"If it's a Tuesday, it's a phlebotomy day", has become a normal phrase for me this month. As you may have read in previous blogs, it's becoming a part of my life. Here's a video of my diagnosis journey:
This week was no different than any other and I began my preparations 36 hours prior to my scheduled phlebotomy. The best preparation is hydrating, eating well, and resting. When Tuesday came I was ready and confident, I had even given Shane the week off and brought my good friend, Amy.
So we arrive at the office on time and sign in, then I begin waiting with Amy, turning on my 'gentle waves' music and deeply breathing to relax. Much quicker than normal, my name is called, Amy and I proceed to the back. I find and seat and she sits next to me, where we then wait a while for the nurse to to begin my treatment.
Once she got to me, things moved quickly and for the first time the needle wasn't a big deal. Uncomfortable, yes, but not a big deal! Which is huge for me. The nurse took two blood samples first, one to test my blood levels and the other to test my ferritin.
Then she hooked me up to fluids and we would wait for them to finish. I was just listening to my gentle waves trying to visualize a happy place. As I continued to wait for the fluids to finish, my friend and I chatted, it helped me forget about the whole situation, it was great.
Then the nurse came back with a piece of paper and handed it to me. Nothing on the paper made sense to me, however, she explained that my Hemoglobin was too low to preform the phlebotomy. So I would have to wait two weeks and we would consider continuing weekly phlebotomies from there.
Oddly, I felt disappointed, like I wanted to have the phlebotomy. I mean, we already got the needle in?! I guess it's because when you prepare so much for something, it's kind of a let down when it doesn't happen. However, I am glad to have a small break and I look forward to finding out where my ferritin levels are at when the test results come back.
What I am most excited to see is the drop in my ferritin compared to the number of phlebotomies I have had. That should give me a good estimate of when I will be at normal ranges. However, I started at a very high number, so I know there is a long way to go no matter what.