Add blood disease to the list…

I’ve been really tired lately. For the past couple of months, actually. I just kind of assumed it was circumstancial, or due to the m.s., or a combination of both. It would make sense. Fatigue and balance issues are par for the course with m.s., and we have the new puppy, and we’ve had lots of travelling and family events with the holiday.  So I had been telling myself that’s what it was, and it would ease up.

Only it wasn’t easing up, and I was starting to get very discouraged. I just couldn’t get back to that place of feeling like you have sufficient energy to move. And no amount of caffeine or sleeping seemed to help.

I went to see a new neurologist yesterday, and shared all of my concerns with her. She said I’m doing all the right things (though I am under orders to stop climbing on chairs) and I’m on the best m.s. treatment with my monthly Tysabri infusions. She ordered a gang of blood tests, since I hadn’t had one in quite some time.

She called this morning with some of my test results (while we were at the pediatrician with my son, who has been complaining of headaches and was up last night with headaches and vomiting. She was still waiting on further test results, but the one she was most concerned with was my vitamin b levels (or hemoglobin, or something). Whatever “they” are, they should be at 12. Mine are at 8, which means I am very anemic. Their words, not mine. The lucky thing is that my primary, who my neurologist was advising me to see regarding the anemia, is located on the second floor of the building my children’s pediatrician is in. So Mike called to see if they could see me right then and they were able to! So I left Mike with Luke and took the elevator to the 2nd floor. The primary doctor ordered more blood testing to get a better sense of what might be causing the anemia, prescribed some iron pills, and is setting me up to see a hematologist.

What FUN. After everything I went through last year with the trip to Mayo Clinic, hospital stays, plasmapheresis, etc., I was really hoping for some time off from doctors and testing. That’s clearly not happening.

I’m not exactly looking forward to more medical drama – not to mention the frustration and guilt I feel for needing my husband to take time off work to drive me everywhere – but I am somewhat relieved to learn that I wasn’t just making this up. I wasn’t just becoming a lazy person. There is a reason for this fatigue, and the headaches and dizzy spells. More importantly, there are solutions. Before today I didn’t know the first thing about anemia, but I know now that it is treatable, and depending on the cause, can sometimes even be reversed. That’s a hell of a lot more than I can say for multiple sclerosis. And compared to all of the mess I’ve been through with m.s. for the last 5 years, and the mess I go through daily with hearing loss, anemia looks like a walk in the park.

Now I just have to find the park!

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