Monday, 26 November 2018

Iron Time

Dear Readers,

For the last couple of weeks I've mentioned my PH symptoms have been very prominent, this is usually because my iron levels are low. When my iron levels are low, my PH comes out at it's worst! I get very breathless, meaning I struggle to walk from my bed to the bathroom, I look like a 'ghost', I'm extremely tired every day and my body pain becomes chronic - so yeah, I feel pretty rough!

On the 5th November I went to my local hospital, Broomfield and went had my bloods taken to check my iron levels. I hate having my blood taken, even though it's something I have to do quite often, but my veins are some of the worst collapsing veins ever and so I panic and get myself stressed EVERY time... just for a blood test!

Anyway, I got through it okay and a few weeks later, my results were through and low and behold my iron levels were severely low. My results showed 9 - I should be 15.....!!

I am really thankful to the Royal Brompton hospital, because with their help, they have arranged for me to now have iron infusions at Broomfield hospital, instead of trekking to and from London every 6 months. So on Friday 23rd I went and had my iron infusion. As I said earlier, my veins and needles do not go together, so yes I was an absolute wreck by the time I had to have a cannula inserted in my arm.

Every time I go anywhere where needles are needed, I tell the nurse/doctor that my veins are pretty rubbish and majority of the time they are sympathetic and with blood tests they use the 'baby needle' known as the butterfly needle.However there isn't any smaller needle when it comes to a cannula, so I have to grin and bear the pain! I think because I have scars from cut downs when I was little because they couldn't get to the veins, it's scarred me for life and being used as a pin cushion at times, doesn't help my confidence either!

Anyway, back to hospital, my nurse that day was lovely and because she wasn't sure if she'd find my vein first time she went and found the Vein Finder!!! A machine I've never seen or had used on me before, but my goodness it's a life saver for me. The nurse found a big, juicy vein in my right arm and went straight to it with the needle. The cannula went in straight away and all stress was gone! The iron infusion began and I chilled out and waited for the iron to be pumped around my body. 

Terry took me to the hospital that day. I think I squeezed his hand a little too tightly when the cannula went in 😁 but other than that all went smoothly. He took my mind off the infusion and after waiting another 30 minutes after the infusion had finished, he drove me back home. After suffering migraines after previous infusions, I always have someone with me, incase I'm not able to travel home. 

So the infusion is all over! I haven't got a bruise, unlike other infusions, and now it's time to allow it to get into my system properly and for my symptoms of PH to subside. It'll take around 6 weeks to be taken in fully, but I am feeling more energised already! My next hospital visit is in January at the Royal Brompton, for my usual PH clinic... until then, onwards and upwards! 👍

Thanks for reading!

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