Be ready to be there most of the day (at least 6 or so hours). When you get there, they will draw some blood to type-and-cross you. Then, you'll have to wait a while (this is the longest part, or so it seems....) for them to run the blood work and find a match. The blood will come up (luckily they'll bring both bags at once, so you won't have to wait again). They'll start the blood, and you'll be watched for the first 30 or so minutes. They'll run it in over a few hours - I think it took about 2 - 2 1/2 for each bag. They'll monitor your blood pressure the entire time, along with your pulse and temperature.
Take a good book, movie, computer, so something...
1 bag of blood will = 1 point on the hgb scale, so by the end of the transfusions, you should be up to around 9.5 or so. Most Dr's I've spoken with will transfuse you if you fall below 8, and want you to be at AT LEAST 8 before they let you leave.
I felt fine aftewards, just a little tired - it's a long day, but totally worth it. Before my two transfusions I've had (first was 4 units, second was 2 units), my pulse was about 110-120, resting. After it slowed down to around 80. So, I wasn't working as hard to get the oxygen to my extremities, along with the iron to the appropriate places!
So!! Good luck! Hope all goes well. I'm well aware of all the struggles you're going through...
1st infusion - Oct 08, HGB was 5.2
2nd infusinon - Dec 08, HBG was 7.2
starting in Jan weekly infusions of Venofer - total of 20 weeks this year. I've stopped for now - HGB came back 11.6 two weeks ago! We'll see how it is on Wed when I get more blood work.
Also - GI said NOT to take oral iron - if you're not absorbing it properly (like in my case) it can do more harm than good to your intestines.