Living with Anaemia

james brown

This has been a strange year, it seems like one thing after another. At the beginning of the year, I found out I was anaemic, which I had been for many years according to blood test results but was never informed. This was a shock and thought there must be a mistake, I felt fine.

The doctors explained more about anaemia.

 It is a condition where you lack healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body. The symptoms can start mild but can be life-threatening if left untreated.

There are 5 types of anaemia

  • Aplastic
  • Iron deficiency
  • Sickle cell
  • Thalassemia
  • Vitamin deficiency

This was alarming, I knew little about anaemia and a thousand thoughts went through my head in that second, how is this going to impact my life?

The doctor asked me questions about any symptoms I may have experienced.

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale or yellow skin
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Dizziness or Light-headedness
  • Chest Pains
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headaches

I thought for a second and said no… no more than normal. The doctor paused and asked what do you mean by normal? I replied that I get lightheaded when I stand up, odd headaches in the morning, I get tired quickly when walking and often have a nap on days off. This is just because I am not as healthy as I could be, diet could be better, and everyone gets this.

The doctor went through my diet and pointed out it was healthy, I get exercise walking the dog and going to the gym. The doctor pointed out that I had the condition for a while according to their records and what I thought was normal was not. This surprised me, I figured everyone just felt this way, I did not know any different. I was given medication and needed to have an operation to solve the issue.

After I had my operation and recovered, I felt amazing. It felt like finally being awake, a wave of energy, like having the best nights sleep of your life and just now awake. The symptoms passed and I felt amazing, I had got so used to symptoms that I figured it was normal.

After a month I began feeling drained, I went for a check-up and found out the operation was not successful, my anaemia was back. The operation could not be done correctly due to my anaemia, and until I have enough healthy red blood cells, I can not have the full operation. I am stuck in a circle, I need my anaemia to get better for an operation to fix my anaemia.

I have noticed the symptoms more, I feel more tired than I did before, I get stronger dizzy spells and times I need to just sit or lay down. It makes life harder; you do not feel yourself and drained all the time. It is hard to explain to people, often they think you’re lazy, I have the motivation, but my body feels exhausted and you must push yourself to do something.

I am currently on treatment and waiting for another operation, I have been told that it could be a long term health issue which I will have to manage. I wonder if it would be better never having the first operation, just having treatment and not knowing how it felt for a month to feel normal. I think that is what makes it hard.

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