I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, or so I thought. It’s insanely hard to pin down my doctor long enough to find a decent appointment time and when I arrived at the clinic (medical records in hand because that’s how we roll in Chile *pause for dramatic eye roll*), the receptionists informed me that she was out-of-town and my appointment was really next week.
My memory may be bad, I mean, it’s pretty craptastic these days thanks to all the hormones, but I’m pretty sure that I would have remembered making an appointment on the mother effing 4th of July. It’s kind of an important day for us gringos. I called my husband and sprouted off my theory that they bumped me without contacting me. Fortunately, it occurred to him to call the clinic and they had an appointment with another doctor in the afternoon.
So for the second time the same day, I pulled my bag of medical records to the clinic and waited to meet my new doctor. The bag was also half full with tissues, baggies to throw the tissues away eventually, because I also have the world’s worst head cold. It’s the third cold I’ve had in six weeks.
At any rate, I sat down with the doctor and tried to put a semblance of order to the multitude of tests I had brought her. She fixated instantly on one. At first, I didn’t understand what she said. Then she looked me in the face and repeated it, ” You’re anemic. That’s why you keep getting sick.”
Now, keep in mind folks, that was a blood test that they ran while I was hospitalized three weeks ago. Yes, in the hospital with 24-hour access to doctors and nurses and a plethora of medical treatment. Instead, they let me leave none the wiser. And that was a good hospital! Or so we keep hearing. I have to say that although all my friends disagree, I have not been very impressed with my medical care here.
The doctor went on to explain that my mutant morning sickness in early pregnancy, plus my continued food aversions were making me malnourished – quickly. She gently explained that if I can’t make myself eat more, I need to improve the quality of the calories I can eat.
I walked out feeling like an utter failure as a not-even-mother. My daughter is still being formed in the Easy Bake oven that is my body and I’m already depriving her of something that could put her at risk for a premature birth.
Now, I get to take these gag-licious liquid iron supplements that taste like the bastard child of Robitussin and blood. The good part is that since I know I have to, I can do it with minimal full body convulsions. This is improvement!
My husband was commenting last night that it makes sense that I’m anemic since I’m “always tired and crabby.” My response went something like, “When your uterus is the size of a CANTALOUPE, we’ll talk about who’s tired and crabby, okay?”
My mom reminded me that she was anemic during both her pregnancies and had to eat liver every week. She started offering me liver cooking tips, like this was a normal thing that normal people Skype their mothers about. That’s something I never thought would happen. Well, two things: 1. my mom offering me cooking advice 2. and having said advice be about a cow’s liver – of all the unholy organs!
The good news is that once I can beef up (get it? get it?) my iron, I’ll stop catching all the colds being passed around on Santiago’s overcrowded metro.
But, I’m starting slow. I just made a dish with garbanzos and spinach, with my doctor’s blessings.
I’m off to take a shot-glass sized portion of liquid iron. Cheers, everyone.