A week ago, I got blood work back that didn't look very good. My hemoglobin number had dropped from 11.3 to 9.5. The bottom range of "normal" hemoglobin is 11.5. Immediately, this became a cause of concern. My doctors don't know exactly why my hemoglobin level is so low. After another blood draw, my iron level came back at half the number it is supposed to be. Obviously, this is a serious problem. My GI doctor is concerned I may be bleeding internally. As soon as possible, I am supposed to do a test where I swallow a pill camera that will show the inside of my entire digestive tract so that he can look for abnormalities. For now, though, I have started on an iron supplement and am trying not to overwork myself. The blood work indicates that I am severely anemic. This could explain why I've been so darn exhausted lately. At times, I've had to fight my body to stay awake, even though I'm getting at least eight hours of sleep a night. I know this is not how I'm supposed to feel on a daily basis. I shouldn't be struggling to make it an entire day without coffee, a nap, or both. CF already exhausts my body because it takes me so much more energy to breathe than most people require. I do not need another reason to fret about my health!! I'm praying the iron supplements will boost my energy some and that my doctors can discover why my levels are so low.
I also tend to have a problem thinking I can do it all. I guess you could say I have the "superman" mentality. It's so hard for me to balance my spiritual, emotional, social, and physical health. I want to be normal and not have to worry about getting plenty of sleep, eating enough calories, and fitting in my breathing treatments. I wish I could forget that I have to squeeze in monthly port accesses and bi-yearly hospitalizations. But you know what, I can't ignore my CF. I can't brush aside the fact that I have limitations that others don't have. I'm beginning to learn how to balance everything, slowly but surely. I'm a work in progress, and I will be until the day I die! Balance is definitely one more lesson that I can thank cystic fibrosis for teaching me.
For now, I'm thankful for the weekend so I can get some much needed sleep!