If I had the energy to write and then type a poem, I would probably write a poem with the title, Anemia the Misery that Never Goes Away, Anemia Why Do You Stick to Me Like Glue, or Anemia the Nightmare From Which I Never Wake Up. Because sadly, as I feared, it is time for another round of iron infusions. Hopefully if all goes well, next month I will get my 5th infusion of the year.
I am definitely looking forward to the boost in energy that an infusion gives. I just wished that it would last longer than a couple of months. My last infusion was in May or June, and my hemoglobin has already dropped to 11.2. And according to the person who saw me, my iron was actually low enough on my last test to get an infusion but for some reason they were unable to contact me (or forgot to contact me). Which is such a shame because right now I could be enjoying a burst of creative energy instead of a bout of breathless exhaustion.
Oh well, at least I know why I have been struggling more and more each day to settle down and focus on the task at hand and why I have found myself dreaming all night about a post or pack that I wanted to create only to wake up the next morning and settle down before my laptop and a few seconds later to switch over to watching a You Tube video or worse yet playing a simple video game like pet salon.
Well as bad as it is to be anemic, it is better than just being plane lazy. Which is something I fear each time the anemia strikes. Even though I have been through enough rounds of anemia that I can tell from my pale skin, racing heart, shortness of breath, spiking migraines that I am becoming seriously anemic, I always fear I am developing a lazy streak.And each time I find out that I really am anemic I want to shout for joy because my laziness is due to health and not a lack of willingness or desire to try and do what I can.
Fortunately if all goes well the sixth is not that far away. And while I would have loved to have more energy to try and plan out a few black Friday sales for my brand new Etsy Shop or try to create a few You Tube videos to advertise my shop and my Amazon books, at least it will come in time to ring in the new year with a bit of energy. And in the mean time I can take advantage of my next few days of being mostly bed ridden to try and watch some educational videos as well as create a mental outline for a few post, books, and packs that I want to create the moment my energy starts to climb.
In the meantime, here is a short little acrostic poem that I created during one of my first official bouts of enjoyment draining anemia.
Today, as the tears of heartache and worry for Happy who was so sick that he stopped eating, drinking, and walking for over 12 hours. We have already lost at least 9 family members, including my father and grandmother, in less than 3 years. This year my mother has been in and out of the hospital multiple times with uncontrolled blood pressure that was climbing over 200. Last month both of her sibling gave us a scare after ending up in the hospital within a couple of weeks of each other. And once more, before we had a chance to recuperate from one loss, we were facing the very real possibility of losing our little Happy pup. With a sea of tears we have been presenting our petition to God day and night that He might, if it would not cause Happy greater harm, raise him up, and give us more time with him.
Over and over we lifted our hearts up to God as we poured out the unspoken sorrow of our heart to His patient ear. Even though we trust Him, it has been a struggle to place Happy fully in God’s hands. When we looked at the heartbreak of the past couple of years, coming so close that one scar could not heal before another wound pierced our heart, it was so easy to hold back and say Lord, you must heal Happy. To point to our many losses, our financial insecurity, and say Lord, how can you let us endure another blow. If you love us, You have to heal Happy.
But would that really be putting things in God’s hands? No, sadly that would be saying God, even though You know what is best, You can do what you know is best as long as it what we think is best. For a moment this might work out. For a moment it might save us from the sea of tears caused by the ache that was tearing our heart to pieces. But in the long run, when the danger or sorrow that the Lord was trying to save us finally came our way, the little ache of today, would be a thousand fold worse.
Hard as it was, we had to remind ourselves that God, tender father that He is, longs to keep us from heartache. And that before He allows any sorrow to come our way, He weighs it out to determine what we can handle, and what is for our best and the best of those around us. That unlike us, He sees the beginning from the end, and sometimes He like he did with King Hezekiah, He makes painful choices. How much better would things have been for Hezekiah, who at the time was a hero of faith, if like King David, he had bowed his head in acceptance of God’s word.
Oh how hard it must have been for Him to hear the sad proclamation that he was going to die from his ailment, especially knowing that he was without an heir. But at that moment he would have died with an untarnished record of faith. His record would have been one of trust and faith in His Lord in a time of great trial and tribulation.
But instead of trusting that the God who knows the beginning from the end, might be trying to save him from some unseen danger, pointed to his record as reason to why God should answer my prayer. King Hezekiah got his way. He got 15 more years of life, but at what cost? God knew that King Hezekiah was in danger of losing his faith. Flushed with his great victory of faith, King Hezekiah probably felt invincible. At that moment he might honestly have believed that nothing could get between him and God. And he might have imagined all the things He could and would do should God raise Him.
But while he did not see his danger, God did. And preferring to have a sleeping saint rather than a live sinner, God had made the hard choice to say no to healing him from his disease. It must have been with a heavy heart that God answered Hezekiah’s petition to look at his record and raise him up. He knew that when the cutting test of pride came his way, Hezekiah would fail.
