Sunday, October 4, 2009

What's Down With That?

I am here to report that I have managed to live my life such that during the past two months, notwithstanding the phlebotomy two weeks ago, my ferritin count only dropped 1 point, to 136. What's up with that?

I thought at first that perhaps the problem was that I had both the phlebotomy and the ferritin sample taken from the same arm. Think about it. If my body senses a steep decline in iron at my left elbow, what do you think it is going to do? Is it not going to send a big batch of ferritin to that side of my body? I should have had "She Who Shall Remain Nameless" take the ferritin sample from my right elbow where there would have been considerably less iron.

Once the lunacy of that conclusion revealed itself, I thought about other possibilities. I have concluded that I have gotten just a little too laid back, putting all of my iron eggs into one basket, as it were. I apparently decided that I really didn't need to watch what I ate during the past two months, inasmuch as as the blood-letting has been doing the trick during the past year. Let me give you a few examples.

About a month ago, Trillium brought home a 2 and one-half pound bag of Hershey's Treasures. Except for an occasional Grinchy doling out of a few pieces to one of my grand-daughters and two of my chocoholic daughters, I hammered down the whole bag by myself. Did you know that Hershey's chocolate is 247% pure iron? Well, not that much but it does contain 2% of one's daily requirement of iron, the sugar facilitating the complete absorption of every molecule, not just the 30% we hemochromatosis types allow into the sluice. My guess is that the sugar goes straight to the duodenum and opens up the floodgate for every atom that has an "Fe" engraved on it, no matter what its source.

Since we have been enjoying great grilling weather here in Utah, Trillium thought that it would be nice if we had some dinners a-la-Zaphod. We could have had halibut, or mahi-mahi. We might have gone for tofu burgers. Even baked Alaska is possible on my new grill. Did I go for any of these sensible alternatives to semi-liquid iron sources at Costco? No! I bought rib-eye steaks; two-inch thick rib-eye steaks. I also mixed in at least two or three meals of tri-tip steak. On top of that there were the frequent hamburger barbecues. I was managing to drive iron spikes into every organ of my body and thoroughly enjoying myself in the process.

At some point, in the middle of all of this indulgence, Trillium and I went out to eat at Outback. I ordered a Victoria steak, medium, and received a juicy 8-ounce piece of beef just this side of "Moo!" The boys and girls there were sorry that I had dined on living flesh, so they brought us dessert for free, which again guaranteed that every bite of that steak was destined to reach my pancreas. What's a poor boy to do?

The drop of one point of ferritin disappointed me. I am certain that my sister is going to respond to this latest development with sternness, the kind of sternness that only a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers can deliver properly. Going out with Trillium has been limited to french fries at Carl's Jr., soup and salad at the Olive Garden, and in the back yard at the apple tree. Hopefully the first of December will bring a more satisfactory result. Tonight we had a dinner that revolved around an iron-depleting plate of chicken enchiladas. I have to be better by Christmas or I will be eating coal.


Katscratchme said...

I have been enjoying the meals here too! Good thing for me that I don't have to worry about my iron levels... HA! HA!

hogatos: snort!

shydandelion said...

That list of what you ate made me a little ill...bleh...The extent of our meat eating recently has been turkey sausage and chicken. Lay off the cow, dude!

Rebecca said...

i'm glad i did not read this blog to my husband. he would have been very upset about your beef intake and how he has been deprived... :(

he's not aloud the beef due to the trigliceride levels... :) 4500+ is very bad... :) He has been much lower and our new doctor is pleased with the last test results.

ferrhy: feritin levels rising... :)

Larsens said...

First of all, Hershey's chocolate is made of wax. Maybe that's your problem with iron. One of these days I need to bring you good chocolate. Without wax.

Second of all, we bought a side of cow just recently and now enjoy 50 lbs of "mooing" every time we open the freezer. Should have asked you if you wanted in on the deal.

Maybe chicken and fish should be on your menu more often.

Zaphod said...

Hmmm. "Without wax" in Latin is "sincere". Maybe I should be eating less hypocritical cows. Yum!

Judie said...

All I can say is you have no one to blame but yourself, and I really don't have to say that. I have maintained a ferritin level of 40-46 for the last year AND have not had any "blood letting". You could ask for God's forgiveness, but I am sure he would tell you the same thing. Please, please take care of yourself because I care.