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Welcome to Struggletown

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The past week or so has been a constant uphill struggle for me.

Went back to the doctors several times for an update of my Anaemic status. My GP is still very worried about my Ferritin levels. She explained that after two months on high dose iron supplementation, she had expected my levels to rise from my puny less than 5 (can’t what the units are) to 20 but it had only gone up to 13. So that reflects impaired absorption. Yet my Endo said that my haemoglobin levels had risen back to normal levels even though my serum Ferritin levels were low. The only thing they agreed on was that we needed to find out the underlying cause of this deficiency. My GP requested two stool samples from me. That in itself was an experience. She gave me a bag with two containers and said the nurses will explain to me what to do. I went to ask them while was I getting my full blood count blood test done again (because pathology had forgotten it the last time) and they looked so awkward trying to explain to me how to collect the sample. It was a mix of “shouldn’t you know this” and “stool sample…gross”. I was filled with “omg this is embarrassing” and “stool sample…gross”.

And I had this rant with a friend of mine about medical receptionists and how unhelpful they sometimes are. Rarely have I met one who gives you all the information that you need to know upfront without having to stand at the desk looking like a dazed pigeon wondering what to do next. I’m sure some of you at least would understand what I’m talking about. Some questions that are generally on my mind when I’m standing at the desk, waiting very patiently for someone to attend to me while they chat about their night out are:
–> “Do I need to make a follow up appointment? Or will the doctor call me when the results are in?”
okay so the doctor won’t call and you just have to make an appointment…”How long before the results get back?” (and the most annoying thing is to make an appointment, sacrifice work, come in, wait for half an hour, only to be told that your results aren’t back from the lab yet and to make another appointment in the “next few days” whatever that means *FACEPALM* although on the plus, you got a day off work!)

I’m lucky I go to a Superclinic where everything is bulk billed so I never have to worry about payments. But when I get referred I also have an internal panic of whether Medicare will cover this visit and subsequent visits and if they don’t, how much do we have to pay. I freak because I’m a student and I barely have enough money for petrol at the moment let alone for medical fees. My Endo has actually referred my onto the Gastro department to see if they can uncover the cause of my iron deficiency and that worry is starting to creep back in especially when I’m told by several sources that I might have to spend the day in hospital. Sure I could always ask my folks for money, but that’s not the point! I hate depending on others for money.

To add it all on, I’m not sure if it’s entirely my low iron levels at fault, but I have been extremely exhausted the past few days to the point where I don’t think it’s even normal. I’ve been trying to get to bed by 10.30, waking up early get through the day, but be extremely exhausted mentally and can’t even concentrate (tick tock look at the clock it’s only 11am and I’ve only been up for five hours). This has been infuriatingly frustrating when it comes to sitting down and working on my set tasks, like my assignment. I’d sit down and start writing but can’t focus and when I do start writing, I can’t seem to spell out a proper sentence (I’m struggling with this blog post in fact). It’s like everything in my mind is jumbled and I can’t spell simple words anymore. There would be nights where I would get nothing done, and get upset at my own nonproductive levels. However I think I’m making some progress slowly with my assignment.

It just worries me that if I keep this up, how I will survive this year. It’s already intensive the last few weeks but I plan on doing this a day at a time, event by event. It motivates me a little bit more – breaking down my day to sections and going through it slowly.

So it has been stress fest non-stop and looks like it won’t relent. Gotta find time to work and earn some money as well. I know I can do this and I will give it my all to succeed to produce my best work like I always do.

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Pancreatically challenged, diabetes advocate, PhD student and dietitian - working to positive changes within the diabetes community and healthcare setting. Although diagnosed at age of 19 with T2DM, the type of diabetes I have is under constant debate. Finally pumping as of March 2014.

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