So I landed myself in the ER for the first time in a few years. I was having so much pain I thought I may be having a bowel obstruction and I wasn’t gonna play the “wait it out” game and came in after taking oral steroids with no relief.
In the ER they did a CT scan right away which revealed active inflammation, but no obstruction – hooray! I celebrated in my head that I didn’t have to have an NG tube this time! The doctor gave me two options- go home with pain meds and steroids or stay here and get pain meds and steroids. My hemoglobin was also significantly low- 6.6! (Normal level for a woman are between 11.9 and 15.5 approximately). I broke down crying because it’s the lowest it’s ever been in my life and the doctors have been monitoring. My blood ferritin is less than one. Normal levels are 12 to 140 approximately. The doctor decided I should stay which I think had a lot to do with my hemoglobin levels.
Once admitted, the nurses did not mention anything about a blood transfusion and I was very adimate that they call my hematologist about this sudden change in hemoglobin it dropped a while point in a month which is significant when you are well below normal levels. I knew I needed a blood transfusion that is why I was okay with the doctors decision to stay. But I was also nervous because it would be my first blood infusion. It’s scary knowing your body isn’t doing its job and you need to rely on someone else’s blood to keep you going. I am forever thankful to everyone who donated blood! Thank you World!
When I saw the attending NP she said we are going to do the transfusion right away- but she only gave me one unit. She asked what previously hemoglobin levels were (7.6 as of July) so she said lets do one unit to get you back to your normal.
After the transfusion, when my head was a little clearer from the medications, I was like wait a minute! My “normal hemoglobin levels are extremely low, why are we just doing one unit! After doing some research, I discovered that “typical blood transfusions are 3 units of blood. Each unit raises hemoglobin by one point. Needed less to say, I am discussing this with the attending doctor in the morning because while I am already here lets get me back to feeling good- not “my normal” which will prob drop anyways because I am flaring!
I also discussed only getting one unit with the night nurse. She agreed that was odd as well. She said you were very pale. I know I almost blended in with the sheets. She goes u got a little color now, but still you are pale. I was planning on taking a picture pre and post iron infusions – but obviously there was a change of plans. I will take pictures of me pre and post this next blood transfusion and post in a new blog!
As for how long I am staying? The attending GI said, steroids to calm the inflammation (short term), tolerance of eating, and stool sample. I am on liquid diet right now.
To complicate things a little more, I am gluten and dairy free. So I spoke with dietary directly to go over my specific needs. She told me that limits the menu a lot. I said, I know I am well aware. I can’t wait to eat soft foods! But I am a little worried it will kick the inflammation up a little. I need a little good for energy and also to poop! I haven’t pooped in a day! 😁 But I farted last night so that was a relief!
One day at a time! Thanks for reading! 🙂