16 May 2009

living in gratitude 63 : anemic (again?)

there was some sunshine in le jardin des plantes


I seem to have the most energy in the first hour of waking up... so this morning, now that the nurse has visited for my morning shot (ouch)
- I thought I'd update the blog ... my energy has been at an all mighty low this week, with no desire to draw or blog ... today the sense to get out of bed + do some 'normal' stuff finally came back... I drew 6 pictures...

bruises from daily injections (to end on 21st may yipeee!!!)

The event of the week was that I got my stitches out on Thursday. Belly still very swelled up + less sore + less feeling of being cut up inside which is somewhat reassuring.



Today I was motivated by my blood results from yesterday (I have them twice a week at the moment - the morning nurse comes for that...) to confirm that I am anemic.



It makes sense why I'm not up to much at the moment but furthermore, it took me back to 28 Dec 2008 in India... and will give readers an idea of how I got diagnosed in the first place...


I was photographing donors participating at International Blood Donation Day (inspired because hospitals around the world are low on blood donations) at the Sri Narayani Hospital in South India. As I was there, I went to give blood. The initial step one takes is a little 'prick' on the finger (to check if you are anemic) is done by a nurse. Blow me down...
the nurse said I couldn't donate blood because I was anemic.

I said to myself, "I know I have been feeling really crap all month, but I KNOW i am NOT anemic! That is outrageous!".
Nothing to do. They wouldn't let me donate blood.




So I finished my photos, and on the way out, met Dr K, my favourite doctor at the hospital. I told him how outraged I was, that I couldn't give blood because I was told I was anemic.


Dr K looked at me in a sincerely puzzled manner and replied, "Nathalie, I see anemic people everyday, and you are definately not anemic."

"I know!!" I replied excitedly, happy to find a supporter of my non-anemic cause. He suggested I come by the hospital the following day and do a thorough check up.



I was ill that night, vomitting as I had eaten some cheese a german friend had bought from her visit to pondicherry. So the following day I was weak + dehydrated. I did all the tests : blood, urine, eyes, cardiac... I had to return to do the ultra-sound twice as the 2 litres of water I had swallowed for the test didn't create enough liquid in me (I was so dehydrated)... so I had to return the following day for that.

With all the results in his hand, Dr K said everything was fine - blood count, urine etc all good. I was very happy to know that I wasn't anemic. The only 'abnormal' thing that came up was fybroids in the uterus.


"What does that mean ?"
He wasn't too concerned as many women have fybroids.
I got a bit freaked out. And what is the worst thing that can happen to me?
"A hysterectomy - but that is really if there is excessive or very heavy bleeding...so only in extreme case... you are fine..."
I didn't have heavy bleeding ... cripes! A hysterectomy!.... this was feeling a bit serious now...
But he assured me that only in very extreme cases would a hysterectomy be required...


Although the results were fine, he asked me, to re-do the tests when I got back to Australia (which was the following day). He said that although everything seemed fine in the results he wanted to be reassured with another set.



So I went to Australia, did all my tests. And the GP said "you are in very good health."
Phew... relief... she wasn't concerned by the fybroids for the moment.

The pap smear results were the only tests that hadn't come back. (In Australia pap smears are automatically done for check ups with a general practitioner... so thank goodness I had the check up in Australia)...

The pap smear results came back the following week, with results of pre-cancerous cells being picked up, then another test to say that I had cancerous cells + a confirmation from that afternoon that I had a tumor...



So here I am, 5 months later - I wasn't anemic in December, but that is what lit up the warning signs...
now, today, after the hysterectomy... I am anemic...

feels like I have done a full, mysterious circle...





ps... these photos are from this weekend at Rose's + in le jardin des plantes...except the big fat tomato (given by aga) which I am hanging out of my window to photograph... that is a photo from 3 weeks ago...


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good morning Nat-chan this should be read by all women who work and push themselves. Your foot massage is waiting - just let me know when.
love Hkh

Kym said...

I like the 'MEAN PEOPLE SUCK'/pretty pink flowers photo...sort of like life really...your story reminds me of what can come of paying closer attention to what our body tells us too...