Sadly, when the Babylonian representatives came to find out more about the miracle of the sundial moving backwards 10 degrees, Hezekiah forgot all about God. Instead of pointing them to the Great Healer, and telling them about the mighty maker of heaven and earth who not only had the power to hold the sun in place for a whole day or move it backwards 10 degrees, but also had the power to change men’s hearts, he showed them his great wealth.
Hezekiah had been given one of the greatest witnessing opportunities ever given to man. What other king, including King Solomon, had such a prestigious delegation from a budding super power knocking at their door practically begging to hear a sermon? Truly this was one of those moments when we could set back and wonder how different this world’s history might have been if King Hezekiah had proven true instead of giving way to pride and without one word of thanks or gratitude to God, squandered a golden opportunity to witness to the leader of the kingdom who would a few years latter be represented by the head of gold!
How different might the history of our world been if instead of showing off his wealth, King Hezekiah had spoken of the greatness of the God who raised him from his death bed and as a token of his word moved back the sundial by 10 degrees as easily as one leads a puppy. Never before or after was there such a moment to touch hearts as when that delegation, awed by the great miracle, were actively seeking to learn about a God so powerful that he could alter the course of time. At that moment their hearts were open to hearing and being impressed by the words of life. If Hezekiah had remained grateful, and spoken words of praise and gratitude to God, who knows how many members of that prestigious delegation might have given their heart to God. What a mighty witness for truth Hezekiah could have been. Only when the books of Heaven are opened, and God pulls back the curtain of history to reveal what might have been if that delegation had been able to bring back words of life to their king instead of visions of silver and gold, will we find out how the history of Israel and Babylon might have been forever altered. Instead of becoming an enemy of God and his people from which the call must be made Babylon is fallen, is fallen, come out of her my people, Babylon might have become a bastion of truth.
While this is a more sever example of the dangers of demanding God give way to our wants and desires, there is always great danger in seeking to pull things out of God’s hands and trying to force Him to do our will. Like Job in his suffering, he had no way of knowing that his misery was due to the cruel desire of the devil to bring him to his knees and tear him from the side of God. Right now the curtain between our world and the Heavenly realm is closed to us, and we cannot see how the hard the devil like a thief is seeking to pass the wall of protection that God has raised up so that he might steal us from God’s side. As overwhelming as today’s tears might seem, we have no way of knowing what greater pain and suffering the devil is longing to bring upon us if given the opportunity.
It is not easy to accept the tears of today. When faces with the painful, but purifying fire of tribulation, it is very easy to do as King Hezekiah and say Lord I want you to do things my way. It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that in this moment of pain, we are not the only ones shedding tears. But that as tender and loving father, the arms of God are wrapped around us, holding us up, even carrying us through the trial. And that His tears are mingled with our own.
Initially I had plans to write about some of the difficulties of starting an Etsy shop when you are basically housebound. That was until my uncle called and said that he was coming to deliver some stuff to our house this afternoon. Even though he was in the middle of emptying my grandmother’s apartment due to her recent death, the fact that he was making the near 3 hour round trip out of the blue struck me as odd. Due to another potential reaction to the super safe iron for pregnant women, my appointment for Monday’s iron infusion had been delayed for another week. And since he and my aunt had made the long trip to our house Sunday to deliver a bunch of furniture, this sudden, unexpected delivery caught my attention, and I could not help but think that God was sending him to our house for a bigger reason.
For the next two hours, except for the fact that both my mother and I felt miserable, things went smoothly, and it seemed that my initial instincts were unfounded. That was until I remembered that the day before we had missed a call from the hospital nurse to see how my mother was doing after her four or five day stay in the hospital almost a week ago due to extremely high blood pressure and chest pain. I did not think too much of the call, and decided that despite the pain I was in, I had better clean as many of the dishes before my uncle arrived, until my sister came rushing over with the phone and insisted that I needed to talk to the hospital nurse.
Finally, after 5 delays due to my mother being hospitalized, my Grandmother having a stroke, allergies, and other chaos, I was able to get my 2nd iron infusion yesterday. I can hardly move today, but it feels so good to have some iron as it make breathing so much more comfortable.
Well the moment I finished that video everything went absolutely crazy. My mother’s blood pressure started rising like an airplane, their were issues with the bathroom, and phone calls galore. And to my dismay issues with uploading my file, turns out my files had to be 20mb or less. In the middle of the chaos, while on step 3 of creating my shop, I did something, who knows what, that locked up my account and got it suspended.
And as an added bonus, after months of slow but steady prep work, I was finally able to open an Etsy shop. Opening an Etsy store was an idea that was recommended by several leading KDP low content You Tube channels as an easy way to diversify. After all, low content creators already have the content used to create their coloring and activity books. With a little mixing, matching, and tweaking, they can easily create digital download activity packs and coloring pages to sell on Etsy.
