Firstly, I am grateful for all the urgent care and emergency doctors and personnel that made it possible for me to be able to write this post. Thank-you.
Now to the reason for my post. I joined Ben’s Friends to educate myself about living with my VWD and to share my experiences with others living with it, so that we may learn together. Well, this week I experienced something I never had before and had no idea it was because of my VWD. I went to urgent care because my feet had swollen up the night before. I didn’t worry about it because it has been a really long hot summer (100++
degrees F most days) and I work outside. I thought I was just severely dehydrated. I wasn’t even going to go to the doctor because I felt fine in the morning and the swelling had gone down. My husband talked me into going because as he said “We were on a plane trip last week. Maybe it’s a blood clot?”
Fast forward to many tests and X-rays later and I get sent for an emergency set of blood and iron transfusions plus DDAVP. My hemoglobin level was 4.0. No one could believe I was alive and standing. I got asked time and time again how could I not know I was THAT anemic. Honestly, I don’t know. I felt fine other than the swollen feet thing. Usually with my anemia I get pretty tired, get sunken black eyes, pale skin, the usual symptoms. This one snuck up on me with no warning and I did not know that swollen feet and legs were a sign of serious anemia. This was a lesson I learned the hard way and I am lucky to be able to share my story so that others with VWD know symptoms to look for.