Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I knew my husband was strange....

Well, I've always said my husband was one in a million, but until recently I didn't know how true that statement really was. A few weeks ago, due to a fluke spike in my husband's blood pressure (never has had any blood pressure issues), we found out that his body makes way more blood than it needs.

I share this with you as I found it not only scary as heck, but also most interesting. You'd think your body would know how much blood (hemoglobin) it required to function properly, and that's the amount it would make...wrong. At least for some people, there can be factors going on that cause the body to produce too much blood. It's a condition called polycythemia, and there is polycythemia primary and polycythemia secondary. The primary version is caused by a muted gene and the secondary (what my husband has) can be caused by several factors...a malfunction of the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs or bone marrow cancer. We are lucky that it appears from all the test results that hubby has one kidney that is not working up to par, and this is the culprit for his polycythemia.

So, what do you do about this? The simple fix is to take out blood. For the past 6 weeks my husband has gone into the outpatient infusion center at our hospital twice a week and had nearly a quart of blood removed (phlebotomy). You'd think that would make a person feel pretty weak, but hubby says he feels great. Probably because his body is now not being over taxed with trying to do something with all the extra blood it didn't need.

Anyway, the treatment for this condition is to just keep taking out the extra blood. And as time goes on, this process will need to be done less frequently. This week hubby was told he only needs to go in once a week now. The hope is to at some point to be able to space these "blood letting" sessions out to once every 3 months or even every 6 months. That's a long time down the road, but at least he is on the way.

So, a word to the wise, if you have some sort of episode with your blood pressure, or any other bodily function that is out of the norm, have it checked out right away. Had we not taken the immediate action we did when my husband's blood pressure spiked (causing his vision to blur), he would have suffered a heart attack within days...or even minutes. So pay attention when your body speaks to you, it could be the warning that saves your life.

We have sunshine in the mountains today. I hope you have a bright and wonderful day wherever you are.
Love and Light, Peace and Joy,
Sunny Marie

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