life

Deficient

Last week, I had some blood work done. I got the results yesterday. They’re a doozy.

I’m severely anemic. Which I knew. I’ve been dealing with anemia since high school. It’s really bad, though. Normal range is 37 – 145. Mine is 21.

Signs of anemia according to WebMD:

  • fatigue/loss of energy – check
  • rapid heart beat – check
  • headaches – check
  • difficulty concentrating – double check
  • pale skin – I guess I’m pretty pale
  • leg cramps – occasionally
  • insomnia – all the checks in the world
  • pica (in my case the insatiable urge to chew ice)
  • upward curvature of nails – thankfully don’t have that because it sounds weird
  • soreness of mouth/cracks at corners – I thought my lips were just overly dry and causing the cracking

So, um, yeah. That basically describes me in detail.

Then there was my vitamin D. I’m so deficient, the doctor was surprised I could even function. The normal range is 30 –  100. Mine was 8. Eight! That’s dangerously low.

The main symptom of vitamin D deficiency is muscle weakness which is the exact reason I went to the doctor. I have trouble doing the simplest things with my hands and sometimes can’t tell how tightly I’m holding things so I’m always dropping stuff. It’s really annoying. That pretty much explains that.

So now I have a whole bunch of vitamins to take along with my bipolar meds. YAY!

WebMD says the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is about 600 IU. A high dose is 4,000 IU. It mentions that doctors might prescribe more than 4,000 to combat a deficiency.

Me? I have to take 50,000 IU three times a week. Jesus. Even the pharmacist was shocked. He stared at the prescription for a minute like he thought he was misreading it.

On top of that, I have to take 325mg iron supplements twice a day. Ugh. They always make me sick. Preferably with vitamin C–so an excuse to buy orange juice and not share with the kids (mine is an evil laugh). I also have supplements in case I don’t have OJ on hand.

And I have a slight calcium deficiency so get to take 1,500mg/day. Of course, you can’t take calcium and iron at the same time.

Oh, and birth control. Probably the best part of the whole thing. The heavy periods I’ve had since my youngest kid was born almost 8 years ago are making the anemia worse. So I get to take the pills back to back for three months to stop them. Sweet! Who wouldn’t love to get only 4 – 5 periods a year? My daughters are going to be so jealous.

Thank god my pill organizer has sections for morning, noon, evening and night. Now I just have to remember to eat at regular times and take my pills.

With all of the supplements and meds, I have to take anywhere between 16 and 19 pills depending on the day. Also, eat better (which I had told myself I was going to do over the weekend because I’d been stress eating garbage for too long) and get some exercise (preferably outside in the sun). I guess having a dog will come in handy–lots of walks to go on.

I just hope this works, and I start feeling better.

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