Wednesday, April 07, 2010

life in review: volume 2--in like a lion!

in like a lion.........

that is what they say about the beginning of march.

back when i lived in ohio, i am guessing this referred to snow storms, which were supposedly over by the end of the month. yeah, right, like that ever happened.

who knows! i just like this lion cartoon. isn't it cute?

i don't really think march came in like a lion for me. beginning of march i got my blood drawn and found out i was almost anemic. yes, yes, i can hear all the "i told you so's" -- from all those people who have been on my case for not eating meat for the last five or six years. i guess donnettes don't cut it..... it's a shame, really.

anyway, the doctor told me to get on the juice. and by juice, i mean iron pills.

my whole life i have been very bad at keeping on regimens. especially vitamin regimens. i only take vitamins after a night of drinking alcohol, as i am convinced it prevents hangovers. so when faced with the task of taking a pill everyday... i was quite nervous about my success rate of actually taking my iron pill.

in hopes to hype myself up for this seemingly very difficult self-care task ahead of me, i read everything i could on ways to increase iron absorption.
  • iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach.
  • it is also best absorbed when NOT taken with zinc or calcium, as they compete for absorption.
  • BUT vitamin C helps iron absorption.
  • take your iron pills 2 hours after eating, or 1 hour before eating.
now, this order presented quite a conundrum for me. when during the waking day do i not eat for 3 hours?

i thought and thought......
breakfast.....post-breakfast snack....lunch.....lunch2....post lunch snack........pre-ride snack......post-ride lean1....dinner1: after-ride-before-michael-gets-home-from-work-dinner, dinner2: dinner-with-michael.........
when exactly i could take this iron supplement to maximize my iron absorption!?!

the only logical time it seemed for me to take my iron pill was between 2am and 4am.

i was sure this was going to set me up for failure. after all, if i couldn't even get on a schedule to take a multivitamin for more than 5 days straight...how in god's name was i going to get up at 3am to take my iron pill?

i don't know how, but i think this is the best i have ever done taking a pill. my strategy is as follows. i drink a big glass of water right before i go to sleep, then i usually wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, and stumble upon the bottle of ferrous fumarate that i keep next to the sink. and it is that easy.

anyway, my 'low iron' is how much rolled in.

the day after i got my blood test results and started my iron pill, i went on a 4 hour bike ride. the previous week i had been so sleepy, even one hour rides were hard. but when i got on the bike that day- i was ready to roll! i zipped along for a good hour-- clearly the one iron pill had solved all my problems!

well, that didn't last very long, as i crawled home up redwood road wishing i had a granny gear. scratch that, it wasn't the gear. i really just wanted to take a nap in the park. it was warm and sunny and napping sounded much nicer than bicycle riding.

well, that the beginning of march. so, yes-- in like a lion.
oh lions are so cute!

(when they are sleeping!)

next up-- life in review: volume 3--the ides of march.... oooooooooooooooo

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

just smoke the pills, then you don't have to worry about gastrointestinal absorption.

Anonymous said...

Constipation.
Fe and C is a good combo.

DNA The Splice of Life said...

My wife also has anemia. She actually had an Fe infusion last year. The doc also recommended taking Fe with OJ (he says because of the acidity not Vit C but it may be confounded) but the OJ just increased absorption.

Like you, she doesn't have that ideal 2 hour window (she claims she'll die if she does not eat every few hours but that may be hyperbole :) ), so she just goes ahead and takes it when it's convenient.

I don't know how much lower her absorption efficiency is but it has to be better than not taking it at all.

Cheerful Madness said...

Thank you Bev Bikes for featuring my cute cartoon lions this way :)(the first one that is roaring and the other one asleep on a sticker) If you like them, I wanted to make you aware they're available on T-Shirts, accessories and gifts from my shop at Zazzle :)
http://www.zazzle.com/Lioness_Graphics*

All products are fully customizable and feature many more cute cartoon animals besides lions :)

All the best,

Cheerful Madness!!