Being anemic drives me crazy. I too fight constantly with it and I have to admit I just stubborn. 3-4 years ago, it was the 7.whatever that forced me to the hospital for my Crohn’s diagnosis. Since then, i think I think the highest it gets is 10ish. I had a couple of blood transfusions the times I was in the hospital and good lord it hurt ALOT (which I think has subconsciously scared me away from my doctor and her instance of blood work.)
Every time a new doctor sees those numbers they want to immediately send me to the emergency room. At some point, I just feel like I need to live with it but I wonder.... So, has anyone else had horrible blood-transfusion experience? My doctor has warned if I don't get better she is going to recommend and iron transfusion - what is that like? I think I have been avoiding going back to see her because I can tell I am running low...so freaking tired, lips have no color, wheezy/dizzy, and the leg cramps are back....
An infusion is IV iron. It drips slowly over a period of hours. It typically takes 1-2 weeks for your body to absorb it fully and put it to work. A transfusion is blood. I have had both, although the transfusion was given during surgery so I don't know how long it took, if there was discomfort, etc. as I was heavily sedated for days afterward!
You can be bleeding and not see it in your stool and/or you may just not be able to absorb it properly in your GI tract, which was typically my problem. The IV iron can make a huge difference. IF you are really low, it may take more than 1 infusion to boost you back up. Your hematologist will want to monitor you carefully by looking at your iron stores periodically (ferretin levels in your blood). When I dip low, he usually calls me in for an infusion. Infusions can allow you to rebuild your iron stores up vs. receiving donated blood via a blood transfusion (but will boost you more quickly).
The first time I found out I was anemic (at a 7.0) I didn't realize it! My doctor noticed my pale gums and suspected. I was out of breath and exhausted all the time--just figured I was out of shape/getting old! Now, I know my signals and try to stay on top of it. I have never been able to tolerate oral iron pills so it is infusions for me!
I hope you feel better soon!