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    Old 05-05-2011, 12:04 AM   #1
    Hollyday
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    Question Can you help me interpret lab results?

    Hi all,

    I've been reading up on anemia ever since I got my labs back and I'm still not sure what my results mean. I didn't even have the labs done for fatigue or what-have-you. I asked to have them done because I take a lot of ibuprofen for arthritis & was worried I might be damaging my liver or kidneys. Turns out my liver & kidneys are just fine but I'm anemic & my CBC is just weird.

    Here's what I know (with normal range in parentheses):

    RBC 4.38 (4.50-5.60)
    Hgb 11.1 (14.0-18.0)
    Hct 34.4 (42.0-52.0)
    MCV 78 (80-100)
    RDW 15.8 (12.1-14.9)
    Plts 403 (150-375)

    Iron 17 (25-156)


    Obviously I realize my iron is too low. I mean, when the upper limit is 156 & my number is 17 .... yeah, that's a concern. I've been taking a 27mg iron supplement daily since I got the results & got almost immediate relief from some restless legs that had been making me crazy! So I guess i'm on the right track there.

    Question #1:
    I've heard of other people taking more than the regular supplement level of 27mg. Would that be safe for me too since mine is pretty low?

    Question #2:
    I highlighted in red the numbers that seemed to stand out as more than just a lab anomaly. Is this just a normal variation due to being low in iron? The only reason I ask is that my platelets have been higher than normal for a couple of years now, and that started way before the labs showed low iron.


    Sorry to sound so dumb but I'm new to this.

    Thanks for any help you can offer!

     
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    Old 05-05-2011, 12:22 AM   #2
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    Oh, and the only other thing I can think of to add is that my hair has been falling out like crazy for at least a year. I read that anemia can cause that so THAT is a relief! I thought I was just going bald for no reason! lololol

     
    Old 05-05-2011, 06:28 AM   #3
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    I don't know how to interpret the results. I never got a nice copy of mine. But the doctor did tell me I needed to take 325 mg of ferrous sulfate. I would think the doctor would tell you the best supplement to be on. If they didn't tell you I would call them and ask. You don't want to overdose on iron by accident.

     
    Old 05-05-2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    My doctor included a note with my results asking me to start taking an iron supplement right away. He suggested Niferox 150. That couldn't possibly be 150mg of iron, you think? That seems like way too much.

    But I've heard of people taking large amounts so I don't know. I don't want to cause any further trouble to my body. Right now I'm taking Fergon 27mg.

    He also wrote about my Hct (hematocrit?) being 34 & that that was really low. I'm assuming this is due to the low iron. Will that improve once I get my iron level back up?

     
    Old 05-09-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
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    Wink Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    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
    - 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!

    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!

     
    Old 05-13-2011, 12:23 AM   #6
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Hollyday our situations are SO similar it's almost scary!
    Wow, you're right, our numbers are really similar as are our symptoms! It's such a relief to me to know what is causing all these seemingly unrelated problems: hair falling out, restless legs, weakness, breathlessness etc.

    Another funny coincidence is that I rarely go to doctors either. I don't want to be seen as a "whiner." lol I'm 43 so I guess we are apparently of the same "suck-it-up-and-deal-with-it" generation.

    Ok, another really weird thing. You have 3 boys 20, 18 & 12. I have 3 girls 19, 17 & 13! Now tell me that doesn't make the twilight zone theme music start up in your head! haha (See, now I'm dating myself by referencing old black&white tv shows ... )


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    (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!)
    Exactly! lololol I thought I was just lazy & out of shape so I started a workout program at home before finally begrudgingly making a dr. appt. I knew something was wrong when I couldn't complete 20 pushups or work out with short routines without getting out of breath. I have a very slight build so it obviously wasn't a big weight gain that caused the breathlessness.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    I honestly can say I never recovered from that mountain climb last November. I've had arthritis ever since.
    I'm not a medical professional but I do know that when there is an extreme stress on the body, your immune system can get a little hyperactive & start attacking your good cells instead of bad ones. Perhaps that hike sent you into overdrive, which allowed the (autoimmune) rheumatoid arthritis to take hold.

    My arthritis is osteo so I'm sorry I don't have better info for you. Oh, and it was part of a genetic connective tissue disorder so I've had painful joints since I was very young. But then again, since I've felt like this almost my whole life, the pain doesn't seem to cripple me very often - possibly because I've gotten used to it. I don't know what it would feel like to not have it!


