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I was diagnosed with hemolytic anemia last month but I know that it's been going on since at least the end of July. From the last week of July onward I had extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid pulse rate, headaches, and I could hear the pulse in my ears (very annoying). The doctor I talked to in August said that she couldn't see anything wrong with me and told me to check in with my family doctor if it didn't get better.

It didn't get any better and finally in October I went to see my family doc. (I had gone mini*golfing with my family and had to sit down after every hole....knew something was really wrong then!). Anyway, a quick blood test and within two hours I found out I was anemic. They thought it was the "usual" sources...low iron, low B12, low folate, pernicious anemia....etc. Finally, all tests came back normal except for things like bilirubin (my eyes were yellow at that point), and they couldn't type & cross my blood easily. Also, the blood slides showed evidence of hemolysis happening.

I see an internist who has consulted with a hemotologist throughout this case. The hemotologist is happy with the prednisone treatment. Only if it doesn't work will they consider a splenectomy. I've done some research and it sounds like a reasonable option. It's just that all the treatments for this are not nice. The prednisone definately has long term side effects and my doc has already told me that he expects to have me on it for another 5 to 7 months. The other drugs (like azathioprine, etc) have very unpleasant side effects.

Personally, I don't know what I'd do if the prednisone stops working. I went from hemoglobin levels of 6.3 to 7.2 to 9.9 to 10.4 in the past 3 weeks on the prednisone. But, I am being tapered now and I don't know if I'll get to 12.0 for a while.

I guess I'll make a decision when the time comes. I have been very careful with myself and trying not to borrow trouble [B]yet[/B]. I am starting to do some research on more holistic approaches to this disease. I think I mentioned in the previous post that I need to address things like stress management and making sure I don't get fatigued....I'm a high school teacher and often am run ragged during the school year. I also plan to going to a naturopath or homeopath to look at dietary approaches to the disease.

Anyway, it's good to talk to another person about this disease. So many people haven't heard of it. Hopefully we won't have to consider comparing notes on our spleen removal!!!!

Cheers,
Jackie





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