I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. Since you can’t tell me which you’d like to hear first, I shall begin with the good.
The good news is that, upon the suggestion of my brilliant assistant Kate, I was able to devise a clever plan to check my iron levels without having to go to the doctor at all. The past week or so I’ve felt a familiar and disturbing sense of exhaustion and ‘drag’ for lack of a better word, with no explanation for it. Fearing I was once again anemic, Katie suggested I try donating blood at one of the hospital trucks that frequents the university I work at. They are required to screen donors for anemia first, so it seemed like a perfect, win-win situation. I could alleviate my fear of recurring anemia, while at the same time donate healthy blood to someone who needed it.
The only problem was that my whole plan came crashing into a million little pieces in every way possible. First, I was immediately rejected as a donor based on my weight and a heart condition I have called tricuspid valve disease (though it’s been under control for some time and not currently a problem at all). Despite my assurance of this, they told me I’d have to go to hospital to donate so that my heart could be monitored in the process, and also gain some weight. Discouraged at this point but not quite ready to give up, I asked if they’d at least check my iron level to ensure it was ok before taking the drive out to PIH.
And thats where the bad news comes in. I actually am anemic. Again. For anyone who’s ever been through something like this, you understand how devastating it is to hear that. Months of going to an infusion center and getting needles stuck up your arm, numerous allergic reactions, steroids and countless appointments, only to discover it’s already depleted again is more than a little bit discouraging. It’s dispiriting. At this point I’m still deciding what I’m going to do, since this was not supposed to happen for at least another year, at the earliest. It’s hard to begin to imagine going back to see my doctor at this point since I know they’ll want to do more screening, probably a bone biopsy and possibly begin blood transfusions.
I dread all these things.
While I realize it will be important to go back sometime, if I am completely honest with myself, I know I can’t right now. I’m worn out and want to live my life for a while, at least a little while. Perhaps I’ll take most of the summer to do so before diving back into those sterile rooms, stark lights and cold needles.
Though I tell you this because it’s reality at the moment for me, I greatly dislike posts of this sort. I do not want to leave you with such gloomy sentiment as this, and so will venture to say that I am not completely disheartened by this unexpected turn in the road. How can I be? I am alive, not in any life-threatening condition, and still able to enjoy every day to the fullest. I have my beautiful beasts at home, two jobs I love, and am blessed with some of the dearest people on earth. I’ve got blue skies and sunshine, coffee and sushi, oceans and sunsets. I’ve got horses to ride, dogs to train, mountains to climb, trails to run, and people to love. And I have quiet places to rest and listen to the stillness, reminding me of God’s goodness and all He has blessed me with.
“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor’ -unknown