Iron infusions can really help anemic patients or low-iron patients feel increasingly better. Your hematologist will order a round of iron if your levels test below what they would like, particularly if you have been on oral supplements with no improvement. If you are going in for your first iron infusion appointment, there are several things you should keep in mind:
Bring a Snack
Many times, iron infusions will last many hours. During that time, it is very likely you will get hungry. When you are attached to an iv, however, you will not be able to roam around looking for a vending machine. Make sure you eat well before your appointment and bring a few snacks in your bag. Nuts, dried fruit, or pretzels are great items to have on had to snack on, especially if you begin to feel nauseous.
Be Sure You're Fully Hydrated
Before you go for your treatment, make sure you are hydrated. This will make it much easier for the nurse to find your vein easily. You don't want to have them stick you multiple times before they find a good place to put your iv. Hydrating will help your veins become more visible and much easier to locate.
Prepare to Be Sleepy
During your treatment, you will not only be receiving an iron infusion, but the doctor may order you an anti-histamine to be administered as well. This is to help prevent any reaction that can commonly occur with this kind of treatment. Patients don't often realize this when they have an iron infusion and aren't prepared to be sleepy while at the infusion center. You may want to bring a pillow or blanket and a good book. It would be a good idea to avoid trying to do any work or anything that requires you to be fully awake and functional during this time.
Get Mentally Prepared
As you enter the infusion center, you may begin to notice that there are a variety of patients who are dealing with very serious issues. Cancer patients will often be in the same center, which may conger up feelings of guilt, sadness, or anxiety. Knowing what you will see before going to your appointment will help you be more prepared and relaxed. You will likely bump into some of the same people over the course of your treatment, so it would be nice to have chats and build friendships with some of these people. Having a friend during these times can do a lot to lift your spirits.
Getting an iron infusion can have so many benefits. It sparks your energy and helps you feel like you haven't in years. After a few treatments, you should begin to feel much better. However, if you continue to feel badly, it is important to communicate with your doctor to ensure other issues are not overlooked.
For more information, contact Metabolix Wellness or a similar location.