THE HORRORS OF BEING ANEMIC

Olivia Bettorf
ombettorf@lc.edu

Anemia is in a simple word, terrible. It sucks dealing with it, sucks living with, and it is a struggle to correct it.

How would I know? I am currently dealing with this problem. Which can lead to the question: What is Anemia?

Anemia is a condition that causes someone to not have enough red blood cells in their system. Which, in my case, can be caused by an iron deficiency, lack of Vitamin B12, or in serious cases, the loss of blood.

The common symptoms are: feelings of fatigue (or tiredness) and weakness, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, skin pallor (lighter skin tone, making you look a bit more pale than normal, and dark purple circles underneath your eyes). Of course, everyone feels these symptoms that are due to lack of sleep, increase of stress, and multiple things that affect different people.

They only real way to find out if you have Anemia is to go get a blood test done by your primary care physician.

Anemia can range from minor conditions, if treated properly, to severe health conditions if untreated or left undiagnosed. The age range for this is naturally 40 years of age, probably due to parenting, work, and keeping a clean environment, to 61 years of age and older, most likely due to other health regulations.

I, unfortunately, am part of the percent that is lesser part of this. So, why is it so scary? I’ll tell why.

When an anemic person’s iron gets low enough, we will have what I call an anemic attack. We become dizzy due to lack of red blood cells. The room just suddenly starts spinning, causing the effects of nausea.

You know the feeling: you feel like throwing up, and the spinning will only stop when you lay your head down. It may not sound like it gets worse, but it does.

Then it happens: anything in an anemics stomach will come spilling out. Every time we try to put something back in, like water and crackers, there’s almost no possible chance it will stay down.  

Now if you have some big time anxiety like me, then the thought of “Should I go to the hospital in case my throat rips in half?”, crosses your mind. No, you do not. It’ll be okay.

After spilling out your guts, your body will feel weaker afterwards, but not like it does when you feel sick, it’ll feel like you are going to pass out.

There is one thing that helps me personally when I have an anemic attack or start feeling like I might have one. I take two iron pills and then go to sleep. The next day I don’t feel fully better- just half-way- so I put something in my stomach and rest if I can.

I would also like to take the time to say that I am not a doctor. I am not studying to become a doctor. I just know these things simply from my experience.

It really is somewhat scary having Anemia because you never know when an attack could happen. So if you do feel any symptoms, then bring it up with your doctor next time you have a check up. Don’t be afraid, but always be cautious if you do have Anemia and be safe.

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