IV iron infusion

teach2
on 3/22/17 3:01 pm
RNY on 12/23/14

Well, count me in on the iron tanker's train. My levels have plummeted. My ferritin is at a 4. I think they said my saturation is 6. I'm honestly not sure what is a 6 for sure, cuz I'm brain dead about now... However, something needs to be done and per what I've read from most of you here, I pushed for the infusion.

A few questions-

1- What do I need to do to speed up this process? (It's been almost 6 mos. of this jumping thru hoops crap) My latest stumbling block is that the infusion clinic said they need to wait for insurance to respond. They won't even consider making the appt till it happens. My daughter is getting married next weekend. I need to start feeling better YESTERDAY. Any ideas on how to make that happen?

2- What do I expect? Can you walk me thru the procedure and how you feel?

Thanks so much, guys. I appreciate all your feedback.

 

RNY on December 23, 2014 with Dr. Michael Greene

Start Weight- 225 Surgery Weight- 218 2 wk- 208 6 wk- 198 10 wk- 181 14wk-179 18 wk-172 21 wk- 168 25 wk- 162. 29 wk- 158. Mo 8 - 155

Mo 9- 150 Mo 10-148. Mo 12-145  CW 140

Oxford Comma Hag
on 3/22/17 3:24 pm

Call your insurance company to make certain the request for authorization and all necessary documentation has been received. Then ask how long they expect it to be until you know if you are approved.

I fight badgers with spoons.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

Suicidepreventionlifeline.org

NHPOD9
on 3/22/17 4:37 pm

The procedure itself is pretty painless, albeit humbling, as (at least in my case), I was in the oncology dept sitting next to Chemo patients. I had five sessions, over a two week period, all about 45 minutes in length.

Some folks can get headaches after, but I never did. Drink lots of water at least 24 hours in advance to help them find a vein. The worst side effect I suffered was when they couldn't find a vein in my arm and had to use one in my hand. Hurt like a hell. Also, I wouldn't expect to feel immediately better. It took a few weeks before I really noticed a change, but that could have been just my experience.

I understand your frustrations. I've been waiting weeks to get a consult with a hematologist (my numbers are similar to yours), and they called recently to reschedule my appointment until the end of April. I hope you get in before I do.

~Jen
RNY, 8/1/2011
HW: 348          SW: 306          CW:-fighting regain
    GW: 140


He who endures, conquers. ~Persius

CerealKiller Kat71
on 3/22/17 4:53 pm
RNY on 12/31/13

The description above is very accurate. I agree that it is quite humbling because you will most likely get your infusion in a cancer center -- and you will leave feeling very grateful, indeed.

The process is very easy. My hematologist wanted to infuse me with a new and "safer" form of iron that is done over a few weeks -- but unfortunately, my insurance threw a fit. They covered iron dextran and dexamethasone sodium phosphate (as an allergic reaction preventative) -- it took about 4 hours total. I had absolutely no side effects/issues -- but the needle is rather large because iron is thick -- and I did blow a vein once. DO drink a lot of water to be sure to be very hydrated that day.

The difference was amazing. Within three days, I was absolutely astounded at the difference.

"What you eat in private, you wear in public." --- Kat

CerealKiller Kat71
on 3/22/17 5:00 pm
RNY on 12/31/13

I wanted to add, that Jen likely had the more expensive infusion. I can't imagine what that must cost, as my insurance paid over 1700 for mine. That's probably why insurance is such a bugger about the whole thing.

Definitely do not be afraid to advocate for yourself.

"What you eat in private, you wear in public." --- Kat

NHPOD9
on 3/23/17 1:50 am

It was the more expensive iron. My insurance paid around $4000, if I remember correctly.

~Jen
RNY, 8/1/2011
HW: 348          SW: 306          CW:-fighting regain
    GW: 140


He who endures, conquers. ~Persius

Gina 18 Years Out
on 3/23/17 4:03 am - Burleson , TX

I agree, with the other responders. I know the LAST thing you feeel like being is pushy, but gather up what energy you DO have, and get to pushing! We all have to be our own best advocates. It does come down to dollars and cents, and, as, already said, iron ain't cheap!

As far as I have ever known (retired nurse, here), iron infusions are overseen by Hematologists, so are done where chemo infusions are done. I used to go monthly, for my iron infusion, so I would see the same group of people, who were getting their chemo. I wear my hair pretty short. After one "adventurous" haircut, one of the older chemo patients patted my hand, and said

"Honey, your hair is coming in so cute, and you sure are putting your weight back on. Chemo is not going to kill YOU!" I just smiled...

RNY 4-22-02... HAG=Honest And Genuine

LW: 6lb,10 oz SW:340lb GW:170lb CW:170

We Can Do Hard Things

Amy R.
on 3/23/17 7:53 am

As a couple of folks have already mentioned, there are different types of iron. I've had both the four-hour one a few times and now I usually get one that lasts about 30 minutes - but I get five of the shorter ones every couple of months.

I have pernicious anemia and several other issues and have needed blood transfusions and potassium pushes as well as God knows what else so I actually had a port catheter put into my chest a few years ago. Best investment I've ever made because they don't have to find veins every few weeks now.

You will feel better but no one can say how soon since we're all different. My infusions regularly make me nauseous for a day or so afterward but I know that's not necessarily going to be the case for you. I get Zofran with my infusions and it helps.

And yep, you'll likely get a reality check when you go in - infusions are most often given at cancer centers. They are the experts at catching veins and infusing things after all. I used to feel like I didn't belong there because I wasn't "that" sick. There are a lot of WLS patients there now though. I think docs are coming to realize that anemia is a pretty common side effect of WLS.

Good luck to you and try not to worry too much about the wedding. You'll likely be running on adrenaline that day.

teach2
on 3/23/17 3:57 pm
RNY on 12/23/14

Thank you all for your replies. I just got of the phone with the center- AGAIN. They know me by voice now (and so does the insurance company for that matter) I have had to be more forceful than I've ever had to. Anyway, i go in on Monday afternoon. They said their nurse practitioner needs to check me out before they can start. (Cuz obviously a DOCTOR isn't able to say I am in well enough health to receive the infusion...) Because of needing to see the practitioner, I can't go on Saturday.

Do you think I should push to be worked in on Friday? They have told me the orders are for a transfusion every three weeks - five times. They also said I probably won't feel better yet. Do you concur? Please tell me that's not your experience. It's obviously not the expensive/good stuff some of you have referred to. I have a wedding I need to enjoy!!

Thank you again.

 

RNY on December 23, 2014 with Dr. Michael Greene

Start Weight- 225 Surgery Weight- 218 2 wk- 208 6 wk- 198 10 wk- 181 14wk-179 18 wk-172 21 wk- 168 25 wk- 162. 29 wk- 158. Mo 8 - 155

Mo 9- 150 Mo 10-148. Mo 12-145  CW 140

Amy R.
on 3/24/17 12:36 am

It's up to you on pushing to get in tomorrow - but I wouldn't. What if you have a reaction to the iron? It doesn't happen often but people have all kinds of reactions to all kinds of things. And you just never really know. People get hives, nausea, all kinds of weird stuff.

I think I mentioned that they make me sick most times. You probably won't have that, but if you do you'll be sick for your daughters wedding on Saturday. And really, most people don't get an immediate boost from iron. Blood transfusions make you feel better right away but most vitamins and minerals don't.

Just my two cents. And either way, enjoy your daughter's beautiful day!

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