Another Round of Bloodletting

The Thing I’m Doing This Year #11

I see my doctor twice a year. I do a blood draw a few days before, then I go into the office, give them a bunch of money and he reads me the results. For diabetes the main number to look at is your hemoglobin A1C percentage of blood sugars. On May 12, my number was 5.9, my fourth such, super low number. A percentage in the mid-to-upper six range is pre-diabetic – 79 million Americans are pre-diabetic; a number over seven means you got diabetes. Unfortunately, having a low number doesn’t mean to don’t have it anymore. It just means that the drug that I inject once a week is doing a great job.

My new doctor didn’t order the hemoglobin test, which bothered me to no end; fortunately they have a fancy machine in the office that can test for A1C. He says, “We can check it right now, I won’t charge you.”

No shit.

Then he tells me I’ve got an issue with my iron. No big deal. Last year I was told I had an iron overload or hemochromatosis. That doctor explained to me that the treatment was simple and foolproof. I just needed to get a lobotomy. She asked, “Does that all make sense?”

“Ahhhh … no. That does not make sense.”

“Well, you will see the phlebotomist once a week for eight weeks. They’ll take blood out of you until your numbers stabilize.

“HEY! You know, phlebotomy is one of those words you might want to enunciate all of the letters,” I say.

So the solution to my iron situation a year ago was to visit Theodoric of York: Medieval Barber. Once a week, I’d get a pint or a liter or whatever taken. And you’d think people who do nothing but draw blood all day every day would be really good at drawing blood, but I found that was not the case. “Whoops” is something you don’t want to hear in the phlebotomy room, but I did.

It sounds like I’m in for another round of bloodletting. Great.

The next installment … “Get Your Mind Right”

I’m doing the Tour de Cure this fall.
For more information, to join or donate, go here.

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