2016

January

I was slowly losing my energy.
I struggled to walk a couple hundred feet using a cane.
I couldn’t eat or drink.
The only thing keeping me alive were my Shaklee vitamins.

I went to a clinic connected to the hospital. I thought I had a urinary tract infection. A urinalysis was positive. So, the doctor gave me an antibiotic. He wasn’t interested in my list of symptoms, even though I was shaking so bad, I couldn’t even sign my name.

February

I went back to the clinic with the same symptoms. A different doctor did the same thing and gave me another antibiotic. She woudn’t even look at my list of symptoms.

March

I had been searching for a primary care doctor. I made an appointment, but had to wait several weeks for a new patient consultation. All that time, my symptoms were getting worse.

The morning of my doctor appointment, I showered. But, I couldn’t keep my arms up to wash my hair. My hands would go numb and my arms cramped. And I could barely stand. I learned later that when you don’t have enough blood, your heart and brain try to keep your organs working, sacrificing your arms and legs.

Finally, I found a doctor who took the time to listen to me.
She read my long list of symptoms.

She told me I looked pale. The fact is, I looked white as a sheet. I had been using more makeup to try to cover how pale I looked. I even bought a darker shade.

The doctor sent me for blood work and an x-ray.
Normal hemoglobin is 12-14.
Mine was 4.2.
I had lost 2/3 of my blood.

I got a phone call from the doctor’s office about 5 pm.
The instructions were …

Stop what you’re doing.
Call 911.
Go straight to the nearest emergency room.

Unfortunately, I missed that call. I had been sleeping a lot. What I didn’t realize was I was close to unconscious. My heart was barely beating. Several hours went by before I found the voicemail message. By now it was after midnight.

I couldn’t just leave. I had to feed the cat and make sure she had enough food and water for several hours. I shut down the computer. I made sure I had my medical cards and took the credit cards out of my purse.

I was so tired, I almost decided to wait until morning. No. The instructions were to go NOW.

I thought I’d be discharged during the night. Not knowing how I would get home, I decided to drive myself to the emergency room. I parked the car and started walking to the entrance. I was in the middle of the 2 lane driveway in front of the ER when I couldn’t go any further. I was about to collapse. I called to a man helping his mother into a wheelchair. He got another wheelchair and pushed me into the ER.

After many tests and a long wait for the results, I was admitted to ICU. The nurses were prepping me for cardiac arrest. They were amazed that I was even conscious. By the grace of God, I did not go into cardiac arrest.

Two days later, after 4 Pints of blood and 3 pints of iron, I was starting to feel better. An endoscopy found scars on my esophagus. That’s probably where I had lost the blood, slowly over a long period of time. And until the last few months, my body had been adjusting.

I was released from the hospital after 2 days. Over the next few weeks, I needed 3 more pints of iron to bring my hemoglobin up to the normal range. Now I’m on an iron tablet every day.

September

Six months later, my hemoglobin was still normal. The endocrinologist called me his gold star patient. And my primary care doctor told me it was a miracle that I was alive.

After Effects

I tire easily.
I don’t have the feeling in my hands that I used to.
My fingers don’t work as well.
I’m still shaky. Especially my left hand.

Next 2017

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This is why I love what I do.

This is why I love what I do. I couldn’t say it any better than this 11 minute video.

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