UNAWARE OF THE CONTRAST – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s amazing how subtle changes to your body can be. The best way I can make sense of it is to contrast the way I feel now compared to how I felt this time last year.

It’s an enormous difference. I’m constantly exhausted and I barely have enough energy to get up from the sofa and get to the bathroom, which is barely a dozen feet away. And all of this because I’m anemic and I can’t take iron pills. They make me sick. I should have known that because recurring anemia has been part of my life since I was a teenager.

The problem is, it didn’t make a big difference in my life when I was a lot younger. I had a natural amount of energy which these days, I lack. So I’ve been dragging myself around for a few months, but I realize that anemia in a person nearly 72 is not a minor anemia in a 22-year old. It’s bad for my heart which has had quite enough to put up with and it makes things that hurt even more painful.

So instead of taking pills, I’m going to have to arrange for intravenous iron. The good news? Probably just a few infusions and it will all be set right. The bad news? Do I have a vein anywhere that will accept the needle?


You know they’re nuthatches because their natural position is upside down.


I’ve always had difficult veins, which my unlucky granddaughter has inherited. For her, the very idea of an intravenous anything is so terrifying she’s ready to leave town. I don’t have the choice of running for cover, so I hope that they have someone who is really good with a needle and can find a vein — NOT in my hand or feet, thank you — that will accept an infusion. The last few times, they wound up using my throat and that was not fun at all. I’m hoping it won’t come to that.

So, I made a doctor’s appointment. I’m hoping that if I get over this hoop, that maybe I will feel more like a human and less like a sack of rocks. You kind of know when the first thing your husband asks you is “How are you?” that you haven’t been looking well. I do not feel lovely.

I made an appointment for tomorrow and we will sort it out. I don’t have to be happy about it, though.

RDP Thursday – UNAWARE

FOWC with Fandango — Contrast

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

31 thoughts on “UNAWARE OF THE CONTRAST – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Ugh, I feel for you. The last time I went for my Remicade infusion, they had trouble finding a vein. One vein accepted the needle, but the needle couldn’t be advanced because of scar tissue inside the vein. Other veins simply rolled away. They finally found a usable one inside the elbow. Since I’ve been getting the infusions for a number of years now, I asked the nurse what would happen if all the usual veins became unusable, and she replied that sometimes they have to install a port. I never had a port, but I did have a PIC line (for intravenous nutrition) when I was in the hospital, and that was not fun. Plus, it was really weird getting what looked like a milkshake pumped into my veins through my chest. Double ugh.

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    1. Me too. It seems ridiculous that such a small thing as a lower oxygen level in the blood could make me feel so bad, but apparently, I have all the symptoms. When I was younger being a little anemic didn’t matter … but fifty years later, it matters. I’m just hoping for a phlebotomist who can find a vein on the FIRST poke.

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  2. I’ve been iron deficient for most of my adult life too, and iron pills make me sick. You’d think someone would invent one that would stay down, wouldn’t you. Hope your shots do the trick and it doesn’t hurt to much.

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    1. I’m glad it’s not just me. They made me REALLY ill. We tried two … the “standard” and prescription and the prescription ones made me even sicker. You would think, since this is such a common problem, they come up with SOMETHING that is easier on the gut.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luckmwith the injections. Mr. Swiss was having them, but no longer needs them. I am not too bad with infusions but just not the left arm. The veins disappeared some time ago

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  4. Like you, my wife has difficult veins and hates to get IV shots. I’m fortunate in that my veins are large and easy to find, so no issues for me. Good luck at the doctor’s.

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    1. Getting a shot isn’t so hard, but finding a vein into which they can put an IV … well … I’m out of choices. I can’t just ignore the problems and I can’t take the pills, so IV is the last option. But yeah, it’s kind of awful. Garry has NO problem, nor does my son. Ah to be a man.

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        1. The older we get, the more complicated it becomes. I’ve got SO many conditions with medications that don’t go with the OTHER medications That’s how I keep my memory sharp, remembering when to take which medication.

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