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Today was my ultra-sound (sono-histogram) with my gynocologist. it turns out I have one huge fibroid cyst larger than the size of a large, full term baby's head
    I also went to see my gynocologist, thinking that MUST be the problem, but I only had a couple of really tiny fibroids starting up. Not enough to do anything about. Sorry to hear you will have to have a hysto.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    My blood pressure is so low, my hemoglobin so dangerously low that I'm in danger of needing a transfusion ..... I'm worried about losing blood during the surgery.
    Well, the good thing about having low blood pressure is that if you did have a bleeding problem during surgery, you wouldn't bleed out as fast - giving them more time to transfuse you. Knowing that bleeding will be a concern, they will probably have several bags of whatever blood type you are on hand (in the OR) just in case. Make sure though that they will have this blood readily available & won't have to wait for someone to run it to the OR.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Can you tell me if you've had your Ferritin done? I think that as your iron climbs with the supplements (if you don't have absorption issues... is that the %SAT for saturation?
    I didn't have any of that printed on my lab results so I don't know what they are or what they would mean. I mean, I didn't even tell my GP about the hair loss or weakness or anything (just thought I was getting old - lol), I just asked for a liver & kidney function because I take so much ibuprofen. He added several other tests just for the heck of it & I'm glad he did!


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    my doctor has me on 325 farous sulphate 3Xday... but maybe your doctor has you on a lower amount for a reason?
    Yknow, he didn't really tell me a certain AMOUNT to take. He just said to immediately start taking a daily iron supplement so I picked Fergon because I heard you have less constipation issues with it. But it's not ferrous sulphate, it is ferrous gluconate so that apparently explains the difference in the milligrams.

    I'm sorry to hear you aren't feeling well, but I'm glad I have someone in a nearly identical (!) position to compare stories with!

     
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    Old 05-13-2011, 05:08 AM   #7
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    Holly; Oh my gosh - it's SO funny how similar isn't it? The biggest 'difference' is that I've been super healthy all my life - I mean except for being a 'day dreamer' in elementary school (lack of focus? Mental fatigue? I had TMJ, used to grind my teeth at night - stressed a lot about school/grades as a teen), I never really had any 'physical' fatigue growing up or after until recent years. Anybody that's known me as an adult knows I'm a high energy, fast walking (fast typing!), zipping from one place to another (ALWAYS to pick up or drop off one of my kids), always repainting a room, sewing new curtains, refinishing a piece of furniture, digging a new garden, building a stonewall, even painting my house while hubby was away on a business trip kind of gal! I just turned 44 last month! Now that I look back at RECENT years... I can't believe how long it's been since I've done a project for my house, how I used to be able to keep up with the housecleaning, the laundry - in the last couple of years it's all just piled up. I do have my business to blame too, I'm very busy running my own business, but back when I got all these projects done, I was working outside of the home and only had one or two days off/week! So I think (I hope) it's the fact that my anemia sapped my energy? That's what I'm hoping for. I'm hoping to regain the energy I used to have. I just hope this arthritis thing doesn't get in my way. I have not been diagnosed yet with the arthritis, just the Rheumatoid factor of 27 showed up on my blood test and the positive antibodies too and more specific bloodwork for that is being tested now, won't be back for about a week I guess Oh BROTHER - with all the anemia & now hysterectomy stuff recently dumped on me, do you think I want to even 'think' about 'arthritis' right now too? I've already decided that no matter what it is - I'm going to try to go the homeopathic route and treat it with vitamins, exercise and after I recover from my surgery, I want to try taking yoga for the first time. It seems like that would just be so perfect for my newly arthritic body. Why don't you TRY YOGA!!! Oh, yes, I'm so glad I just thought of that! My oldest son and his girlfriend are doing it 2X3 times a week together, they LOVE it. My son has had some issues in the past, (he's been on lots of meds in the past - we've decided they are all quick fixes - and homeopathic remedies and getting to the root of the problem is the way to treat, not 99% of these meds that doctors prescribe like candy) before this girlfriend, and I think a combination of the great girlfriend and the yoga (and a full time job) is helping his mind, body and soul emensely! I heard yoga can treat depression! It makes so much sense, it's stretching, getting your body loose and limber, meditation, it's fabulous for your mind and body and soul ...

