I reached another milestone in my slow-moving self-managed healthcare review by having an intravenous infusion of Ferinject at the hospital day care unit this morning. The aim of this is to raise my rock-bottom serum ferritin level to mid-range in the hope of alleviating some of my fatigue and possibly reducing the severity of my RLS (restless legs syndrome).
I’m slightly annoyed that despite suffering severe fatigue and having low iron levels for many years I’ve never been offered the option of IV iron. Tablets have just about kept me within the normal range, at the expense of considerable gastrointestinal distress. Still, at least when I asked my GP about it he referred me to a haematologist who agreed to me having the treatment.
It’s too early to say whether it’s going to have a beneficial effect, but, touch wood, at least I seem to have avoided any side effects so far. I have to have a blood test in two weeks time to see what effect it has had on my serum ferritin level and time will tell whether I feel better generally.
I’m generally quite an anxious person and don’t much like hospitals, so I was really pleased at how calm I was throughout the whole procedure. Especially as I went to bed last night with a stonking migraine and wasn’t sure whether I’d even be well enough to go to the appointment. That’s a reassuring affirmation of my improving ability to handle anticipation anxiety.
I took knitting, reading material and a sketch book with me, so I’d have something to occupy my mind while I waited. As the line had to go into my right arm where I have a lovely big fat easy-to-stick vein I was a bit constrained in what I could do, so I decided to have go at drawing left-handed. Which turned out to be the perfect way to pass the time while the appropriately rust-coloured liquid dribbled into my bloodstream.
I had to concentrate fiercely and work slowly to make my pencil go approximately where I wanted it to go. Knowing I couldn’t possibly do a “good” drawing with my non-dominant hand freed me to focus on the process not the end results. I must try to apply what I learnt to drawing with my right hand – concentrate on the process, not the end product!
(Don’t scroll down any more if you are squeamish!).