So in January I visited my new doctor. Not surprisingly, she spotted my extreme anemia and did the one thing that probably made me get serious about following through with a plan. Instead of prescribing iron to take twice a day and asking me to make a follow-up appointment with her in three months, she gave me a scrip to get blood work done in three-months time. Whe'd get the results then we'd talk on the phone about next steps. Brilliant!
So I religiously took my iron for three months. I research iron absorption, veg vs. non-veg sources of iron and how they get aborbed, when to take it, what to take it with, etc. I missed one dose in three months, took it first thing in the morning with orange juice (then waited an hour before eating breakfast), took it last thing before bed (shooting for at least 2 hours after eating anything.)
After three months, I had my blood work done and spoke to Dr. Font on the phone. There had been a small improvement, so she recommended that I continue oral iron for three more months. I said okay.
In May, I experienced a bout of GI distress so severe I stayed home from work for three days in a row. In all, the episode of unpleasantness lasted more than three weeks. I saw a nurse practicioner at my doctor's office, who ordered all kinds of blood and stool tests (oh, joy!).
The tests revealed two things: 1) My anemia had actually gotten a little worse, and 2) there was no apparent reason for my diarrhea.
Dr. Font and I spoke over the phone again. She recommended that I see a hematologist for follow-up for the anemia. Enter the amazing Dr. Hartner. More in part 3.