As a part of the posting process, we got to go for medical clearance check-ups last week, and they did blood tests. The last time I had blood taken, I was 16 and passed out. The time before that, I was six and threw up all over the nurse and my mother. This time was much more successful; I clenched my fist, took deep breaths, and watched steam rising from the building across the street while the lab tech asked me questions about my dog.
I had pretty much forgotten about it until the doctor called me a few days ago at work to tell me I was “quite anaemic.” Was I feeling tired, low in energy? she asked. Well, sure, I’ve found that I need to sleep more, but I thought that was just because I was getting older. This elicited a very exasperated noise: but you aren’t old. Touché, doctor.
I was directed to buy some iron supplements, and I’ll go see my family doctor next week to, presumably, get a list of iron-rich foods and admonishments to not drink so much coffee (an absorption inhibitor, apparently).
Iron-ically (not actually ironic, just wanted to make a terrible pun), since this diagnosis I’ve been feeling much more tired. I’ve realized that yes, I do get short of breath when exercising – I always thought that was what happened when you exercise. My nails are brittle – I was blaming the fact that I scratched off stubborn gold polish a few weeks ago. And those times I’ve been short with people? Lack of iron.
It was with my iron levels in mind that I decided to give oysters on the half shell another try (they’re higher in iron than red meat). Luckily for my red blood cells, and unluckily for my wallet, this time was akin to the seventh olive – I’m an oyster convert. Now all I need is a prescription for them.