The thing is, Sickle Cell is a serious condition, so when you have an unusual pain or feel strange, don’t be afraid to ask whether it’s the cause.

It’s exam week two and it’s as exciting as it sounds. I have two exams this week so once again it’s going to be a short post. I am (again) unprepared with a topic, so I’ll just ramble and see what comes out. It’s not that I don’t have some things ready, but I want to spend time and do them justice which I know I can’t do right now.

Since this is something that has been bothering me for the last few months I might as well jot it down. It’s not the most interesting of topics unfortunately but it is real and part of my daily life and that is precisely what this blog is all about. I have been getting nosebleeds, approximately once a week, for the last two months. They happen morning or night, sometimes I just wake up and it’s happening. I’m convinced it’s linked with my Sickle, but when you have a blood disorder and blood is dripping from your nose it’s pretty easy to jump to conclusions.

Since Sickle is all about the blood vessels contracting and stopping blood flow, I find it difficult to think of a medical correlation, but I also have no clue as to what else it could be. I spoke to the specialist nurse earlier today and she suggested stress as the cause. Considering this is my most relaxed exam season since I started uni and it’s never happened before I’m a little dubious. I’ll be interested to know whether it carries on post-exams, so I’ll try and remember to keep this updated.

This does bring me onto Sickle Cell and other medical problems. I know what Sickle pain feels like, I don’t know if anyone else is like this but I can get pain and quickly rule out Sickle because it just feels different. The problem is, after you’ve ruled it out, what else could it be? As someone with a long term health condition, it is difficult to know whether any extra symptoms are indications of the condition or something else entirely. I had periods of blackout vision for 2/3 years, it’s still not fully fixed but this was linked to my condition and I never would have guessed it. I’ll definitely do a post on that because I think it’s important information to anyone else with the condition – when it first happened it was definitely one of the scariest experiences of my life.

I’ve lost the point a little, but what I was trying to get across was the struggle of self-diagnosing yourself when you have a medical condition. It is especially tough when the specialists in their field (optometrists, doctors) don’t know anything enough about your condition to provide the correct diagnosis. I’ve had several experiences of this in my life, and normally it’s my mom – who was a paediatric nurse – who speaks up and gives a better suggestion. The thing is, Sickle Cell is a serious condition, so when you have an unusual pain or feel strange, don’t be afraid to ask whether it’s the cause. The worst doctor’s can do is refer you onto someone else, and don’t stop until you’re satisfied with the solution. I would have never known there’s an optometrist that specialises in Sickle Cell.

What I’m trying to remember is that blood is everywhere in your body. I know that may sound stupid, but strokes, pulmonary embolisms, thromboses, it’s all blood related. It’s not an organ but it’s powerful, and having a condition that means your blood isn’t normal means that that condition is powerful too.

I’m not sure why all my blog posts end on a depressing note. I know it’s called sufferer and all but it’s not what I intended. Hopefully next week will be cheerier.

Gravity time. What do you call the soft tissue between a shark’s teeth? A slow swimmer.

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