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    Old 03-10-2008, 09:01 AM   #1
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    Question Anyone else having problems going to work?

    I am so exhausted by lunch I can barely keep my head up. My HGB fluctuations have been going on for 5 weeks, at one point it was down to a 6.2, my doc sent me home from work, I stayed home 4 days. Since then it has fluctuated all over the place as high as an 8.9. I went to the doctor for him to check Thursday, HGB dropped back to an 8.5. We went over the results of my blood work and they said my thyroid was a little high, caused by the fact they put me back on BC pills? and my serum iron (is this the same as ferratin) was an 8. Anyway since my levels are not staying up, they have referred me to a hematologist, my appt is tomorrow.
    I am really pushing myself to work everyday, but I find that I can not concentrate and I am making alot of mistakes. I always go to work, I have a very stressful job and I never stay home sick. Plus to say I am staying home because my HGB is low just sounds stupid.

    Anyone else having issues trying to work?

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    Old 03-10-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
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    Re: Anyone else having problems going to work?

    hannahhannah57--I WAS like you too I ~always~ went to work. I have been unable to work in the last year. I had a bad reaction to iron supplements and had enteritis for 3 months and that took all that I had left out of me. Then the next struggle was I couldn't keep my blood counts from dropping, hence never resolved the anemia for most of the year.

    Your serum iron is the circulating iron in the blood. The Ferritin is the stored iron in the organs and bone marrow. I also had 8.5 Hgb with 2 Ferritin and I thought a MAC truck ran me over. I'm also 46 and that seems to make a difference the doctors tell me. They kept saying at your age......... I never realized I was getting older until all this. Having a thyroid problem doesn't help matters either.

    I wish you the best luck with your Hematology appointment tomorrow. Keep us posted! FLFLOWERGIRL

    Old 03-12-2008, 04:25 PM   #3
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    Re: Anyone else having problems going to work?

    Yes, I am (was) a graduate assistant while working towards my PhD. After a period of about 11 months of my counts yo-yoing between ~7.5-9.0 and missing work when on the low end, I finally left my position. (That was six months ago.) My position was a research position and I was attempting to write a dissertation, so I really need 100% of my brain power. Concentration and memory for me is a big issue, especially considering that I was already on Straterra for inattentive ADHD. I can estimate my Hg by which phase: 7-8 zombie phase where I am content to lay on the couch and stare at the ceiling, 8-8.5 stare at the TV/computer phase, just do ask me about what I am reading/watching because I am not likely to remember, and the 8.5-9.5 phase which is the OH sh** phase when I realize I am in the middle of writing a dissertation and I have not may any progress lately and this is also phase where I sit and stare at the computer all day only to complete 3 or 4 sentences or try to read technical articles for my research and cant even begin to process the information. My cause is uterine bleeding and next month I will have a hysterectomy to finally resolve the issue.

    I also know how strange it feels to say my counts are low and my doctor says to stay home. It is very frustrating to have problem performing task that you could previously do with little effort or to not be able to take the stairs without your heart pounding. Positions that are high stress, require multitasking or require critical thinking skills can be frustrating, especially when most people cant differentiate between the very mild anemia they have always had and the severity of yours.

    As for staying home when the counts are really low, I would listen to the doctor. When your counts drops and the oxygen capacity of the blood is low, your heart rate increases because it has to work harder to keep adequate oxygen levels throughout the body. Simple physical tasks puts added pressure on the heart to deliver adequate oxygen, so it works harder and the rate increases. But remember that the heart is a muscle that is also competing for it share of oxygen as pumping faster. (This is why heart patients get trasfused at ~9.) Your body does make adjustments to the lowered oxygen capacity, but it takes a little time. So I would listen to my doctor and stay home--especially if my job had any physical demands.

    Many time I wished my Hgb would drop low enough to require a transfusion, so I would not get the go take your iron and be patient it may take a while speech.

    Each time I would have a drop, it seem that the fatigue and concentration would get a litte worse than before. My highest count the last 18 months has been 9.5.

    So dont feel stupid saying I am to anemic to work, especially if you have the sick days to do it.

    Old 03-12-2008, 09:16 PM   #4
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    Re: Anyone else having problems going to work?

