Monday, July 19, 2010


I lost a pound today. I gave blood. I usually do that at the Red Cross blood drive and every time I do the technician says my hemocrit numbers are high. I knew that wasn't a good thing because I "Googled" it. So I asked my doctor if I could have a letter to give to the Red Cross so I could donate blood every month, instead of every other month. Instead of a letter he ran blood tests and then he made an appointment for me with another doctor--an ONCOLOGY doctor. Only he didn't say "Oncology." He said "hematologist." If he had said Oncology I would have freaked right out. Everybody knows that means cancer, right? I don't "do" cancer.

So I went to that Hematologist/Oncologist today and was told I have a blood disease called Polycythemia Vera. It seems my bone marrow produces way to many red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. In other words, my blood is thick with the stuff. Thick. Viscous. Meaning a possibility of stroke. Or, Central Retinal Artery Occlusion, which I have had and now am blind in my left eye because of. (Don't end the sentence with a preposition, Lynne.) So, now we probably know why that occurred. Blood thick as Aunt Jemima's syrup. Maybe even as thick as molasses. Or mud. No, probably not mud. Everyone knows mud is for pies.

I am now being bled--not kidding--they removed the first pint today and will do it again Thursday and then several more times. It seems besides having all those extra blood cells in the blood I am making extra pints of the stuff.

I have a mutated gene (JAK2) that thinks production should be ramped up, maybe like chocolates on the assembly line in that "I Love Lucy" episode that I love so much.
It's not hereditary, so don't panic, my children. That gene is a mutant fellow with a mission. I am taking medication to retard the production of all of these renegade blood partners.

Blood is made in the bone marrow and in the Word of Wisdom it says, "Health in the navel and marrow to their bones." We have studied the Word of Wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants 89) and we were vegan for almost seven years because of our interpretation to the teachings there. Too bad we didn't stay vegan but maybe mutant genes don't read the D&C.

It's funny, I have always told Hillary that--in the last days--I will be on the porch, rocking the babies and reading to their little ones while they (my children) were out fighting the mutants . Now I have a mutant, living inside. It's enough to hark a dog.

So, if ever you give blood and the technician says, "Hummm, these numbers are a little high," go to the doctor and get a test so you won't loose vision like I did. You might even lose a few pounds--"a pint's a pound, the world around." (Every Weight Watcher steps on the scale hungry and thirsty.) Today, it was a pretty tough way to lose weight. I recommend diet and exercise.

"There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will."-- Epictetus


Lorraine said...

Oh poor girl, I am so sorry, but I know you'll be ok, I mean you've probably had that condition all along and well looks to me little you're very strong...oh boy...last time I gave blood, I passed out...I'm pretty sure I'm dying, but I hate going to the dr's....Hang in there sweet LYnne, so many things have happened to you and man you're standing, that's impressive

whirligigdaisy said...

Oh Lynne. You always put a funny spin on things. Even the bad things. Bless you.

Michelle Woehrle said...

Hi Lynne,

Your blog popped up in my google alerts for PV. I work for MPD Foundation which promotes research and education of the myeloproliferative disorders (MPD) of which polycythemia vera is one. If you want any information on the diseases we can send you some back newsletters and brochures. It sounds like you are approaching your diagnosis with a great sense of humor! Best of luck and take care!

Michelle Woehrle said...

Oops! Wrong url. It should be

hillary said...

I'm glad you have identified yourself as "housing a mutant" and not acually being a mutant. Now we (your children) won't have to fight you in the last days. Woo hoo

Is this health business why I got all the warm fuzzy texts yesterday? I was wondering if you were getting ready to keel over in a ditch. I'm glad you decided not too. Plus, congradulations for going to the DR -- after all these years.

Love always, YFC

Karen Deborah said...

being a vegan, losing weight, regular exercise and donating blood can really help with this condition.

You'll be fine luvins...

Mental P Mama said...

Oh no! But I am glad you have an answer. Even if it is a mutant. Sending up good thoughts and prayers.

tearese said...

Oh wow, so could they have prevented the eye thing maybe if they had checked your blood? But really, who would have thought to have that checked? I know I wouldn't. But then I never think I need to go to the doctor (and hope I don't have to anytime soon, since Joseph and I don't have insurance...) I hope this at least prevents anything worse from happening!

Wendy Harman said...

This is Wendy Harman from the American Red Cross. Glad you followed up with your doctor and we're all wishing you good health from DC.

Kathy said...

Sending up prayers and hugs for you Lynne.
Hillary has your lovable sense of humor.