I'll try and keep this brief. I really don't want to distract from my SCA topics, but at the same time, I have had a lot of people ask about this. As most of you know I underwent surgery six months ago for hemolitic anemia. The hope was that removing my spleen would alleviate the problem.
Well, six months out, and it seems that that is not what happened. I am jaundice again, though this time at a greatly reduced rate. The most telling feature if the whites of my eyes, which are yellow on the outside edges and moving in towards the iris. However, let me point something out, before my surgery, I it would take me less than three weeks to get this bad, and according to my last doctor's visit (three weeks ago) my hemoglobin (the red stuff that carried oxygen to my body from my longs) is still much, much higher than before the surgery.
It looks like my body will probably always be at war with itself. My immune system is still destroying Red blood cells, which is more or less what it was before before. HOWEVER... it is now doing it without a spleen. Practically speaking, we just hamstrung its ability to accidentally kill me. Before, the spleen was doing between 85% and 95% of the blood destruction. Without the prednisone, I would have probably suffocated on dry ground in less than six months. Now, whatever my body is doing, its doing it with a fraction of the ability it had before.
Now, the hematologist is thinking that my body may reach, or may already have reached some point of equilibrium where it can match the rate of red blood cell destruction with its own increased rate of hemoglobin production. If that turns out the be the case, I may spend the rest of my life with a slightly yellow ting to go with my scar and the bumps on my head (if you don't know what the bumps are all about, just ask). But let me tell you, even now, I feel ready to take on the word, so this is not the life altering, just-been-hit-with-a-baseball-bat type affair that it was before.
We don't know all the details yet, but the simple fact that I am not buttercup yellow from head to foot, and drop-dead-tired all the time (I've been off the medication for over 5 months now) tells me that even if this is something that never goes away, we are not talking about the life threatening cluster$&@! that it was before. (pardon my language, but that's how I really feel about a lot of that mess right now).
I know a lot of people saw me at 30th year, and saw that I wasn't doing so good. Let me alleviate a lot of fears now. First of all, I wasn't 100% to begin with, I'm about a third of the way to loosing the 97 pounds that the steroid hung on me while I was taking it, so that wasn't the best of circumstances. Second, as everyone who was there knows, it was bloody hot. I've never been particularly at home in the heat, but with everything else, medical, social, logistical and whatnot, the heat was the extra nail in the coffin. Simply put, 30th was rather scary for me, and very punishing. I didn't know how much of my pain and fatigue were due to a deteriorating situation and how much was due to me not being ready for the heat. with two weeks recovery time, I now now that it was more heat than anything else.
In any event, I am more or less healthy, and ready to make a hell of a splash as the Nordsteorra herald.
Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"