Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Let it Bleed. On Second Thought, Don’t.

There’s nothing quite as depressing as filling out 25 pages of medical history for a new doctor.

On Wednesday, I go see a hematologist. This is probably 2 years overdue, since it was around 2 years ago that I first had a test that showed I was low on iron. But here I am, with my lowest hemoglobin count since I was hospitalized in 2011.

To be honest, it’s a little frightening. I thought we’d had control of all of this- and frankly, I feel pretty darn good. In 2011, I was exhausted, constantly. While I haven’t run in awhile, I have been doing yoga, eating right… and I feel like I have energy to spare. (With the exception of last week, and I blame that on Daylight Savings)

I’ll be honest, I’m hoping that I can blame my period for this. I’m sure I usually have a dip in my iron level when it comes to that time of the month, and I happened to have a shorter than usual cycle this month- one that coincided with the blood draw that started all of this. Is it irrational to hope that that’s the problem?

No matter what, my iron levels are low, and my blood cells are smaller than they should be- it’s been explained that my body is trying to make blood as fast as it can, so it doesn’t wait until the cells are fully cooked. It’s like Lucy and Ethel at the Chocolate Factory. My body is going as fast as it can to sort of get the job done.

If you’re wondering why I write these posts about my health, it’s because I believe we shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about when our bodies go awry. This is a problem I have, and it’s frightening to me, yes. But I know that there are plenty of people out there who are struggling with health issues, that feel like they’re the only ones struggling under the weight of it. And there are people who stop seeing doctors because the ones they have are dicks.

I’m lucky. I have a really great gastroenterologist. He listens to me, he doesn’t try to apply me to any mold. He’s one of the rare doctors who believed me when I said I didn’t have an eating disorder, and he’s referred me to open minded professionals. Ones who would evaluate me with an open mind.

So if you think there’s something out of the ordinary- like you’re too tired, you get out of breath. Go to the doctor, and be honest. Make a list of all your symptoms, and if it’s something uncomfortable to talk about (I’ve had to share way too much about my bathroom habits), write it out. But take that leap and talk about it. It might be really important.

A little over a year ago, I was dealing with cramps that came from nowhere and racing to find bathrooms. While my blood thing isn’t sorted out- my life has become so much more normal. And we all deserve that.

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  • http://twitter.com/tigger62077 Tigger

    Yay for being honest! And there’s nothing wrong with a little irrational hope – sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re wrong, and sometimes it’s that little glimmer of hope that keeps us from going screaming down the road to the nearest mental place. You do what you need to do to keep going forward and the rest will, eventually, sort itself out. How, I don’t know. When, I also don’t know. I do hope that it’s soon and with the help of the next doc you see, so that you can get off the damn rollercoaster that is “mysterious health shit”. Which, by the way, is a TERRIBLE name for a rollercoaster.

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    It really is. Though it could be a really great name for a concept album.

    I feel like I’m a really long episode of House. Partially because it isn’t lupus.

  • Skye

    “Go to the doctor, and be honest.” And then if your doctor turns out to be a jerk? Fire them and find someone else if you can. Life’s too short to be treated poorly by medical professionals. (And if anyone’s health insurance is government-funded, like Medicaid or Tricare, any issues with finding another doc can often be resolved with a call to your state or federal rep’s office. Just sayin’.)

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    YES. I’m still searching for a gp because I keep running into jerks. I’ve been lucky and the specialists I’ve gone to have been a lot more open minded.