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Tag: medical

The Cysterhood

Every time I watch Grey’s Anatomy, I think to myself, “Hospitals aren’t like that.” I’ve seen more hospitals than is reasonable for someone my age, and not once did I see even a hint of delightful banter or sexual tension between the doctors. Since I’m in a medical mood, I’ll share another of my stories. If you’re squeamish or generally put off by the female reproductive system, steer clear here. And the moral of the story, as a teaser: fellow women! When we were in Health class, they forgot to mention that our reproductive systems may try to mutiny or…

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The Old Normal

As of November 1st, I officially lost my status as Temporarily Disabled Barbie. (At least according to the State of Washington.) When I had my accident in 2010 – a fall that shattered my kneecap into 5 pieces –they reconstructed the kneecap using two screws. Two screws that, on the x-rays, looked like Home Depot drywall screws, not the advanced medical technology I was expecting. I wasn’t allowed to bear weight on the leg for 6 entire weeks, which led to some staggering atrophy. During that period, a friend asked if my doctor had granted me a temporary handicapped parking…

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My Fantastic Voyage

For most of my life, I’ve had digestive problems of varying severity. Back in February, this manifested as an extended, painful bout that lasted weeks at a time, recurred every few weeks, and began to lead to malnourishment (and, counterintuitively, skyrocketing iron levels). After running a battery of tests, blood and otherwise, it was decided that I needed a colonoscopy, which occurred in May. The blood tests ruled out conditions like celiac, which was a relief. But we couldn’t rule out cancer since colon cancer has occurred in my family tree — that was a scary wait. I won’t varnish…

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The Iron Maiden

Yesterday, I went in for a monthly phlebotomy (ie bloodletting) as ordered by my doctor. You see, I have a genetic condition called Hereditary Hemachromatosis, which was diagnosed in 2008. (It surfaced about 30 years earlier than normal for women). My “treatment” is to go to the blood center and donate blood, sometimes more frequently than is typically allowed without a prescription. Hemachromatosis is essentially the opposite of anemia. Your body absorbs iron too well – which may sound awesome to anemics, but iron can only leave your body in blood, and as it builds up in organs it can…

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Anatomy of a Good Day

It was a 13-hour return to the world for me today after a little over a week recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Recovery was slow going; the drugs were rough, and the intubation sore throat bad enough that I’m still not on a full solid diet yet. But at the end of my long day, my knee sore and cranky at the exertion, driving across the 520 bridge, I felt almost on top of the world. (No, I wasn’t still on the painkillers.) The day that started early with my postoperative appointment at my surgeon’s office. It’s the end of…

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