Iron, anyone?

A few weeks ago I had my annual exam, including lab work. Initial results were good; blood sugar good, cholesterol good, blood pressure good. Turned out, though I was low on iron and B12 – first time ever. But then, I skipped out on last year’s lab work, so now I’m wondering if I’ve been anemic for quite a while – it could explain some of my exhaustion issues with SAD in the winter months.

So my doctor, being the extremely thorough woman that she is, requested a follow-up test. When I got the phone call from her nurse explaining said follow-up test, I just happened to be in the oral surgeon’s waiting room as The Boy was getting his wisdom teeth out. So I listened with sort of half an ear, doing a lot of “yes, yes, okay” kind of stuff as she described what my doc wanted me to do in order to check for internal bleeding.

I will not go into details, gentle reader, but suffice it to say that the directions for this follow-up test were, shall we say, unsavory. It involved sample-collecting over three days, and the word “smear” was used in the directions. ‘Nuff said.

I was so disgusted and annoyed by the prospect of this testing that I put it off for several days. I actually considered complete rebellion and refusal to cooperate. Here’s the thing: As much as I love my doc and as much as I appreciate how thorough she is, I’ve been through this routine multiple times. A slightly odd result leads to an incredibly uncomfortable or inconvenient (and sometimes expensive) follow-up test “just to be certain” and then the results show NOTHING.

Finally my more cautious side won out over my rebellious side, and I decided to go through with it. But I knew the only way I could bear it was to make the whole thing a huge joke. So on the way to run errands with the whole family one evening, I conducted the following conversation:

Me: So it turns out after my blood draw that I’m anemic. That’s why iron and B12 supplements are on the shopping list.
Husband: Really? I didn’t know that.
Me: Yes. Well, there’s more. Dr. Weaver wants me to do a certain…test now.
Middle Sister: What kind of test?
Me: Well, it involves samples.
Husband (knowingly): Ah. Interesting.
Middle Sister: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I don’t really care to go into details, but if you notice a certain package in the bathroom, I’d highly recommend staying far away from it.
The Boy (true to form): POOP!!!!!

What followed was one of the weirdest three days in my life. And today, when I got the results in the mail, it turned out – as I could have predicted – that the results of that follow-up test were negative. I just need to keep taking supplements and have a follow-up blood test in a few weeks.

All’s well that ends well, I guess. I can promise you, though, I’d live on a diet of our iron patio furniture if there were any chance it could prevent me from ever having to do THAT test again.


8 thoughts on “Iron, anyone?

  1. It seems there is NO WAY to check the insides without it being grim. Whichever orifice they choose.
    In years to come, when they’ve developed some wristband that constantly monitors all bodily functioning through electro-pulses (or whatever) they’re going to wonder why remained so barbaric for so very long.


  2. Doctors–The medical curriculum must include, The Best Techniques to Torture a Patient 101. The GYNs must have to take The Best Techniques to Torture a Patient 101 and 102. Happy to hear everything came out in the end. 😉


    • You’re so right. The same doctor is having our daughter have an endoscopy because we can’t figure out why she’s nauseous all the time. I suppose it’s logical, but I would bet a pretty large amount that the test will show nothing…I’m putting my money on a better outcome for her going to see a behavioral health person next week for what I’m pretty sure has become an anxiety disorder.


  3. Glad you are fine and I am always the person on the verge of rebelling too against any medical or dental procedures!! I try to remind myself that things could be much worse then what I have to do …. sigh …. still unpleasant!


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