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Tag: medical

Blood Discrimination

I’ve posted before about my adventures with hemachromatosis, and my negative experiences with the Puget Sound Blood Center. Things since the last post hadn’t improved tremendously, but I still went (out of my way) to perform my therapeutic phlebotomies there since it was contributing healthy blood to the public blood supply. Now, normally, when I arrive at the blood center: 0) Call special hotline to make therapeutic appointment 1) Sign in with the volunteer. Explain that it is a therapeutic donation. 2) Volunteer says, “Oh, *I* can’t sign you in but someone will be over shortly.” Places Red Folder of…

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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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