News from the bunker

It may seem that I’ve phased out again, and certainly the blogging is sporadic, but quite a bit of paddling’s been going on under the surface. The consultants have finally decided that there’s no way I’m getting my iron levels back to normal without one or possibly two iron transfusions, which will each give me 4 months’ worth of iron in one shot. They mentioned that the chest pain and the breathlessness I’ve been suffering was also a symptom of anemia – I never knew that! They think my period is the culprit, causing me to lose all the iron, so I’m to go to get the GP to do something to put a stop to that for the rest of my life, pump me full of iron, and I should be OK again. I can’t wait.

On the writing side of life, I passed my 250,000 word target for the year today. I’m not doing NaNo, as I’ve failed it the last 3 years and that’s rather discouraging, but the yearly word target allows me to have big gaps and days off when I’m editing/planning, being a mum or being ill, while catching up whenever I can.

I’m not stopping at that, because I’m on scene 27 of Trowchester Blues, which is planned as a 30 scene book, and I want to finish it by Christmas. (Ideally I want to finish it next week.) So my eventual total will probably be more like 275,000, which is not too shabby :)

I think, despite being ill for the last 6 months, this is the first year when I’ve been properly productive. Now I’ve just got to keep it up.


Comments (6)

Helen GoodbodyNovember 28th, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Hope you start to feel better soon xx

HJNovember 28th, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Well done on being productive while you’re ill!

I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s some aspect of women and anaemia which has yet to be discovered by medical science, because I know of three people now where months of investigation have resulted in doctors saying “we still don’t really know why this is happening to you, but we’ll fix the symptoms”.

I think they’re concerned to check that there’s nothing very nasty hiding in a corner, too. So it’s good news that they didn’t find that!

The breathlessness etc makes sense, when you think about haemoglobin fixing oxygen etc.. Same sort of logic which made us suggest a course of iron tablets to a friend about to go on a trip involving lots of high altitude treking.

Alex BeecroftNovember 29th, 2013 at 7:16 am

Thank you! After months of tests to rule things out, it’s great to finally have a plan to fix it :)

Alex BeecroftNovember 29th, 2013 at 7:26 am

Thanks HJ! Well, at least writing can still be done while you’re lying down. I have discovered the joys of working on a laptop while in bed.

Yes, apparently my mother had similar problems with anemia (so my sister tells me, because my mum was of that generation where you never let anyone know if there was anything wrong with you. So I’d never known.) I do wonder if you’re meant to die off around menopause, because your periods get heavier and drain all your iron and then you get eaten by wolves or something. It’s very inconvenient from a design point of view.

I had no idea that anemia was this serious, before, but of course, if you can’t get enough oxygen in your blood, your heart and your lungs must be working double-time and everything else must think you’re being suffocated. It does make sense, and I’ve never appreciated the life-saving properties of iron tablets so much before :)

CharNovember 30th, 2013 at 1:42 am

Good news about your writing and the diagnosis! Hope you’re feeling 100% soon.

Alex BeecroftDecember 2nd, 2013 at 7:35 am

Thanks Char! Having finally decided what to do, I just hope they hurry up and do it before Christmas :) But yes, it’s nice having a plan.

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