I’m now into the 5th week of taking iron supplements.
I’ve also made a lot of little changes to my diet. I’m eating more fruit and vegetables than I ever did before, and I’m trying to increase my calcium intake as well.
My Mum and I have gone nutrition crazy over the last few months. She is trying to lower her cholesterol. My Mum is extremely fit, she runs at least 5 times a week, but recently found out she had high blood pressure.
It’s actually been kinda fun, experimenting with new recipes (on her part, as I can’t cook to save my life) and buying things we never ate before like bean sprouts and cranberry juice and hommus.
I can’t tell if I’m less tired, because I’ve been on holidays so my body hasn’t been under stress. But today was my first day back at uni and my concentration span seems to have improved out of sight…which is not surprising seeing as how iron deficient and exhausted I was before.
At the moment I’m halfway through reading a book called The Emotional Energy Factor by Mira Kirshenbaum. So far it’s been really uplifting, it is based around the assumption that having a lot of energy involves emotional factors as well as physical ones. The book talks about different ways in which energy is drained from us, to do with our attitude and actions in life.
What I like about the book is that it’s very practical and down to earth, it talks about things like letting go of guilt and then provides practical suggestions on how to do that. I haven’t read a lot of ‘self-help’ type books, I find them too frustrating and simplistic to be of much use, but I’m definitely enjoying this one and just reading it makes me feel optimistic and energetic.
Well, the Red Cross sent me another letter, with the results of the blood test they took after my iron levels were too low to donate blood. They also sent a letter to give to my Doctor, so I’m going to see her tomorrow. I was a bit shocked by the results, the iron levels were very low indeed.
I’ve started taking a multi vitamin. They taste disgusting and are so big that the first time I swallowed one it nearly lodged itself in my windpipe.
Last thursday I went to donate blood and it turned into quite an issue. My haemoglobin levels were low when they did a basic haemoglobin check on my fingers, so then they tried to take blood out of my right arm to test if there was enough iron in the blood for me to donate. The nurse stuck a needle in me and prodded around under my skin for a while before telling me my veins were too small and she just could not get the needle in properly.
So then another nurse tried my left arm and eventually managed to collect the blood. They tested it and it turned out that my haem levels were quite low. So I got a leaflet and a big lecture about getting more iron into my diet.
I do have difficulty eating red meat, and I have always known this contributes to my constant tiredness. But I’ve made an effort to eat a lot of steak in the past few months, I’m surprised that it hasn’t helped. Anyway, I’m going to start taking a multivitamin for this. I’ve tried iron tablets in the past, but they make me queasy.