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I, too, read many stories before coming for my treatment. I brought a book, 2 travel mugs of coffee and some string cheese in case I got hungry.

I was told to come to the hospital at 8am to register, then go to the ACU by 8:30. The booking nurse said I was booked for 4 hours but that it would probably take less time. This was Friday May 16th.

I was the last of 6 people booked for the room. I took the last recliner and had my vitals taken and was given a sodium drip (it's called a "flush"). I had to wait until 10 am to get my iron, so my sodium drip was shut off after 40 minutes. Apparently I was supposed to get Iron Dextrose but was given Iron Sucrose (Venofer) instead, and the pharmacy prepares it in advance but they won't prep it unless they know you are here. It is expensive to throw out.

The nurses said that switching to Iron Sucrose was good as I was unlikely to have any reactions to it; she also told me that the drip would take 3 hours but if I had been given Iron Dextrose it would take 7 hours to drip! When I told her that I was "booked for 4 hours" etc. she told me that the booking nurses have no idea what the nurses in the IV treatment room do or how long it takes. I was only booked for one treatment initially, but 2 more appointments were added when it was confirmed that I was getting Venofer. I was also told that the ACU opens at 7:30 am and I could come earlier if I wanted (the things no one tells you until after lol).

I was given my Venofer at 10 am and my vitals were taken again, and every 30 minutes after that. I was told to tell a nurse if anything seemed off to me- if I felt dizzy, nauseous, itchy or any symptoms at all (I had none).

I was allowed to take my IV pole to the washroom - again being warned to watch for symptoms like vertigo when changing position from reclining to sitting up. I found that moving around with the pole aggravated the injection site. I had a lot of pain in that hand for about 1.5 weeks after that appointment, but it had to do with how the needle was inserted and not the iron. The second and third times I had the IV put in my left hand and had no problems.

Since I was still there at lunch time, I was offered sandwiches, crackers and cheese, juice or water. The nurses were very accommodating, offering warm blankets, magazines etc. One lady was reclined all the way back the whole time, and appeared to be dozing between checks of her vitals. I read my book.

I was out by 2 pm. I felt completely awesome, better than I have felt for a long time. I hit a wall with that around 9 pm, and by the following Tuesday I was dragging myself around. It was odd that I had more stamina to climb the big set of stairs outside of where I work, but had to be in bed 1.5 to 2 hours earlier than normal. I was so tired, and woke every morning feeling like I could stay in bed for another 3 hours. For the past 6 months, climbing those stairs took all my effort and I was huffing and puffing for at least 5 minutes after getting to the top. After my 3rd Venofer treatment, I can easily climb them and not be winded at all. I am still tired and need a good 9 hours of sleep each night and I sleep as late as I can on weekends, which is unusual for me. Some afternoons I swear I could nap.

The second and third times I went for treatment, I was there by 7:45 am and gone before lunch time. It was not an unpleasant experience. My ferritin went from 5 before the treatments to 168 2 weeks after the last treatment. My hair and nails feel better and stronger (my nails were really brittle right before), and I no longer crave ice (I was eating alot of it for about 5 months, which was a signal to me that my iron was getting low again)

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