    Okay now about your iron. I'm so surprised your doctor is so nonchalant about things like how much iron to take? Why don't you seek a new doctor? Sounds like the two of you don't have good chemistry together anyway. As for the stomach upset or constipation with the iron - my doctor didn't tell me this, my doctor just said to work up to 325X3/day Farous Sulphate and make sure to take it on a full stomach. The pharmacist that I asked about it said take a stool softener with each one. So I bought stool softeners right along with the iron and take them together. I have not had even one problem whatsoever. You probably don't want to take as much as I'm taking because your hemoglobin is not as low as mine, but ... Oh, I wanted to tell you that before I ever saw a specialist, my regular doctor was out on maternity leave and her 'fill in' doctor was the one reading these results for the first time, and she referred me to a couple of the specialists, sent me for more bloodwork and had me buy prenatal vitamins to start taking after the bloodwork was done. I can tell you that even though the doctors all tell me it must have been in my head because I shouldn't feel better for a couple of weeks... I started feeling better within 48 hrs of taking those prenatal vitamins! REALLY - so now my hematologist and my regular doctor who is now back from maternity leave say it's not really necessary to take the prenatal vitamins with the iron too however, since it seems to be making me feel better, there must be something in them that's helping me so by all means, keep taking them!!!

    Oh Holly, I'm really wanting you to feel better. I wish you were my neighbor, I'd love to chat over a cup of coffee about all this and about life with 3 boys vs. life with 3 girls and how crazy it is with them all these ages right now (did you ever think it would get even MORE chaotic when they got older??? I sure didn't!!!). I want some of my new energy to rub off on you! (btw, my 18 yr old just turned 18 less than 2 weeks ago, and my 12 yr old will be 13 tomorrow so our kids ages are closer than we first may have thought!)...

    Have you considered that this pain could just be part of your osteo-arthritis? Why wouldn't it be? I'm wondering why you think that it's your blood and not your arthritis in your bones? And if that's the case, shouldn't it be your rheumatologist that's dealing with these issues with you and not your hematologist? Just curious - looking at all this for the first time and all...

    Thank you so much for all your thoughtful answers to my own problems. You are a common sense kind of gal, just like me! We totally think alike and your answers make complete sense, thank you!

    Feel better today okay? I've got the busiest day, my youngest is turning 13 tomorrow, his friends are throwing a big party for him at one of their houses (I just found out - need to see if I can help somehow)- my middle son has prom tonight, we all have a wedding to attend tomorrow... but I'll be watching for any added notes by you

    Your new friend,
    Michelle

    Last edited by teri579; 05-13-2011 at 05:10 AM.

     
    Old 05-14-2011, 04:54 AM   #8
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Holly; Oh my gosh - it's SO funny how similar isn't it? The biggest 'difference' is that I've been super healthy all my life
    Well, due to my culture, I would say our biggest difference is that I am a Southerner & you are a poor, wretched yankee trapped in the Frozen Nawth. LOLOLOLOL!!!

    Just kidding - had to throw that in there somewhere .....

    Yes, I wasn't blessed with great health. Pick a body part, any body part, and at some point in my life I've had trouble with it (I've had over 30 surgeries - most of them under age 16 - which explains my loathing of doctors/hospital/surgeries) . Additionally, all 3 of my girls have experienced very colorful medical histories. So, even though I am careful to tell people I am not a medical professional, I probably know more about scary/strange/rare/weird diseases & birth defects than a lot of EMT's, PA's and LPN's.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Oh BROTHER - with all the anemia & now hysterectomy stuff recently dumped on me, do you think I want to even 'think' about 'arthritis' right now too?
    I feel ya, I really do. We often tell people "If we didn't have bad luck, we'd have no luck at all!" Just in the last few years I contracted a very weird & rare, paralyzing disease. Went into deep depression. In the middle of recovery from that, my best friend was diagnosed with a weird & rare liver disease & had to have a liver transplant, which necessitated that I care for her in hospital and at home while scrutinizing her meds (she doesn't have any family here) and translating "med-speak" for her. Then as soon as I was coming back into the world from all that, our house burned down & we lost everything. We've recently moved into our rebuilt home but after suffering through Katrina & Gustave & the BP oil spill & now the swollen Mississippi threatening to wipe out several areas of South Louisiana, we are getting a bit weary of disasters. lol

    Oh, and I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner after your original post. My husband's grandmother died & we were quite busy with all of that (especially since there are many family members who had to come in from other states & our hosting abilities were really put to the test). They've all headed home now though, so we are just watching the rising water. We live in a low area between 2 rivers so it's always a concern. Oh blah blah blah, whine whine whine - sorry to meander off into complaining!


