Life Before Prelims: Take 2 & Blood Tests

I’ve been AWOL for a while, but I have a legit excuse: PRELIM STUDYING.  I know, I know.  I took prelims back in June, and was lucky to pass one of the exams, but just missed passing the second.  Major bummer.  As such, next week on Tuesday, September 13 I will be RETAKING (wah wah) one of my prelims.  So, my week has been mostly filled with this:

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(Why yes, that is a leftover bowl from breakfast on my bed.  Why is it there?  Oh, because I was studying in bed while eating breakfast of course.  Doesn’t everyone do that?!)

And, my studying has also become a regular part of my meals…

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I’ve also taken a few hours for myself, running 15 miles on Sunday (a leg cramp in my right calf kept me from doing 20 – frustrating!), going to vinyasa yoga, and joining a fight gym.  Yes, I am now learning how to fight.  Don’t worry I won’t be doing any real fight competitions or (hopefully) club/street fighting.  But, it’s a great stress relief and its an hour where I can just get out all my frustration, aggression, tension and I feel so much better after.

I’ve also been enjoying some delicious eats

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And I also had some frustrating news from my doctor.  I’ve been feeling really fatigued and stressed lately, and out of energy.  Turns out, my RBC and hematocrit are super low (and my hemoglobin is getting there), and my MCH is high – all signs of anemia.image

In addition, I have a problem of low cholesterol.  Anyone else have this problem?  I’ve been told its not bad, but that I should raise it.


As such, my doctor highly recommended to me that I start taking iron supplements and seating (since I’m not morally or ethically against it) red meat again.  However, I struggle with both of these.

The first I struggle with because every iron suppement I have ever taken has made me vomit.  It doesn’t matter when I’ve taken it, with or without food, I vomit without fail every.single.time.  Eugh.  So, my doctor told me to start taking Floradix, a liquid iron supplement.  I bought it (its expensive – $20/bottle!), but it is just sitting in my fridge – I’m afraid to try it.  I think I have it stuck in my head its going to taste like cherry cough syrup which makes me gag, and I am just putting it off as long as possible.  Perhaps I’ll give in tomorrow, now that I’ve confessed my fear to all of you Winking smile

The second I struggle with because my body doesn’t digest red meats well.  I love them, but I usually end up with an unsettled stomach and irritated GI track (yes, I know – TMI).  But, I decided that I will try to add it back in, but that I am going to try to stick to only grass-fed beef

I’ve read a lot of articles, and it seems that people who have difficulty digesting the ‘mainstream’ red meats have an easier time digesting those that are grass fed (aka naturally fed).  So far I’ve only had a goat cheese stuffed grass-fed burger (which was amazing by the way) that I adapted from here (I omitted the sausage and used dried basil), and I was okay.  It was a small portion, but I think we’re doing good.


Since I now have to have my blood taken every 6 weeks (yay being borderline anemic!) and cholesterol monitored (they want to try to raise it, which is going to be difficult: I eat eggs and fish daily, and take an omega-3 fish oil supplement, and my levels are still super low), I’ll keep you updated on what does/doesn’t work. I know I’m not the only one who has these problems Smile  So, here’s hoping my levels get raised – I want to be able to give blood!

I will probably be MIA for the next week, but I’m excited to get back to regular blogging soon.  So, here’s to prelim studying – and thanks for understanding my blog neglect.  Much obliged.

I also just signed up for the US Half Marathon in SF the weekend of FoodBuzz fest – anyone else going to be at the festival or running the half?

Have you ever had to take iron supplements (or any supplements) before?  What has/hasn’t worked for you?

6 thoughts on “Life Before Prelims: Take 2 & Blood Tests

  1. Geez, your RBC count and hematocrit are worse than mine, and I’m on chemotherapy. No idea how to really improve them though. Maybe you can work a sweet EPO perscription out of it all.

    • Hah. Well, you’re on chemo + doing a HIM, so….I think you’re pretty much superman. I sometimes don’t understand our bodies: I’m technically healthy as a horse, yet my RBC keeps dropping. I don’t get it. But, I’ll work on the EPO prescription and let you know how it goes.

  2. Good luck again! When I was studying for my prelim (I think this was my “comprehensive exams,” as “prelim” meant something different in my program), I was surely in the habit of studying while eating. Still can’t break it… must always be doing *something* while eating unless someone else is there.

    My blood numbers tend to run low… I barely skidded by to donate blood a few months ago, though those finger-prick tests are very generous.

    Ever try SlowFE? It is slow-release and shouldn’t cause as much tummy trouble. Take your iron with meals. I have had to learn because I had to take a super-iron tablet for 6 months when my anemia was pretty bad.

    I’ll be at FBF, running an 8-miler, but no races… I have a marathon the following week and will be carbo-loading, ha ha!

  3. I was on iron supplements in the spring and found that the only time it didn’t screw with my stomach was when I took them just before I went to sleep (though I’m guessing you’ve tried this if you say you tried everything!).

    Good luck next week!

  4. Oh girl, sorry you are having to deal with all of this on top of the stress of studying. But at least you know what’s going on and have a direction to look for getting better. I’m hoping the iron supplement works out for ya – I have zero experience with that sort of thing. I have to say though, you’re “happy tummy” pic is hilarious! Love it 😉

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