Finally after years of trying to get a doctor to send me to the hematologist and an unexpected extra week of waiting, I was able to get my iron infusion. I was supposed to get my infusion last week, but the day before my appointment I got a call from the doctor’s office saying that there would be a delay in my appointment. When I asked why, I was told that they did not know, but maybe they overbooked.
I must admit that I took the news rather hard. I was feeling horrible. I was starting to feel very close to the way I did when my iron stores dropped down to less than 3. I had reached the point where even the slightest activity, such as taking a shower or getting my supper left me winded, and I was so worn out that I could barely lift my head off of my pillow. I knew that I had reached the point where getting the infusion was a must, and now I was going to have to wait another week, with my iron dropping, to get some relief. My heart fell and my eyes began to water. I must admit, that if it were not for the fact that I was sitting outside of Happy’s vet, I would have been cried, because in that moment I really questioned if I would ever get the infusion.
Every day for this past week, I would wonder if the phone was going to ring and I would be told, sorry, we have to reschedule again. Every time the phone rang I was afraid that it was them. Even Thursday morning, I was so concerned that my appointment had been canceled that I called to make sure that it had not been changed. It was not until the IV needle was in my arm that I finally allowed myself to believe that I was finally going to get some relief.
And did I ever need the infusion. Since it was my first infusion at that office, the doctor had to see me before I could get the infusion. And I found out why I was starting to feel like the time my iron stores had dropped to less than 3, my stores were getting very close to that level as they had dropped to a dismal 4. With an iron saturation of 4 and a hemoglobin of 10.1 and dropping, no wonder I could barely lift my head off my pillow.
Already I can feel some difference in my energy levels. While my energy is still low, if it were not for the miserable side effects of getting an iron infusion such as terrible muscle cramps and pain and headaches, I would probably be able to do 5 times the amount of work in a day than I have done for the last two or three months. Granted that is barely anything in comparison to a normal person, but at this point it certainly feels like a major achievement.
But while I am very thankful for the relief of that this infusion has brought me, I have a new concern. At the doctors office was told why my appointment was canceled, and the reason is very concerning. It turns out that my appointment was not cancelled due to insurance or overbooking, but a far more serious reason. Short supplies.
Yes, to the list of items that are in short supply you can add iron. And like baby food, getting an iron infusion can be the difference between life and death. Right now the supply is so low that they are having to reschedule patients and where they would give them one infusion every week for several weeks, they are having to put a week in between.
While getting my infusion I heard the nurse tell another patient that the doctor had wanted to give her a certain type of iron, but had to change it to another because the supply of that type of iron was too low. It was so low that they had only been able to get 20 bags and they had used 12 of them so far today. No wonder they had to reschedule my appointment. Leaving me with a new concern, that as the cost of gasoline rises, and the supply chain becomes more precarious, how long will it be before the iron infusion that I and so many others need to keep us alive, will become a causality of this volatile market and disappear.