If you have followed along on my hemochromatosis journey, then you know that every week I get a phlebotomy. Which is a fancy word for blood donation. If you haven't followed along, then you need to catch up on previous blogs. Also, watch this video.
Since August 30th, I have not been able to get a phlebotomy because my blood counts are too low. Specifically, my hemoglobin, which is a protein in a red blood cell that carries oxygen throughout the body. In order to have a phlebotomy, my hemoglobin has to be at a certain level.
So for the past three weeks I have been unable to have a phlebotomy because of my low counts. Now, I don't know how long it takes to build hemoglobin back up, but that seems like a long time.
It's so frustrating to know that you have too much iron in your body but you can't do anything about it! Each week that goes by without a phlebotomy means that I am absorbing additional iron, so it feels like a set back. This part of the journey has been emotional and feels like I'm stuck. I just don't know what to do.
Then I logged on to good old Google and started researching more about hemoglobin. Of course I will always consult my doctor and never take the internet's word for it. My new friends from twitter, that I have met talking about this journey, sent me some great information too. Between those two things, I did learn a lot about hemoglobin and will be making some dietary changes to help increase and support the creation of hemoglobin. Hopefully these changes will help me maintain my levels between phlebotomies so that I don't have to take weeks at a time off from phlebotomies.
As of right now it's looking like this hemochromatosis journey will be lasting well over a year. That's just to get my iron levels to normal! Then I have to continue getting phlebotomies to maintain those normal levels.
Next week I will definitely be able to get a phlebotomy because I was just about at the right levels last time I was tested. So hopefully the changes that I make now, will help me in the weeks to come as I try and get back on a consistent, weekly phlebotomy schedule.
Thank you all for reading my blogs, watching my videos, and being so supportive. I don't even have the words for how much it means to me!