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!!! email@example.com 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!)
Wow...stay healthy, Ted! It's a shame I can't take that blood off your hands...I have the EXACT opposite issue: not enough iron. Every time I go to the doc, they're like, "if only we could give you a pint of blood..." Now I can say, "well, I know this other art teacher..." ;) In all seriousness, take care of yourself! Best!ReplyDelete
Thanks Cassie! The kicker..they throw it away after testing it!!!!! Because it is connected to a "condition". The blood is perfectly fine except for the excess iron. Crazy! :) Appreciate your kindness!!!!!ReplyDelete
Good luck! And you needed to tell us- that way you get more prayers!!ReplyDelete
Wow.... I wish I had asked my doctor to have my labs taken for this. My cousin passed away from the effects of Agent Orange two years ago, but before he passed, he shared with the family that his doctor said he had some sort of hereditary liver disease. I never heard what it was. My Mom had liver ailments when she passed away, but that is not what she died from. Anyway, my prayers are with you and thank you for sharing what is going on with you. I will definitely mention to my own doctor next visit, that I would like to investigate this for myself. JanReplyDelete
Jan...ask them to look at your iron levels. For women...it often does not show up till post menopause, but it is something to keep check on. There is a genetic test as well...and I've seen where you can do it for about $100 so it isn't on your insurance.Delete
Sending prayers of love and healing, Ted!!ReplyDelete
I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but glad there is something that can be done to help you. I look forward to your devotionals every week - it does seem to me that Satan tries to attack on every side if you are doing something for the Kingdom. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers here in Iowa.ReplyDelete
Sounds like you are getting on this "early" - always a good thing!! Saying a prayer for you!ReplyDelete
Wow. I'm glad you've got a good doctor you trust, and have gotten a handle on this thing so that you hopefully can keep it under control. The bloodletting must be scary! The last time I donated blood, several years ago, everything was fine until I passed out at the cookies-and-juice table afterward, and found myself on the floor with people looking down at me. It took a long time for them to get me vertical without passing out again, and I basically felt very sick the rest of the day and was unable to do anything. I'm not a person who likes to do 'nothing' all day, and so I imagine it must be tough on you and your family for you to be going through this twice a week. But if the treatment works, it's worth it. Know that our thoughts are with you and your beautiful family!ReplyDelete
Thanks Phyl!! I get pretty tired after the blood letting...but haven't passed out or even felt like I was going to. Maybe a little tipsy! ha ha The thing is...it hurts! I know many others go through much worse..and I am thankful...truly I am. However..my veins are deep(and she said it had nothing to do with being fat...I asked..ha ha). So the puncture with the thicker needle is a bit painful. I'm looking forward to when they are not so frequent.Delete
WOW! I am sorry about your new diagnosis. Praise for finding a good doctor. Sending many prayers for getting your 'too much' iron under control. When I read that you began your blog back in 2008, I can remember finding your blog back then and began following you even before your 100th follower. I have enjoyed watching your family grow and all of the helpful hints for the art classroom. I truly enjoy your Sunday devotionals and have used several of your art lessons. Thanks, and take care.ReplyDelete
So sorry you are dealing with health issues! I've utilized and truly enjoyed your lessons, bulletin board ideas, and the addition of your Sunday devotions!ReplyDelete
Small veins run in our family of several red heads! The phlebotomists look at me like vampires-large puffy veins:) I've dealt with Rheumatoid Arthritis for many years, normally not affecting my time in the classroom (thankful for meds and rest) until I was spread too thin teaching K-12 one year because of cuts to the program. Just about killed me! After a job change, things are much better. I will sure add you to my prayers! You have a precious family.
Thanks for the encouraging words! I'm glad this place on cyber space has helped in some way!Delete
Sorry you are dealing with this. Glad they caught it now rather than later. Feel better soon!ReplyDelete
Research herbs or weeds, known to cleanse your liver ( of excess iron and toxins) , such as dandelion and milk thistle. Plants have helped me heal and God gave them to us to use. Take care.ReplyDelete
My daughter painted a plank board project for me with the words from Psalm 71:14 "I will always have hope." How wonderful to know that you look to the Lord for your strength. Thank you for this inspiring blog. I have used many of your awesome ideas in my art classes. You and your family are in my prayers.ReplyDelete