Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gallbladder problems

So, my gallbladder has been bothering me a lot lately. Not a full on Gallstone attack because those are brutal but Ive been uncomfortable and queasy. 
Today I threw up outside of the bank and at the grocery store so that was interesting but that's what happens when you have gallstones. Now as for how to solve this here are my options:

I can keep the damn thing and just live with the attacks. The problem with that is its safe to say the attacks will eventually get worse and more frequent and its possible that a stone could get lodged in one of the ducts and that could cause infection and all kinds of problems.

The other option is I can get the gallbladder removed. The problem with that is of course surgery for anyone is risky but especially for me, I am a bleeder and I have no concentrate factor. The other problem with that in my mind is that I've never had surgery before and I've always been told I can't have surgery. Never tell a child they can't do something because here's the thing, they will believe you! So many things I do or don't do in my life are based on things that people told me when I was a child that are really not even true but they are so ingrained in my mind. 

The other option is taking the medicine that will dissolve the stones. The problem with that is I'm not crazy about all of the side effects of the drug and once you stop taking the drug the stones will just come back. So at the moment I am not sure what to do. 

My plan of action is to consult with the surgeon in April, consult with my Hemophilia clinic in March and consult with the GI specialist in May. Normally I always side with whatever my Hemophilia clinic says I feel like they know me the best and have the most experience with my particular situation. Of course I'll be praying and consulting with the man upstairs too!

I'm curious has anyone in the bleeding disorder community had this problem?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Old woman winter

So, the winter is always a rough time for me, February in particular. The winter is just long and cold and hard on the body. Anyways, my latest trouble has been with my gallbladder. I started getting pain about a week ago and went to my doctor. On physical examination he decided it would be best to get an ultrasound. The ultrasound didn't really show us anything we didn't know. I have gallstones and they bother me every now and then. Right now the action plan is to follow up with a GI specialist and see if they can maybe dissolve them with medication or break them up small enough so that they can be passed.
Another wonderful development we noticed is that my blood is raised. Its normally 120/80 always all the time forever but lately its been 150/91, 138/85 so I am going to be put on a 24 blood pressure monitor and then we will go from there.
In the meantime I am going to get on with my life as much as possible. The best thing for gallbladder problems is a clean healthy diet including BEETS! Beets are wonderful for the gallbladder so I've been roasting them and eating them as much as I can.
So if you have gallstones and can't get them removed please let me know and I'd be happy to share my beet recipe with you, its so good they barely taste like dirt.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hemos Unite!

So, I had the pleasure of talk with Matti Vann a weeks back and I am so excited to listen to the finished product.
Matti Vann is the mother of a Hemophiliac, activist, and all around great person. She was so kind to have me on her show and has inspired me to get back to blogging more.
To learn more about Hemos Unite, please visit
You can listen to me blabbing on about hemophilia on her site as well.
I love talking about Hemophilia its one of the only topics I feel like an expert on and I love the idea of helping others just by doing something as simple as sharing my story.
I love volunteering and speaking at events and I honestly wish there was an opportunity to do more of it.
In the meantime I am still dealing with the gallbladder pain and I had an ultrasound tomorrow. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to get the results so we shall see what he has to say. Until then I will enjoy listening to the podcast!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

slight setback

So, I've been complaining lately that I haven't been able to blog in a while so today my body hast decided to act up on me. Sunday, I started having stomach pain and by today it was so bad I had to go to the doctor. He said that its a gallstone attack so I am off to the doctor tomorrow to get an ultrasound. 
I've had gallstones since I was 12 years old and I am so lucky that I've only had about half a dozen attacks in my life. The thing is my hematologists don't want to remove my gallbladder unless its absolutely necessary. So as long as I'm only having a few minor attacks here and there I think I will hang on to them. In the meantime I am very uncomfortable and I'm really looking forward to getting this ultrasound so we can see if the stones are blocking something and then we can decide what to do from there. Last time I was given a blood transfusion and antibiotics so in the grand scheme of things not the end of the world. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

I'll have a blue Christmas without you...

