There used to be a big blue book in my parent's room when I was a kid that was filled with the most glorious information a little hypochondriac could ever ask for. It was like the Encyclopedia Brittanica of WebMd. On steroids.
My favorite part of the book, and the part I looked at almost daily, was the symptom checker. You start with a simple symptom, answer yes and no questions while following arrows, depending upon your answers. Ultimately it ends up at a diagnosis. Sweet freedom for a hypo.
There was one particular day(s) that I was concerned about some symptoms I was experiencing and like the smart 9 year old that I was, I took those symptoms to "The Book". After answering the many questions and following a maze of arrows throughout the entire book, my diagnosis became clear.
Sickle Cell Anemia.
I handled it ok but quickly knew I needed support. I took The Book with me for verification and presented my family with the news. What I didn't expect was how they would take it. Tears? Of course, I thought. LAUGHTER? Now how dare they. I was dying a slow painful death and I get LAUGHTER?
After a brief explanation of my "heritage", I find that this particular diagnosis may not quite fit my symptoms and I dive back in to The Book. This became a daily affair.
Fast-forward to this week.
I make a bagel pizza for lunch and a few bites into it, I realize someone must have emptied the salt-shaker on it. Saaaaaaaaalllllllltttttyyyyyy. Whew. Couldn't finish it.
Decide to snack on some Sun Chips instead. Well DANG. Which one of my kids got a hold of the salt-shaker and how did they get into the chips stored on top of the fridge?
Then dinner rolls around and I am so very excited that 1) Kara made dinner and 2) it's my all-time fave: manicotti and 3) I'm absolutely starving because I didn't each lunch. First bite in, I look around to see who's figured it out with me. I don't see any other looks. A few more bites in and I'm glancing for the salt-shaker. Seriously, who is playing this mad prank on me? Still, no one else notices the saltiness like I do, so as not to make Kara feel bad, I keep on trucking.
Later when I put 2 and 2 together and realize this may not be normal, I go to Mr.Web. Not quite as good a friend as The Book, but he'll do. And he again pulls through for me. A diagnosis. I presented Carter with the news because I knew I needed support on this one.
I didn't want to die a slow, painful, salty death alone.
So I accepted the truth.
I have an abnormal depletion of body fluids. Did you hear that? Abnormal.
Folks, I'm dehydrated. There, I said it.
Surely it wasn't because the only thing I had drunk for a few days had been coffee and Coke.
The treatment plan is harsh, but I'm willing to do anything to keep myself alive and salt-free. I must drink excessive amounts of water. Grueling and painful, but I'm a fighter and I'll fight this disease with everything that's within me.