough so that my body has been compensating and pushing through this for that long. Now my body at this point is on empty. I am afraid my levels are so dangerously low that there could be a danger in putting me under for this operation! He did say that I can't afford to lose any more blood, so it should be done quickly. But I'm worried about losing blood during the surgery. Or what about them losing my pulse! He had to have me roll over to my left side just so he could properly hear my heartbeat. I will call the doctor back tomorrow. Just wondering if anybody knows. I asked him if we shouldn't try to build up my blood more first and he said my body can't make it fast enough to keep up, the blood loss won't stop until we get the uterus/cyst out. So we're scheduled for June 6th... 3 days after my middle son's high school graduation. I'm happy about this, just nervous about the low blood thing during surgery.

Hollyday - so sorry to make this all about me. Can you tell me if you've had your Ferritin done? I read that is your blood cell stores. I think that as your iron climbs with the supplements (if you don't have absorption issues... is that the %SAT for saturation? Can't remember)... your ferritin (think of it as your extra pantry, extra blood cell storage I think) should increase too. The Ferritin is supposed to be at least 50-70 I hear (mine is 3 - OMG how pathetic is my blood right now!).

I hope you'll continue sharing your 'what's next' here - I'd like to follow this thread.

Take care and I'm so glad you are feeling the relief that I'm feeling with the RLS, maybe our hair will stop falling out before it becomes noticeable. Can you share more about your arthritis? I'd like to avoid that right now, but doctors say I need to go to that appointment tomorrow and face that problem too (whatever it may be)... Please ask your doctor before increasing the iron, my doctor has me on 325 farous sulphate 3Xday... but maybe your doctor has you on a lower amount for a reason? You are taking something different, maybe it's concentrated and has more in it or something? Don't mess around with it though I heard iron is toxic, so ask your doctor.

I welcome any advice - promise my replies won't be as long as this one!

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