So, my husband and I just finished putting up our first Christmas tree in our new house! We have a fire place to hang the stockings, a big living room for the tree and a beautiful mantel for the nativity scene. We are beyond blessed and I am very much looking forward to Christmas. Yet, I find myself feeling homesick every Christmas.
Perhaps this little joke will explain it:

"How do you tell which people are Newfoundlanders in Heaven?"

"They are the only ones who want to go home."

It's certainly not logical to long for a place that is 3000 miles away. It is cold and windy and damp and dreary. It costs more than 1000$ to get there and the journey is treacherous but every Christmas I miss "home."
I guess if you do the same thing every year for Christmas for 25 years then no matter what you do its just different, not bad but different.
They say that once you leave home you can never really go back and I guess its true. 
Even if I were to go home now its not the same, time has passed, and people near and dear to me have passed away. 
One of the things that bothers me the most is the main reason why we don't travel to Newfoundland for Christmas is because of my Hemophilia. 
One year we travelled home and I had a cyst rupture and bleed. I was in pain, I was bleeding internally and all the doctor in Stephenville would do, and this is the honest to gods truth, is give me a shot of vitamin K. It did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It was a nightmare. 
It was very scary for both me and Zane and thus we haven't returned to Newfoundland for Christmas since.
This year, has also been challenging,we've had two family members diagnosed with illnesses and of course my health hasn't been perfect either.
I am praying that Christmas will be wonderful and continue on into the new year! In the meantime I am gonna focus on all the good things we have in our lives.

A picture of Zane and I during our last visit to Stephenville for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Glorious and FREE

So, today I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Matti Vann. She is an mother of a hemophiliac and is doing an amazing job to raise awareness about Hemophilia! You can read and hear all about her and what she is working on at her website at 
We discussed so many things and I feel like I could write 20 blog posts about our conversation but one thing that certainly stood out for me today was our heath care here in Canada.
Today is of course Remembrance Day here in Canada and I did find myself bragging about our medical system a little bit. I know that our system isn't person and I will admit that I know very little about the Medical system in the US but I will say that knowing I can get the medical care I need without worry of how I will pay for it is a blessing. 
I have many Hemophiliac friends in the US and it seems to me that if you have insurance you are good to go but if you are a Hemophiliac without insurance is can be very difficult. 
I hate the thought of Hemophiliacs suffering especially when they are suffering just because they don't have money.
I have heard horror stories from Hemophiliacs all over the world and I have my own,No health care systems are perfect but hopefully we will one day live in a world where all Hemophiliacs have access to care.
I must say talking to Matti really fired me up and got me excited about volunteering and all that good stuff. 
I was feeling a bit burnt out there for a while but I'm starting to think I'm ready to get back into soon. 
I look forward to sharing the finished product of the pod cast with y'all soon.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Winter Blues

So, Winter has begun here in Calgary. Heavy, sloppy, wet snow starting falling on Saturday and hasn't stopped until late Sunday afternoon. Winter is a difficult time for me. Every time I leave the house I feel like I am at risk of falling, which for me is a big deal. Last winter I fell down when I was in Newfoundland and I ended up with a very bad, very painful calf bleed. 
I try to be as careful as I can I wear heavy duty winter boots but sometimes it just isn't enough. Even just slipping can cause muscle pain for a long time for me. 
The winter can also be isolating and depressing. Its harder for everyone to get out and the nights are longer. 
Most Hemophiliacs that I know say their health is worse in the wintertime and I have to say my visits to the hospital go up quite a bit in the winter.
This year I am trying to be a bit more proactive I am starting a diet tomorrow and a workout routine that I hope will keep me healthier mentally and physically over the winter. 
If that doesn't work I guess I will just have to move to Hawaii!