After several months of utilizing what little energy I had to create a few activity packs, after a bit of prayer I decided that it was time to open my storm. The first few minutes went by smoothly, and I decided to follow the recommendation and create a little video that I could post to Etsy and add a little sound and put on You Tube to show off my new package, On the Go Bible Games and Coloring Pages Printable Bundle.
Have you ever had one of those days where your mind is bursting with ideas and plans, but your body feels like it is weighs a ton and all you want to do is crawl into bed. For me today is one of those discombobulated days where my mind is longing to work. I had a post that I wanted to share about the day my family got Happy. But even though half the post is already composed in my head, my tired and achy body rebels at the thought of sitting down and trying to type out the lines.
So instead I thought I would share a poem that I had written a few years back that was inspired by the frustration of having to deal with the debilitating fatigue created by chronic health issues like iron deficiency anemia, fibromyalgia, and more.
Hurray, after more than a month since I got my lab results back showing that my iron saturation had dropped to a 4 (the low end of normal is 15), I finally have an appointment with the hematologist. I wish that I could say that I was looking forward to getting an iron infusion. But while I appreciate the temporary increase in physical and mental energy an iron infusion brings, I am not a fan of having to spend 6-8 hours getting an infusion, and the uncertainty of how I will react. To make matters more difficult, this will be the first time that I have to get an infusion without the companionship and protecting watch of my father.
But even though I do not like getting an iron infusion, my stomach cannot tolerate taking iron pills for more than a few days at a time. After a few days it makes my chronic nausea so strong that I dread meal time to the point that I at times I am delaying and even skipping meals. To alleviate the nausea I have to stop taking the nausea causing my iron levels to sea saw up and down, and slowly causing my iron stores and iron saturation to drop to a point that I can barely lift my head off the sofa and where some days even a few steps leaves me gasping for air.
Fortunately, while I have been waiting for my referral to reach the the hematologist, I found a couple of natural ways to help me get enough iron to help me do one or two task and breath a bit more comfortably. One natural remedy is to drink a bit of beet juice mixed with another juice like grape or apple juice. Mixing it with another juice is important as on its own, probably due in part to its strong flavor, it can be hard to keep down. But mixed and diluted by another juice like apple or grape it become more tolerable.
Sleepy head is a fun little poem that was originally inspired by my dog Happy on a rare day that he preferred sleeping in to getting up and having an adventure. But since my iron stores and saturation have dropped to near lows, it could easily have been written about me. It does not matter if I get a good night sleep, or I toss and turn most of the night away, the thought of getting up in the morning fills me with dread.
I have a million things that I want to do, so the dreaming and planning portion of my brain is excited by the day, but the rest of me is too tired and achy to respond. No matter how good a nights rest I get, I wake up feeling as if I spent the whole night marching in my sleep. The only way to survive the day is by taking a few dozen cat naps and one or two long naps.
Part of that is because the lower my iron saturation gets, the harder it is to catch my breath, turning everything from the mildest workout to the simplest stretching or bending task into a major workout. Without enough iron, my body is struggling to get the oxygen where it needs to be, increasing recuperation time and massively decreasing my already limited energy levels.
Hopefully it will not be too much longer before I can see the hematologist and get a much needed iron infusion. Until then I guess I will just have to be a sleepy head with a greater appreciation not only for its important role in helping you to enjoy a vibrant and energetic day.
It was a less then delightful way to spend a birthday, more than 3 hours in the doctor’s office. But it was a necessary misery as it turns out, and not unexpectedly at least to me, that my iron stores are low and my iron saturation at 4 percent is very low.
Even though my hemoglobin was normal on my last visit, I knew that my stores were getting seriously low. Thanks to the serious bouts of nausea and my allergies to food dyes, it is nearly impossible to keep my iron in check. The low dose of over the counter gentle iron helps to keep my energy up a bit. But all it takes is a few days off to try and settle my stomach for my iron levels to come crashing down. Lately it is only a matter of a few days without iron pills before I become as pale as a ghost, find it hard to lift my head off the sofa arm, I struggle to catch my breath, I start forgetting even the simplest of words, and my limbs become ice cold.
So like it or not, it looks like this anemia inspired acrostics is the perfect poem of the day. While I hate having to spend an entire day stuck in the infusion center, it looks like getting a referral to the hematologist and enduring 6 to 8 hours for an iron infusion is back to being a necessary evil.
Tired, Tired, I Feel so Tired is a poem that I wrote during one of the flare ups of my chronic anemia in an attempt to express the deep fatigue that was robbing me of the freedom to live life to the fullest.
Worn, sadly this poem is the perfect summary of the past few weeks. Tired and worn before the day even begins, all I can think of is the delight of crawling into bed and taking a very long nap. My mind full of task pushes and prods me to work, reminding me of all the things that must be done, but like a car with a drained battery, it is all that I can do to sputter to life for a few moments and crawl a few feet before limping to the side.