The Medieval Bestseller
I read it somewhere on the Internet...
Monday, April 13, 2009

So my blog might be colored by my extreme disappointment of this evening, coupled with not feeling well. In general, things are good right now.

It feels like a lot has happened since March. Really, the biggest thing is my health. I guess about a week after I last blogged (my cousin Danny's 31st b-day), I was working at the hospital and they were having a blood drive. I forget if I mentioned, but I had been feeling really weak since last fall. Like *really* weak. At first I just thought I was out of shape (like with tennis and stuff), but then I'd have these days where I would go to the grocery store and would feel faint just walking inside to get an item or something. I figured I was probably anemic, so I started to take more iron by taking a multi-vitamin and trying to be conscious about eating more iron-rich foods.

So, by the middle of March, when they were doing the blood drive, I was feeling better. I was able to make it through some tennis matches and hadn't really felt too bad since maybe January. Maybe February. So, I went over to the blood donor clinic and the nurses measured my hemoglobin and FREAKED OUT. I mean, they freaked out so much that it made me really nervous because I could tell from their faces that things were not good. My hemoglobin was measured at 5.9%, when normal is 10-15%. The thing was that I felt fine, and here they were, telling me I needed to go to the doctor immediately, amazed that I could stand, that they give blood transfusions at 8%, etc. I called a nurse-friend of mine who was working at the hospital that day to check with her if I should be concerned, and I could tell in her voice (although she was calm) that this was really something to be concerned about.

Fortunately, my doctor's office is across the street, so I walked over. Unfortunately, I found that he was on vacation. Another doctor in the office was kind enough to see me as a walk-in, so I went to her and she told me that I needed to have a complete blood count. If the CBC was that low, she said I'd need to go to the hospital to get a blood transfusion, but if it was around 7%, then they'd work with me to see how I could get more iron. So, I went to the lab and a few hours later the doctor called me and told me that I needed to go to the hospital.

So, Gavin came up and he and I went to the ER (this was about 5:30 p.m.). We waited only about 15 minutes and then they triaged me and ran another test to confirm that my count was that low, then I spent the next eternity getting 2 units of blood. My dad ended up relieving Gavin at around 9:30 or 10 p.m. and stayed with me until they released me at 3:00 a.m. They almost admitted me, but agreed to discharge me if I went to the doctor within the week and worked at understanding why I am so low without any reason (the extremely low number indicates that there's something wrong beyond not eating enough iron-rich foods).

I left the hospital with 8.5% hemoglobin and, as far as I know right now, I continue to be stable. I take three iron pills a day, each one consisting of 360% of my daily value of iron. At the start of May, I'll take another CBC and hope that it's either stable or increasing. If not, then there's a problem. If I'm stable, then I just take a monthly CBC to check my levels and can wait to investigate all of this until I get insurance.

So that happened. If you're interested, my total cost for being in the ER that night was $6500. Fortunately, they cut that in half, but that is still $3000. Somehow (really and truly, an answer to my prayers since I owe the IRS about a gazillion dollars this year) after talking with the ER financial counselor, my hospital bill is $400 + a $380 doctor bill + my already-paid $300 deposit.

That, plus what I owe to the IRS, plus my dress for Joey and Carrie's wedding, plus the gift I gave to Carrie and Joey for her bridal shower, plus the bridesmaid dress and shoes I have to get for Marian's wedding in June make March and April very expensive.

Wow, that was just one (scary) event. I have more to say, but should probably go to dinner bed (don't know why I wrote dinner...maybe I skipped it because I wasn't feeling well???). Hopefully tomorrow I can talk about a venture exciting enough to travel back to NJ in less than a month. Tomorrow is a full day, though, so maybe on Wednesday. Either way, if I don't post anything this week, be sure to nag me on Facebook or whaever.

- Jenny, 4/13/2009 09:38:00 PM

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