Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's in the blood......

Here is something that I have been thinking about
for a little while now.
Bear with me while I set it up.
Iron is very important to the body.
Being a major component of hemoglobin,
it carries oxygen to all parts of the body.
Iron also assist in oxygen utilization
within cells in every part of the body.
Iron is a very good thing.
It is a much needed thing
and too little of it is harmful to the body.
But what happens if you have too much iron in your body?
My mom has a condition called
Her body absorbs too much of a good thing.
If left untreated this extra iron would cause
her heart, liver and pancreas to fail.
The cure for hemachromatosis is phlembotomy
which is a fancy word for taking blood from the body.
Depending on the serverity,
a person with hemochromatosis
will give a pint of blood once or twice a week
for up to a year to try to get the ferritin levels in the blood
to the low side of normal.
Once the levels are controlled
a person goes on maintenance therapy
and typically gives a pint of blood every
2 to 4 months for life.
I can always tell when my mom
needs her blood drawn.
She sounds exhausted and worn out
and will sometimes tell me of a persistent pain
that she is having in a joint somewhere.
Both of these are usually the result of too much
iron build up.
Once she gives blood,
she's back to herself again.
So lately I have been thinking about the things
that I have let build up in my life.
Things that are seemingly good,
but that have begun to weigh me down and
are keeping me from my full potential.
Things that could eventually cause the failure
some important functions
that are necessary for a helathy lifestyle.
The first thing that comes to mind
is time management.
Part of my temperment is to
strive for the most fun out of life that
I can possibly get.
I'm spontaneous and adventurous.
I love anything that is fun and
brings laughter,
That's all good.
Enjoying life is important,
but too much indulgence in fun can begin to
create an unhealthy imbalance
(and dirty floors because
let me tell ya, floor mopping and laundry folding
is NOT fun or funny!).
I have had to learn (and am still learning) to give my pint of fun
every week so that my family can enjoy
a peaceful orderly home.
Another area that I thought about
was my desire to please.
Volunteering in too many places,
taking on too many responsibilities,
trying to be everything for everyone
can really begin to cause failure
in essential areas of my life.
Volunteering is great.
Social involvment is awesome,
but not when there is an imbalance
to the degree that family life suffers.
I have had to learn to give my pint of
"need to please" every week
so that I can have time to be the kind of mom
and wife that I want to be.
I am not a fan of needles at all.
I don't know if I would be as strong as my mom is
if I had to do what she does.
I know she is not a fan of needles either,
but I think she actually looks forward to
her phlebotomy because the trade off
is that she gets her energy back.
Although my personal pints aren't drawn with
a needle,
I too feel the relief that comes with making
good choices in life.....
which strangely enough is something my mom
taught me not only with her disease,
but with her life.
You are amazing mom,
and no matter how much blood they take from you,
I will always think that you are an


JOY said...

you amaze me Becca !!! XOXO

Rebecca said...

I would have loved to watch your Mom's face as she read this post. You are amazing and I agree, she is an Iron-Woman!