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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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anemia?
Feb 13, 2002

Hey Dude, Have you ever been anemic? Did you use Procrit if you were? I read you posting everyday and have learned more from you than all my docs combined. Is it true what they say about Italians? Love to love ya baby, Pete

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Pete,

Well yes, I was anemic once a long time ago. It was not related to HIV. In fact, it occurred while I was in college. They were having a blood drive of some sort and were paying $25 for each unit of blood donated. Being a starving college student, I was one of the first guys in line. I remember asking the nurse what happens when blood is taken out of the body and she cheerfully told me the body just makes some more to compensate for what was taken out. Sounded fine to me. She didn't mention that it takes a period of time for the body to do this and that's why you shouldn't give blood too often. I thought overnight would be plenty of time for me to make my new blood. So, I showed up several days in a row at the blood drive, never mentioned that I had been there previously. Over the next few days, I become increasingly fatigued. I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed for classes. This was not unusual for my morning classes, but I didn't even want to get up for my afternoon classes. Sports were totally out of the question. I don't think I had the energy to make it through a round of miniature golf. I was winded just riding my bike across campus. I also found I had difficulty concentrating (maybe that should be "more" difficulty concentrating) on my professors' lectures. When I showed up to donate another pint and collect another $25, the nurse looked at me and said, "Honey, you are white as a ghost. I don't think you should give blood. In fact, I think you may need some!" When they found out I had given multiple units that week, all hell broke loose, as it is against the rules. So I was anemic due to blood loss, but I did make some money in the process. No, I didn't use Procrit. In fact, doubt Procrit was even available at the time. My anemia slowly resolved, but I never forgot that feeling.

It's worth pointing out that even when you stimulate the bone marrow with Procrit, it takes a while for the red blood cell factory to begin pumping out new red blood cells. That's why we don't look for significant improvement for at least several weeks after Procrit therapy is started.

So that's my anemia story. Now, as for your second question, "Is it true what they say about Italians?" Of course it is. Try us, you'll like us!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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