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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hematology Update

So I met with the hematologist, and based on my most recent labs in August, he said an iron infusion is indicated with a bariatric surgery diagnosis; however, MEDI-CAL will NOT pay for an iron infusion until my hemoglobin hits 10 or below. It is currently 11.7. He agreed that it was not an informed decision on the part of Medi-Cal, but that his hands were tired. He asked me to come back in January, and get my labs done before I come in.

That's all we can do. I can't pay cash, it would be in the thousands of dollars. So I wait.

2 comments:

  1. Well, yes. 11.7 is very barely below normal so it doesn't surprise me at all that your insurance wouldn't cover an infusion. He is misinformed about the cost, however. Depending on the brand, of course, an iron infusion out of pocket is around $200-350. With your levels barely on the anemic scale, you probably wouldn't need more than 2.
    You might be able to get an Rx for a liquid Fe supplement also.

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  2. Although what you say is true, for bariatric surgery patients, the numbers mean different things. It is possible to have a "normal" hemoglobin, but still be iron deficiency anemic, as I am. The low end of a serum ferritin for women is 20 mcg; I'm at 11 (or was in August). I also know how I feel--like shit--on my D&C report under medical conditions it says "anemia", and that was just a month ago. I'm having labs again in two weeks (for DS follow-up), and I'm wondering what my hemoglobin is now. Low ferritin serum is an indicator that worse problems are coming. I was hoping to head this off at the pass and also to be in a better place physically when I start school in late January. We shall see. Here's an interesting article about this subject I found online:

    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/family-nutrition/iron/my-doctor-measured-my-hemoglobin-and-its-normal-could-i-still-be-anemic

    The hematologist agreed that it was time for an iron infusion and if my insurance would cover it, he would have ordered it that day. I can't afford it no matter what the cost, so for now there's nothing I can do. I just hope I don't hurt myself if I pass out. I've broken enough bones for a lifetime (that's sarcasm).

    SJ

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