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    I'm going to try to go the homeopathic route and treat it with vitamins, exercise and after I recover from my surgery, I want to try taking yoga for the first time.
    Well it certainly can't hurt! I started doing some yoga after the 3 ruptured disks in my lower spine (L2, L3 & L4) became fairly excruciating. It worked wonders!!!! Plus, it should also help with any anxiety or depression you're feeling. I think everyone should set aside some meditational time every day along with stretching/yoga. You always feel better afterward!


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    getting to the root of the problem is the way to treat, not 99% of these meds that doctors prescribe like candy
    You are singing my tune, Sister. There is a place for Western style medicine when necessary, but for most of the pills they push on TV there are better & more effective natural remedies. I've also been reading several books on neuroscience which describe how the brain works in great detail. If only people realized that they can "treat" themselves for many illnesses by changing their brains. Neuroplasticity should be the mantra of the new millennium.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Have you considered that this pain could just be part of your osteo-arthritis? Why wouldn't it be? I'm wondering why you think that it's your blood and not your arthritis in your bones?
    Please excuse me if this seems strange, but .... WHAT pain???? Other than the restless legs (which are better now), my only other symptoms were hair loss, weakness & breathlessness. I'm having to really think now but I don't think I've had any NEW pain since this anemia snuck up on me. My arthritis-joint-pain has felt the same as it always has. My doc keeps trying to casually swing me toward joint replacement (since my left hip & right knee are pretty bad) but I feel like I'm too young. Plus, I will have to literally be on death's door to willingly submit to surgery again - lololol.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Thank you so much for all your thoughtful answers to my own problems. You are a common sense kind of gal, just like me! We totally think alike and your answers make complete sense, thank you!
    Awwww, thank you! I do my best to keep up with all things medical, even though I usually end up reverting back to my crunchy granola ways. Being raised by hippies tends to stay with you.

    Anyway, happy birthday to your son and hope y'all have fun today!!!

     
    Old 05-14-2011, 07:07 AM   #9
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    Hey girlfriend! I think I thought you must be in pain because you mentioned that you were taking a lot of ibuprophen for your arthritis...

    Holy smokes about your 16 surgeries as a youth - MAMA MEEEEAAAAHHHH! I've never had surgery in my life, my hysto will be my first. Well, if you don't count the 13 stitches I got when I was 10 for being attacked by a dog, oh and I stepped on a piece of glass and got 2 stitches in a toe when I was 4 and then got a cast for a broken wrist when I was 6... my medical history is laughable compared to yours!!! Oh, I did have to have an epesiotomy for 4th degree lacerations (that sounds awful but I think that was the term they used) after delivering my first son (I delivered all 9 pounders - my first one was a real killer as most first deliveries are). But none of these really compare to yours because they weren't like medical ailments that caused them or anything.

    Oh my goodness about the Southern storms and ... the house burning down? Holly I'm so sorry - so so sorry, I don't even know how to respond I can't even imagine...

    I have to get some laundry done and wrap some presents before a wedding this afternoon. Take care and let's keep in touch!

    Michelle

     
    Old 05-14-2011, 06:27 PM   #10
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Hey girlfriend! I think I thought you must be in pain because you mentioned that you were taking a lot of ibuprophen for your arthritis...
    Oh I get it now! Sorry, I thought you meant "new" pain in relation to the anemia. Nope, it's just the same ol' same ol' degenerative joint pain. My doc was really trying to help because he felt bad for me but I didn't cotton to all the narcotic meds. So I backed off of everything & only take ibuprofen now. Only problem is that I take a LOT of it & that can't be good. Bleah ....


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Holy smokes about your surgeries - MAMA MEEEEAAAAHHHH! I've never had surgery in my life, my hysto will be my first.
    Oh wow! I think that sounds as foreign to me as my history does to you!
    Uhhh, I hate saying anything negative and I certainly don't want to scare you so I'll try to tread lightly here. Before your surgery you should:

    1) Discuss your pain relieving options with your doctor and make sure those med orders are confirmed.

    2) Designate someone smart & pushy to be your medical advocate while you are in hospital. You will not be able to fight for what you need after your surgery because you may be whacked out on morphine.

    3) Get all affairs in order beforehand. (I don't mean a will or power of attorney, although that is also a good idea. It should just be a routine hyst - hopefully!) I mean, anything you normally take care of that your husband/family is oblivious to.

