Friday, September 30, 2016

Tony Stark

This blog post will just be an update on me followed by the always exciting monthly blog stats at the end. But before getting to that, I need to let everyone know that it is time to start making plans to attend the next mega-gigantic-colossal familial amyloidosis support group meeting in Chicago, scheduled for the last weekend in October of 2017. Details will be available at this link:

In the previous blog post I mentioned that my primary physician drew some blood on August 25 to see what my anemia situation was. On September 2 I found out that my hemoglobin was actually up a little to 13.3 (compared to 12.6 in March) but some of the other numbers still indicated an issue with iron storage. My primary physician recommended I see a hematologist, and I chose to see Dr. C, the same hematologist/oncologist that Mom saw when she had breast cancer and when she was first diagnosed with amyloidosis.

My hematologist appointment was September 9. I told Dr. C about the fibrinogen amyloidosis and the fact that anemia often develops in AFib patients after the kidney problems appear, and I do not have any kidney problems yet. He said he thinks my iron deficiency anemia was really caused by the blood donations last year that got my hemoglobin low. My ferritin level, which is an indication of how much iron the body is storing, is at 5. That is very low compared to the low end of the normal range, which is around 20. He explained that although the hemoglobin is on the rise, my body is having a very difficult time recovering and bringing the iron storage levels back into the normal range, which is not unusual. Often it needs a boost, which I do recall from when Mom's hemoglobin started dropping below 10.

Dr. C suggested I start taking iron supplements, and then if my iron situation does not resolve itself quickly enough they can do an iron infusion via IV to bring the iron levels back up. So I started taking an iron supplement the following day (one tablet per day), and then increased it to two tablets per day a week later. He said some people are unable to take two tablets per day due to the side effects (primarily constipation), but so far my side effects are negligible. I will have some more lab work done on October 13 to see how things are going.

That's all for now. See you next month.

=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of August 31, 2016:

Total posts: 170 (1 in August)

Total pageviews: 46,500 (~1800 in August)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 130

Two new countries viewed the blog in August:

Trinidad & Tobago