Friday, April 6, 2007

My Diagnosis Is In:
Bone Marrow Constipation

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since the flu revealed to my doctor's that it actually was the fact that I was 5 liters low on blood that cause me to be a little "lightheaded". Most people thought it was just the typical me since I've always been a little "spaced." But my hematologist, Dr. Karo Azoo has finally come up with a clinical diagnosis for the problems with my blood. His diagnosis: "I really don't know what is going on."

Now isn't that reassuring? In a way it is. My bone marrow biopsy showed nothing abnormal. No cancer, leukemia, ITP or anything like that. Basically, Dr. Azoo feels that due to the fact that my iron stores dropped to almost nothing that my body and bone marrow compensated by reducing the amount of adult blood cells that were being pushed out. Since he didn't have any hardcore pathology to work with, he chose to treat the symptoms he saw with the blood tests and basically what he chose to to is working. Again, the question is why?

Dr. Azoo isn't really sure. In all honesty he told me that there are thing in medicine that there sometimes is no answer for. And this is one of them. He feels that due to my lack of iron and vitamin B12, that my bone marrow was just constipated. So, in essence, we are calling it "bone marrow constipation."

His treatment was to give me 5 liters of blood which gave my body blood volume and platelets it desperately needed. Then he decided to give me a couple of IV's of iron which I will continue each week for a couple of more weeks to replenish my iron stores. I take alot of B12 now and am also taking iron pills. Will I absorb the pills? Dr. Azoo is hoping so and feels that since my bodys is "getting back on track" that some of the iron I was getting through absorption will keep my iron store up.

The real reason for his happiness, and mine too, is that most of my blood levels are coming back to the normal ranges. I've gone from a hemoglobin of 4.7 to 10.2, my platlet count has gone from 30,000 to 210,000. When I left the hospital after 5 liters of blood, my hemoglobin was only 80,000. So my bone marrow is now producing blood cells. Other blood levels are also rising as are my iron stores which are still low, but with a couple more IV's in the next weeks all should be OK. Then we'll wait 2-3 months using pills as the "maintenance method" and see what happens. We are both very optomistic about this.

So again, I am one for the medical books. Five years ago it was my intussusception which was the folding of my intestines which normally only happens in children and there are only about 5 cases in adults. Now it's my bone marrow which looked like mylodisplasis but it appears to be a massive iron and B12 deficiency like they've never seen before. You know, when I decide to get an ailment, I make sure it's one for the books.

Thank you to all of you who sent cards, e-mails, phone calls and even visits to me while I've been going through this. You'll be happy too know that I still feel 100% and from my perspective all is well. I never really felt sick so getting this problem taken care of just makes me better.

And to all you people who thought I was just "full of s$@!", you are wrong! I was just "bone marrow constipated!"