The Importance of Iron


By now, even my husband is starting to wonder if I was ever going to write again.  The problem is that I seem to have no energy to do much of anything other than the absolute minimum required for survival.  About a year ago I went to my doctor regarding some “female difficulties” and a routine blood test showed that I was low on iron.  So low that I was immediately put on prescription iron pills and ordered back for a follow-up blood test in three months.

My three-month supply of pills is still pretty full, I’m supposed to take two pills per day but that rarely happens for very long.  I’ll be good for about a week and then the side effects kick in and I stop taking them.  I do notice a big difference in my energy levels though so will be making more of an effort to take the medication regularly from now on.

My Big Boy went through quite a rough patch around Christmas time, he was terribly emotional all the time, still sick from colds that had never left him since the first week of school and not interested in doing much of anything including going to school.  His teacher called us in for a meeting to see if we could come up with some ways to make him more comfortable at school, my husband and I went to meet with her and the ECE teacher hoping that they had an arsenal of plans to help kids learn to love school.  They didn’t, or if they did they weren’t telling us about it.  They did tell us more about his behaviour at school and how it had changed which led us to believe that he was just sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Just after school started back I took him to the doctor, just to rule out anything treatable that could be causing trouble.  Of course, our family doctor had decided to go on vacation for two months so we got to see someone new which usually bothers me but this time ended up being a good thing.  She wasn’t familiar with us so was willing to look at different things and take steps to rule out unrelated issues.  She asked if he would be okay with having some blood drawn, I wasn’t sure but that day he was unusually chipper so I figured that we would give it a shot.

I was astounded at how well he did! Of course he cried, but not the hysterical fit that I assumed would happen.  Once the needle was in I had him turn his head and watch the blood go out the little tube into the vial and he actually thought that was pretty cool.  A few days later I got a call (from the doctor herself!) saying that his iron level was low.  Not low enough to be anemia and require medication but she advised me to have him eat more greens and beans since he won’t eat meat.  I had told her that he won’t eat anything but I’m not sure she had a full grasp of the situation! (I should have told her to read my blog post about it!)

I was planning to do a smoothie push with the boys but they’ve never liked milkshakes and I couldn’t find a way to make a smoothie taste like a piña colada so decided to go the stealthy route.  I bought some Fer-In-Sol (the liquid iron supplement for infants) and have been slipping some into their juice every day.  I also got them both used to having a Flintstones vitamin each morning, Big Boy likes the crunchy ones but I have to get the chewy ones for Little Man.  I don’t care, as long as they eat them!

It’s cost me a bit of money in Hot Wheels bribes but it all paid off this morning when Big Boy asked me if it was a school day.  This is a regular first-thing-in-the-morning question for him, usually the “yes” answer is followed by a brief period of negotiation to get him into the school mindset but this morning when I told him it was a school day he replied, “Great! I love going to school!”

Somebody is feeling much better!

I need to go take a pill now, have a great day!

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One thought on “The Importance of Iron

  1. That is such a good reminder how important iron is. I am so glad Big Boy was excited to go to school that is awesome and I think it tells a lot about your goods parenting skills. Smoothies have really helped us get more greens. Our trick is to add a frozen banana and some frozen berries to make it nice a sweet!

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