“You have Sickle/Beta-plus Thalassemia. I am going to write you a prescription for folic acid.”
Over the years, I have learned that taking care of your health is a big part of being a prepper. It is important to be in the best shape possible, both physically and mentally should an emergency situation arise. It is important to be knowledgeable about any health conditions you may have and how to treat them.
I didn’t learn I had sickle cell until I was 23 years old and only after having a major crisis.
After months of hospitalization, doctors’ visits, daily blood tests, and misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis, I finally knew what was wrong with me. Looking back on occurrences in my life, it all made sense. Always having aches and pains, especially when I didn’t drink enough water. I have sickle cell and I found out after having a crisis that nearly ended my life.
I came home from work with a pain in my knee. As the night went on, the pain became worse. My mother suggested I go take a hot bath in an attempt to ease the pain. As I sat in the hot water, I felt the pain radiate from my knee down my leg and then the other leg began to have pain. Before long, the pain was intolerable and I could no longer stand. My family helped me get dressed, carried me to the car and took me to the emergency room. At the emergency room triage area they took my information and began asking questions about the pain I was having. Shortly after that I passed out. When I woke up it was a day or two later.
During the time I was unconscious, my mother says I was given tests and blood transfusions. But even after all of that, there still was not a diagnosis for what happened to me or what was wrong. At one point, the CDC was called in and I remember being quarantined.
At one point, they wanted to perform a bone marrow biopsy. The initial attempt at this procedure was unsuccessful. Apparently, the doctor thought he would be able to shove the biopsy needle in my back with ease without having to use anesthesia or anything else. My cries of pain and disgust made him unable to complete the biopsy at that time. After I was discharged, I went back in for the procedure as an outpatient. At that time, anesthesia was given and the biopsy was performed. The results of the biopsy puzzle me to this day. I often wonder, given the events taken together, if perhaps the biopsy was done improperly, but at this point, no one will ever know. The results showed that I had “crystals” in my bone marrow. The doctor, when discussing the results with me, asked if I had ever injected anything into my bone marrow. I said “no”, internally outraged, but realizing that sometimes people do strange things so perhaps it was not out of the realm of possibility that someone might inject something into their bones. I also began to have little legions/rash spots on my body (mostly my arms and abdominal area.) Subsequent tests and biopsies of the spots were inconclusive. No one was ever able to figure out what was causing the rashes. I am not sure if it was even caused by what would become my initial diagnosis but no one seemed to know what was happening.