Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Drawing Blood

I have this blood condition, a genetic mutation that occurred late in my life (which would be just recently), that sends my platelet numbers through the roof.  When that happens, I am plagued by migraines.  It didn't take me long to realize that two migraines in two weeks meant guess what was in the stratosphere.

So I had my blood checked yesterday, and sure enough, the platelets are high, along with the white blood cells.  Oy vey, things are going from bad to worse.

Well, my doctor wasn't alarmed.  Told me to keep checking my blood every two months and have a nice life.  No way - when I told my doctor about the migraines, he relented and set up an appointment to remove blood.

Because removing 500 ml of blood is the only thing they can do to relieve the pressure building up in my body.  Unless someone stumbles upon a cure for my affliction on the way to finding a cure for something else (the number of people with polycythemia, which is my problem, is quite small), I will be having blood removed several times a year.

It sounds bad, but the only thing truly unsettling about the procedure is the nurses' finding a good vein and sticking the needle into it right.  Doesn't always happen  the on the first attempt, like today.  But the staff couldn't have been more pleasant or more accommodating.  Afterwards, I got a tall glass of mixed cranberry and apple sugar water, which revived me a bit.

After standing steady for a few minutes, I was released to the streets of the city to drive home.  Because my condition is technically a disease, I can't donate blood, although I have lots of it.  Which is a shame - if I could, I'd donate once a month at least.

Still, I found the strength to go to the 99-cent store, my favorite produce center of late.  Amazingly, I shopped only for what I intended to get, which might mean that I should avoid shopping unless I give blood.  Now there's a thought.

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