Iron Poor Mother Goose

“Holy Hemoglobin, Batman! Mother Goose has iron deficiency anemia!”

The Dynamic Duo share the sad news about Mother Goose.

Dear reader, do you recall just a few short posts ago when Mother Goose confessed her newly acquired addiction to ice-chewing? And do you recall how she proudly scoffed at the suggestion that she may have iron poor blood? Oh how I pooh poohed that silly notion!

Well, lo and behold, there I was at the blood donation center last week. And lo and behold, the prescreening procedure they performed on Mother Goose revealed that YES indeed I do have low iron in my life blood… Yes, Mother Goose must now eat a large piece of humble pie.

But in all seriousness, this can be a serious condition! Let’s just take a quick look at iron deficiency anemia with Mother Goose. You may discover that you, too, suffer from a hidden case of IDA.

The Symptoms

The first sign of IDA is a general fatigue. Of course, Mother Goose with her terribly hectic schedule has assumed for a long time that being tired is just part of her life. Collapsing on the floor at 8:30 p.m. seems par for my course. Accompanying Fatigue is Occasional Dizziness as well as Weakness. They are all good friends and apparently hang out together. Perhaps you have experienced these symptoms — most mothers do.

But now we get into the really interesting and weird symptoms! Ice-chewing or pica is very common amongst the iron poor blood crowd! I have already received confirmation of that symptom from two other personal sources, and all the medical websites mention it as well. Do you find that you are attracted to ice chewing? It is rather inexplicable and somewhat alarming to consider a connection between ice chewing and an iron deficiency.

My research shows another symptom of IDA is having a sore tongue. The ice chewing may be a comfort to the tender lining of the mouth which is thinned and often dry by the lack of iron rich hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an oxygen-carrying protein in our red blood cells — a very necessary component to a happy and healthy lifestyle. When iron is depleted, less oxygen is transported to the millions of cells in our bodies. Did you realize that your brain cells need oxygen or you will become irritable? I wonder if any of my dear readers have picked up on the irritability of Mother Goose?

Another strange symptom to watch for is hair loss! Yes, Mother Goose has been molting lately — dropping hair as well as feathers these past few weeks. I would say I’ve lost an average of 3,000 hairs each and every day, and then I find them everywhere, including in my teacup, my keyboard, on the floor and on my children’s clothes.

(Please be warned that the following description may be somewhat graphic for some fair readers, but Mother Goose believes it is a necessary part of her story.)

Perhaps the most bizarre symptom of IDA is this: beeturia. Mother Goose only discovered she had this symptom over the weekend. I hungrily and happily consumed four average-sized beets on Friday evening. I parboiled them in water, sliced them and slathered them in butter, salt and pepper. Oh they were so yummy…

The following morning, I happened to glance into the toilet bowl and was alarmed at the color of the urine Mother Goose had left behind! I will only say it was the color of beets… Beeturia is the condition where the body cannot make any sense of the color of beets and quickly disposes of it. It occurs in up to 80% of all IDA sufferers. For once, Mother Goose is telling the truth, and this is a real condition.

Please come back tomorrow when Mother Goose will discuss her battle plan for beating this Iron Deficiency Anemia. I vow to not eat any more beets until this disorder has been resolved…I’m sure I will be watching Batman and Robin “beet up” the bad guys. Mother Goose will probably be munching her crushed ice as aggressively as possible. I will be brushing my thinning hair and feathers.

Be a blessing to somebody today! Love from Mother Goose.

Mother Goose Addicted?

In the spirit of all good Twelve Step Programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous…

“Hello. My name is Mother Goose, and I came here this afternoon to admit that I am an ice chewer.”

The first step is always to admit that you have a problem. Yes, I have that problem. Even now, as I type this sentence, I am thinking about ice, cubed and crushed. But the good news is that I am getting free of my addiction; in fact, I’ve gone nearly 48 hours without chewing, except for a small bit of Joe’s slushy yesterday which I dumped in the sink as soon as I got home.

“Mother Goose,” you ask. “How did this happen? Why did you start? What was missing in your life that you needed to turn to ice, cubed and crushed?”

I can only hang my head in shame.

Like all addictions and OCDs, it all began so very innocently. It was a warm day in Oak Park, and I needed to cool off. I walked to the refrigerator and held my cup under the ice-maker spout. The ice cubes happily chunked out and into my cup. I added some water. Mother Goose is in the stage of her life when “hot flashes” are an issue, so sucking on ice cubes and drinking ice water throughout the day seemed reasonable. In fact, it seemed practically medicinal!

When the ice cubes became soaked in water and softer, I would chew them. They crunch so well between my teeth, making a satisfying solid sensation. Within the span of a few short days, that crunch feeling combined with the cooling effects of the ice became an unusual obsession for Mother Goose.

I was sneaking ice. When nobody was looking, I’d get just a few more cubes in my cup. I would hastily steal other people’s ice from their cups when they weren’t looking. The middle of the night ice. The first thing in the morning ice. The cup of ice for the road. One for the car. One to take along on my walk. Two for the afternoon baseball games, one for the movie theater. It was becoming so overwhelming.

I walked into a bar, and honked, “Gimme a cuppa ice, and make it snappy!”

Oh poor Mother Goose…her large rubbery feet were taking her down a very slippery road. Many of her family and friends expressed concern, even alarm, as she consumed more and more of the frozen substance. Even my precious nine year old AnnaRose googled “chewing ice” to find out what she could do to help her mommy.

“Please, Mom, at least eat it crushed instead of cubed,” she pleaded with me.

I’m so embarrassed to say that Mother Goose simply shrugged her shoulders and greedily took another cube into her mouth.

And then the side effects began to bother me. The constant chill in my mouth caused 24-hour dry mouth syndrome. I bought a special mouth spray product to help with that. See how one problem can lead to many? And then my tongue became sore and inflamed — no amount of pain relief gel could ease my discomfort….or my guilt.

The syndrome of ice chewing is an OCD, an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It even has an official medical name, Pagophagia. Chomping and chomping, day and night, for weeks now Mother Goose could not bear the thought of having an addiction. I was living on ice and denial.

“Seriously,” I told myself and others. “This can’t be a real problem.” Twenty years ago, I quit smoking cigarettes. That was a real problem, and it was very difficult addiction to quit. How would I be able to kick this new habit? Is there even a “patch” for this?

Mr. Mother Goose has tried to reason that there must be a logical explanation, an underlying medical condition which lays just below the surface of his wife’s problem. He has consulted with women friends, and has been told that Mother Goose must be anemic. Surely a daily iron pill down the gullet will refresh her and cure her disorder within a month. Though I certainly do appreciate that diagnosis, I must point out that Mother Goose has been a blood donor for over a year, and my blood is checked every three months for anemia. I have never been told that I have low iron, or even borderline low iron. We must dismiss that diagnosis…

I can only confess that I am a goose with a problem. I can only take one day at a time to get over this. I would humbly ask for your prayers for strength and courage to overcome my addiction.

My family, I beg your forgiveness. I now realize how badly I have hurt you, how selfish I have been — thinking only of myself and where I’d get the next cup of ice. How could I have been so misled to think that chewing ice could solve my problems? Please forgive me and please give me another chance to prove that I’m a healthy goose with a good grip on life, that I don’t need this ice crutch anymore.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at “Coping with the symptoms of Menopause — healthy alternatives to ice chomping”. I hope you’ll return for that informative post.

In the meantime, please share with Mother Goose your own personal experiences. Are you a recovered ice chewer? Do you have other OCDs you’d like to discuss? Is there a better way to cool off? Is there hope for Mother Goose?

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 79,310 honks to date

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March 2023