A Christmas present!

Wouldn't it be great if a lack of iron was the cause of fatigue? my lack of concentration? What if these things are not a symptom of my MS?

It would be so great. It would be like a Christmas present!

Ferritin, a neat little protein found in your body (in particular in your liver and your spleen) binds to iron, creating a "storage facility" for iron. Your body needs a particular amount of iron to function, and then the pack-rat ferritin protein, holds the excess.

Thanks to my inquisitive nature, I decided to ask WHY the hematologist wants to test my blood every three months. Not having met the doctor yet, and already giving him two blood samples, with two more to go before we meet in December, I phoned his nurse.

I have the lowest acceptable level of ferritin in my blood.


I was first aware of low iron in August, following Appy-Gate. I took an iron pill, and that was it. No one has followed up on this, and I quite frankly, have thought nothing of it.

I have been so quick to blame my feelings of "blah" and "fatigue" on MS. Wouldn't you?

MS doesn't mean that I am immune to other illnesses. This is evident by all the specialists that I have seen, as arranged by my MS doctor, the hematologist included.

Continuing to make use of our health care system,



Karla said...
April 30, 2009 at 12:29 p.m.

Hi Emily -

I am your freaking low ferritin twin... My lest blood test showed a level of 7, when my doc said that normal would be about 70. I discovered this after my hair was falling out in droves, my nails were cracking and splitting and I was a walking zombie. SO, iron you shall take, and lots of it - red wine is also helpful. :)

Looking forward to your open house on Sunday...

(Corina's sil)

Ladyfingers said...
April 30, 2009 at 12:34 p.m.

You may consider yourself as making use of the healthcare system. I see you as a typical example of how broken our "system" is. It was noted in Aug. that your iron was low; you should then have started iron supplements & an investigation until you were back to normal & a cause was found. Now, 9 months later because of your brainwork & persistence you know why a specialist is looking at your blood. All I can say is thank God for this mystery Dr. who is so overworked that he hasn't even seen you yet but is still "treating" you. Also, kudos to the Dr. who referred you to said Dr. As for the SYSTEM we need more Drs.so people will stop suffering needlessly because of long wait times.


corina said...
April 30, 2009 at 1:15 p.m.

as i was reading this i thought...dude...you gotta talk to karla...

i'm really glad you are so smart emily. if you weren't as smart as you are you'd never get answers. keep being determined and inquisitive...push the drs and the system to be the best they can be...FOR YOU! and for others not as smart as emily.

Char / Stitchary! said...
May 1, 2009 at 5:31 p.m.

It is really good to hear you taking charge of your interactions with the health system and also to acknowledge that MS may not always be the cause. It is so easy for me to blame MS for everything wrong with me, but it would be very, very untrue. Good luck with the iron scenario!

mchen said...
May 3, 2009 at 7:12 a.m.

Good point — it's probably really easy to just point every finger at MS, but if you can do everything you can to solve for anything NOT related, then that's definitely best.

Low iron is so common in women, and good for you for partaking in the figuring out of your particular situation, and all else health-related.

I feel lucky to live in Canada where the health system is supposedly head & shoulders above other countries'... but it's still imperative that we are each our own best advocates! Keep on truckin' emms ;)

Little bits about my life with MS

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