    For example:

    - pay all of your normal household bills ahead of time so you won't have to worry about them while you are recovering
    - stick a list of important phone numbers (doctor's office, insurance company, etc) on the fridge just in case there is an emergency
    - arrange transportation for your kids to their various activities (because someone needs to be home with YOU 24/7 the first week)
    - stock up on easy-to-prepare foods/drinks or freeze meals for the boys
    - tell someone your bank PIN & any other important info regarding the finances so that they are not running to you asking what to do while you are incapacitated
    - shave your legs (if that is important to you - it was to me!) because you won't feel like doing it for a good while afterward & the pricklies might drive you crazy
    - inform whoever will be helping you if you have any appliances/tech objects in the house that have a funny way of working or some strange system of steps to operate (my mother-in-law could not figure out how to work our oven with the electronic keypad )
    - prepare the area where you will spend most of your home recuperation time, such as stocking up on tissues, reading material, extra undies/fem products/nightgowns, and MOST IMPORTANTLY - an alert system to call someone to you ... be it a bell or your cell phone or an air horn or whatever! lol

    I suppose you can tell I've been through this drill before.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjinteriors View Post
    Oh my goodness about the Southern storms and ... the house burning down? Holly I'm so sorry - so so sorry, I don't even know how to respond I can't even imagine...
    Oh sweetie, no worries! That is just LIFE! You can experience these things & be absolutely miserable or you can experience these things & think "Well, this sucks temporarily, but we have each other & for that I am happy & grateful!" It really is all about your attitude. I knew an older couple who had had 8 children & lived in a 2 bedroom house. They had all the kids in 1 room with 2 sets of bunkbeds, 2 kids per bed. The mom wasn't freaked out. She merely saved their money & kept herself happy dreaming of the bigger house they would be able to afford one day. They found a nice big place & then proceeded to have EIGHT MORE children (yes, really). She wasn't stressed about it though. They were grateful for what they had and felt BLESSED that none of their children had died in childhood. They thought they were the luckiest people on earth! (I try to think of her when I get overwhelmed with my 3 teens & then I feel silly - lololol)

    Anyway, if you have any questions about surgery, hospitals, procedures, what-have-you, I don't mind answering them. I can't even imagine how scary it would be to go in for major surgery at 44 having never experienced it before. Fear of the unknown can make the whole thing seem a lot worse so I like going into those types of situations with as much information as possible! Then it's not nearly as scary.

     
    Old 05-16-2011, 07:00 AM   #11
    teri579
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    Re: Can you help me interpret lab results?

    Hi Holly;

    I'm not really worried about the surgery itself, it's fairly routine (except that my fibroid tumor is a big one at 10cm, the size of a full term baby's head the doctor told me - then the nurse said 'or a cantaloupe'...) I was just concerned about my low hemoglobin and ferritin and other levels and going into surgery that way, otherwise, I'm not the kind of person that gets scared about stuff like that.

    Thanks so much for all the advice - I'm doing my best to be prepared, but my Mom will come down and stay for as long as she's needed, and my husband will be working from home as needed too... and as long as I have my trusty laptop, I'll be able to communicate with the world which will make me happy

    But I'm SO excited to get my 5th round of bloodwork done today (in 2 1/2 weeks)!!! Not something most people would be excited about but since I've been on iron and prenatal vitamins for 2 1/2 weeks, I feel SO much better - my energy, especially mental, a lot of the physical energy is coming back too - I'm not huffing and puffing and my legs don't burn when I climb the stairs with a load of laundry anymore (which the doctor told me not to do but I simply can't stand it! I'm trying to get caught up before my surgery when I'll be DOWN for anywhere from 10 days to a month or more, who knows?

    We went to a wedding Saturday night and I know I'm not supposed to get myself winded or out of breath or anything and I'm NOT a dancer by any means, but my kids were all out there dancing and then the DJ played a song by Lady Ga Ga and I just HAD to get out there and dance with my boys! I feel so much better (and I still have this tumor in me), amazing! I do feel the weight of it sometimes though, now that I'm aware that it's there... almost like that heavy feeling way down low that I remember getting after the baby dropped and delivery was getting nearer. I'm trying to do some toning exercises without getting winded too, like crunches (don't you think if my abdomen muscles are tighter they will react faster to recovery after my upcoming hystorectomy?).

    So anyway - wish me luck with my blood tests today... think positive thoughts... think higher levels...

    I hope that the floods aren't effecting you, I've been thinking of you as I watch the news. Stay safe!
    Your Nahhhthern friend,
    Michelle

     
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