Hey friends, blog followers, and random people that happened upon my piece of cyber space...can I take a moment to get personal with you? If no...then ya may wanna click out of here now. When I started Art With Mr. E back in 2008....I never intended to share anything about my personal life. This was going to be strictly art & art ed content. I realized though...I just couldn't do that. I have a life outside of my classroom...I have interests outside of art...I am a husband, father, and friend. And somehow...that has connected me to you over the years.
I wanted to share something that is going on in my life now. I feel like there might be some out there that are experiencing something like this in their own life...and it is impacting every area.
I was just diagnosed with a genetic condition called heredity hemochromatosis. With it...the body does not get rid of iron like "normal" people. It builds up in the liver, heart, joints..and other organs. It then starts to destroy them. My Aunt Barb passed away this past summer due to complications from hemochromatosis. I also found out my grandfather(passed before I was born) died of liver issues(most likely the same condition). When I went in for my annual physical in Dec, I asked them to pay attention to my iron levels. Sure enough...there it was. I just saw the hematologist this week...and he is AWESOME. My prognosis is good. I am going to see some other doctors over the next couple weeks to make sure there is not already organ damage. My liver numbers are a little high...so we shall see. I may have to get a liver biopsy. Over all though..the doctor says if I keep up with my treatment & revamp my diet...I should be able to have a normal life expectancy with few complications.
Oh...the treatment...see this bottle below.....
As of right now...I have to go twice a week for three months and give 500mL of blood! Yep..blood letting!!! It is one of only three conditions where blood letting is a "thing"! ha ha AND NO...PET LEECHES ARE NOT A PART OF THE PLAN!(they only drink about 50mL at most). After about three months..they hope to have my number down & I will go in less frequently for phlebotomy.
So...I share this because I know there are others out there that have medical issues going on in their life. How do you balance your health, family, and teaching?!? It isn't easy, but when you are faced with a situation like this...your priorities seem to come into focus! I struggle...I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to my art program!! However, ya gotta let go the tight reign...and find beauty in the imperfections. Things might not always be as organized, prepared, or to your normal liking...but the kids just need you to be there for them and do your personal best. Hmm...how many times do you say that to the kids.
If you are going through anything like me....please know you are not alone!! If you need to talk about it...vent...whatever.....E-MAIL ME!!! firstname.lastname@example.org I may not have answers, but I can listen...and try to encourage you in the midst of your situation!!!!
(PS...This condition often goes undiagnosed. Dr. will often look at the symptom & not consider the cause. I've heard of situations where someone has cirrhosis of the liver..and the doctor believes they are an alcoholic! Diabetes, join issues, and a whole lot more can be caused by this...look into it!)