I have finally had an iron infusion, after an eight month “battle”. It was in the spring I found myself feeling very weak, and I would just sit looking out of the window not realising how much time had flown by until I suddenly snapped back into reality realising it had been hours since I last registered sitting there. I was needing help to get upstairs, and had to rest after doing everything. I really felt like one of those little old ladies “Oooh no I can’t do that tomorrow, I’m washing my hair” haha yup, even a shower had me drained (pun intended) and I would have to have a laydown rest before getting dressed. I got in touch with my gp in March and did blood tests where they told me I was low in iron. Of course they wanted to prescribe me iron tablets, to which I replied that I couldn’t take them due to my colitis and lack of large intestine (I was told this by my IBD Dr in Sweden). She hadn’t heard of that before and decided to try to get hold of a stoma nurse (I still didn’t have one to direct her to.. still don’t think I actually do). As I expected, the stoma nurse knew nothing, I mean no offence, but why would she. The Dr then said she was going to try to get hold of someone else.. I can’t quite remember who, but this went on for a good few weeks. Eventually I got referred to some specialist iron doctor at the hospital and got to see him in August. Yup, I had to walk around in this insane foggy weak land for 5 months. I was excited and relieved, I was seeing a specialist, but of course that excitement was shot down. He basically implied that all my knowledge was wrong and that I would be able to absorb iron tablets and that iron infusions were “very dangerous” (his words). I remember leaving the hospital disheartened, the only thing keeping me going was that he said “if after the 6 weeks of iron tablets, your levels haven’t gone up, then I can see about getting you an infusion”. I was good, I did take those tablets for 6 weeks, and of course included more iron rich foods into my diet, which I will point out that I had done even since March really. Unfortunately due to the situation within the healthcare at the moment I didn’t get to see the iron specialist after 6 weeks, it become more like 12, however that didn’t matter too much. During these 12 weeks, I finally had an appointment with an IBD specialist (I had been waiting for this appointment since the very start of the year). I was so nervous, but he was lovely, he really was. I told him about the iron situation, of course, and what I knew and the responses I had received, to which he was surprised. He confirmed that the knowledge I have was correct, and that there isn’t any point in me taking iron tablets. He was also a bit confused about the information regarding the infusion being dangerous, he went on to tell me that they can be, there can be a reaction, however he told me I would have the infusion as a day patient and there are people there keeping an eye on you and if you were to react it would happen then and there. I was so happy he just confirmed that the information I knew was right. Anyway, he took my bloods and said he would see and if they were low still he would sort an infusion out. And guess what, they were low and he booked me in for an infusion! I have not been so happy in a while! And yesterday was the big day! I finally had my infusion! I don’t think I have ever walked into a hospital as happy as I did yesterday. Everyone was so lovely too, and the room was bright and airy, with some good classics playing on the radio. Of course it didn’t take me long to get chatting to one of the women who was there, and we didn’t stop talking for the rest of the time. Towards the end of my visit a couple of other women came in too, and it didn’t take long for them to join in too. What was a reasonably quite area, well when I first walked in, soon became a chatty, laughing happy room, and I loved it!

Is it strange that I sort of missed that feeling when the canula is in and they clean it with the water, and you feel that cold sensation up your arm into your chest? Or that I miss that togetherness you find with other people who are ill or in the hospital? Yesterday, in so many ways, has filled me with joy, with hope, but also, with a longing for that understanding you have with other chronically ill people.. even more so with people with the same or similar kind of illness.. odd I know, but in Sweden I always had my bestie Astrid in Denmark who I met with regularly and everyone in the organisation I was on the board of, for people with ostomies… so I am used to meeting others who…well.. just know…

Anyway, I am going to try to get back into writing more, but it’s been a crazy old time lately.. hopefully this iron sorts my brain function out and I can get back into putting sentences together haha

Anyway, thank you for still reading, and for being there!

Lots of love to you all!
C

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