Posted in personal, Pirate
March 18, 2013

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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