Iron low, need IV Iron, but hard stick and one usable arm - Anxious

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Aniela in Canada
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/30/2015 1:52 AM (GMT -6)   
My iron has recently dropped, same with my hemoglobin, and I have a fistula in one arm so they can only use the other arm. They say I need IV Iron. I am anxious as I have become a VERY hard stick (not unusual for them to have to try 4 times on my arm before they can get any blood draws and then it is a trickle) but for them to need to give me IV Iron once a week for 3 weeks? I am really anxious. Yes I have had this before but my arm has gotten much worse since then. I have even developed anxiety where I feel faint and shake. This is unusual for me as I have been getting blood labs since I was 9 and I am now in my early 40's.

There is a back log in the hospital so I haven't gotten my call yet. Any ideas on what I can do to make my arm a better stick?

Some back story (longer version):

I have had 2 fistula attempts on my left arm but the first one failed due to my veins being too small. 2nd one is still going strong. I am now transplanted but this kidney was damaged when I got it (they asked me 3 times if I was sure I wanted to go ahead with getting this 61 year old damaged but still viable kidney and I said yes). The kidney still doesn't make enough Epo so I take needles for them in my stomach (small, not in my arm so unrelated that way but related to my low levels) and doesn't filter out enough phosphorus so I am still on binders. My creatinine recently has gone but but it is still slow so not rejection. My iron has dropped, my calcium is always low but that is related to having had my parathyroids removed years ago (not related to thyroid which I still have). I am tired all the time, my levels are a wreck it seems and I am now also on anti-depression meds (Paxil).

I have been through it all but am nervous about getting the IV Iron because my veins in the only arm they can use are so bad. Getting blood labs now I get anxious and light headed and shakey. I don't want to seem like a baby but it is what it is. I want to figure out how I can help my arm be a better stick so they don't have to try 4 times on my arm before they get it in.
Had 2 Kidney Transplants so far in my life, 2nd one after 7 years on dialysis had ATN (Acute Tubular Necrosis) but this year will be 8 years with it and they thought it wouldn't "wake up".

Never give up hope!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/30/2015 2:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Aniela in Canada

Welcome to Healing Well.

I don't have any ideas about getting better sticks except trying a heating pack on your arm first. I am thinking they would have tried that though.

I agree with you, Never give up hope!

Take care,
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease
Esophagus tear 02/11
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 8/24/11

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/28/2015 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Howdy - Just finished my second round of iron IV on Thursday. My first round was in Sept 2010. This IV lasted for almost 2 years, however, after about 1 year I started with problems again (extreme fatigue, lack of concentration, etc., etc., etc.) In Sept 2010 my ferritin level was 14 - after iron iv it was 140 and then it continued to fall to 25 in Jan.2015. These infusions were done at cancer centers in NH and PA. Hopefully, you will have the same kind of results I had then. It really helped me feel a lot better -I'm hoping it will it again - time will tell. The nurses/staff are wonderful and try to put you at ease - using warm towels, refreshments, and I told them at the beginning I was scared. The nurses working in chemo/infusion are pretty good with their sticks. When I need blood labs or infusions, I try to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate drinking lots of water, or juice, or soda. I was told this helps to bring your veins more to the surface. Between the warm towels, hydrating, a lot of positive thoughts (bring in pictures of your pets or handsome dude and dudette, music, and anything that will COMFORT you and a GOOD FRIEND to support you this might help a little. I'm so sorry you have difficult veins, mine are some what easier than yours. Remember to drink up.
GOOD THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE COMING YOUR WAY!!! Please let me know how you make out.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 2/28/2015 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Ask to get a power port!! Google it! It allows you to get IV's, blood, have blood taken and basically anything that would need to stick you for! I've had mine 4 years and love it!!
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