My most recent blood tests finally came back and apparently I'm anemic. Somehow, my body has developed a major iron deficiency. To celebrate finally having a test that produced a result that actually meant something, APL made an amazing steak dinner on Saturday night. This obviously also served the dual purpose of giving my body some (apparently) much needed iron. We also had broccoli with our steak, so it was like one big, iron party.
The instructions from my doctor include taking 325mg of ferrous sulphate every morning on an empty stomach with a glass of orange juice, which to me sounds like a recipe for barfing, but whatever. If I don't barf, I'm supposed to try to add a second dose later in the day. The doctor says I may need to take iron supplements for as long as six months to rebuild my body's stores of iron. No news on what caused this deficiency in the first place or what it means for the long term.
Here's the rub: I was diagnosed with anemia right before getting diagnosed with RA, so I used to take iron supplements. But, I'm pretty sure APL had me stop taking the supplements because he did some research which found that iron supplements could actually cause joint pain. So taking the supplements could possibly make my anemia better, but make my joint pain worse. I've only traded voicemails with the doctor at this point, so I haven't been able to ask what she thinks of this possibility. I'll have to see if APL still has information on this, as this issue obviously merits a bit more research.
In any event, right now I don't have time for research - at least of the health variety. I just need to finish the semester and graduate already. So for now I'm just going to take the iron supplements. Because, quite honestly, right now I'd trade a little joint pain for some extra energy and a break from this headache that has been pounding for weeks.