    I feel your pain!!!! My levels dont ususlly get any higher than 8!! I work only weekends, but I am in college studying for my R.N's degree all week long!!! Every day is a struggle, but i just try to take one day at a time. I am doing good in college, but working(im a nursing assistant in a nursing home) tends to take a toll on me!!! I know the B-12 injections I get are very good at helping with the body ache's, lack of focus, and tiredness. Have you had these before?? They do help a lot!!!!!

    Last edited by rundr; 03-12-2008 at 09:21 PM. Reason: added something

    Old 03-16-2008, 04:10 AM   #5
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    Re: Anyone else having problems going to work?

    Mine wasn't quite as bad as the description in some of your posts. I simply thought my tiredness and inability to focus/retain information was due to a busy work schedule, always short staffed at work, looking at a computer most of the day, having to remember virtual daily changes in policy and procedures (our department never seems to make up it's mind on whether it's going left or right!!!!). I too wanted to fall asleep every afternoon, but pushed myself through so that by the end of the day i felt like i had been through the spin cycle of my washing machine.

    My eyeballs felt as though they wanted to come out of my head and i had to keep massaging my closed eyes, they would also sting and burn. Needless to say, outside of work i had no motivation to do much and was happy to stay home in my own personal space and simply vegetate.

    I never saw a doctor, continued to believe i was fine b/c i had a healthy diet, didn't smoke and only had the occasional glass of wine with my main meal. A weird pattern developed...... weekday mornings i'd somehow manage to have breakfast and dress for work and go. Once the weekend rolled around i slept in, struggled to have breakfast, then had to make a pit stop at the sofa for a lay down so i could make it to the bedroom to get changed. Again on weekends, it would take me a good couple of hours to get the motivation to simply have a shower as it was all too difficult. I guess on weekends i knew i didn't have to do things so i'd give in to the tiredness, whereas weekdays i wouldn't. This led to me running late for lunch or dinner appointments with friends and earned me the reputation of not being reliable timewise. It wasn't like i wanted to be late, just that time somehow flew by while things took their time getting done. I don't even know how it happened, it simply did and i was too tired to care.

    Then one night i woke up with what appeared to be extremly bad period pains, but my period had finished about a week before. I was so scared i went to the doctor who then ran tests and i found out i needed a lot more iron.

    Now that my levels are up, for the most part, i feel more motivated, tend to get more things accomplished, not as tired as before and my energy seems to last a greater distance than what it did before. I still get odd bouts of low energy, or feelings of being tired, yet hyperactive but that is due to a newly discovered thyroid problem. On the whole i do feel so much better than i used to feel and that most definitely came with the higher ferretin level.

    Old 03-18-2008, 05:40 AM   #6
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    Re: Anyone else having problems going to work?

    I had to stop working because I just couldn't focus and this was before I found out I was anemic. I got so depressed; just felt like a complete failure. If only I'd gotten a blood test before that, but I kept thinking it was all in my head.

    Old 03-18-2008, 08:08 AM   #7
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    Re: Anyone else having problems going to work?

    i am sitting here now dreading going to work or even getting in the shower, just want to lay here and do nothing. I have hypothyroidism, been on med since early 80's, dose is .175, as well as unexplained chronic annemia, had all the test including bone marrow, and several infusions, and the level always drops back down. tried the slow fe and other over the counter, and only gain weight and get constipated. I don't even try them anymore. I also have sleep apnea and am on cpap machine, which i use faithfully, on the outside chance I will have some energy in the mornings. Also on antidepressants, surprise! They ran a new test yesterday called a ferritin, the results came back very high, which seems contradictory to chronic annemia, can someone explain this. The put me on requip for restless leg syndrome, which is not helping the tiredness this morning. I am 5'6" and 175 lbs. Doc says if I lose weight will help with apnea, he doesn't realize the only energy i have is from food, and that is short lived. I guess my question at the bottom of all of this is which step should I take next to try and get some relief.

    Old 03-18-2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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    Re: Anyone else having problems going to work?

    I think (but I'm not sure) that high ferritin with low iron can be caused by anemia of chronic disease. Maybe you should see a hemotologist?

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