Life is full of challenges. On top of other things, I suffer from haemochromotosis – which is too much iron. Having too much iron can make you as fatigued as being anaemic. Also excess iron can cause major damage to vital organs such as the liver and heart. I have blood taken off every three months to help keep this at a tolerable level, but I have to go to the hospital for this treatment due to my other complications! The process is tiring for me – removing blood removes the oxygenated cells from my body and my body doesn’t get great oxygen at the best of times, and because of that they only take half the amount of blood they normally would.
However every time I go to this appointment, I’m almost always overwhelmed by how fortunate I am. The Medical Day Unit I go to is where people are having oncology treatments such as chemo. On Fridays it is always busy … to overflowing, with people being treated before the weekend. There can sometimes be a bit of a delay before I am seen and this time was no exception. The nurses were so apologetic. I didn’t nor do I ever mind. I always pick a Friday afternoon so I don’t have to go back to work and have the weekend to rest up and recover. When I sit there looking around me, I’m just reminded that I’m actually quite lucky. Overhearing the conversations between patients, they’re all so good about their lot. They joke and banter with the nurses and doctors. It is quite humbling. The least of my worries is not being seen to immediately. What’s a bit of bad blood compared to cancer? There are people here who need the nurses’ attention and care before my little procedure.
I’m grateful for how stable my health is, long may it stay that way. I’m also grateful for the staff we have in these units. The front line staff of our hospitals are pretty wonderful, no matter how tired and pressured they are.