A Different Halloween Story

Today I’m going to tell you a different Halloween story that might make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Fade back to Monday

Three mornings ago, I checked my social media notifications and saw an odd Twitter recommendation. The tweet contained none of the usual hashtags, but reading it sparked a memory of a blood test result from a year ago. During a broad blood test that included checking for ferritin, a red flag indicated my reading was high… very high, double the ‘normal’ high. All I remembered about the talk with the doctor who discussed my blood test result was it was advisable to give blood. A second test three months later showed my ferritin level was still over the expected high number, but it decreased about 90% from the previous reading. They suggested I give blood three times a year.

Observe, gather information, then Act

My immediate reaction to the tweet about ferritin and the condition, hemochromatosis, resulted in an Internet search for more information. I was surprised to find out it can cause serious damage to the liver, pancreas, or heart if never treated. The condition is hereditary, suspected with high serum levels of ferritin, diagnosed by a positive DNA test, and treated solely by phlebotomy (blood letting or blood donation). Out of ten common symptoms, I identify with almost half.

Tuesday morning was my regular acupuncture appointment and I mentioned my ferritin levels to the acupuncturist. She also noticed the coppery color of my legs. Her suggestion was also to give blood three times annually.

Here’s the thing. My first blood donation a year ago did not go well. I was so dizzy, I almost fainted. I ‘forgot’ to do it again. Tuesday, I figured I was way past due for a blood letting. It also seemed I needed to talk to my current doctor about my concerns. Immediately after my acupuncture I took action.

  1. Dropped by my doctor’s office to book an appointment
  2. Drove to the blood bank and was able to donate almost immediately
  3. Received my cool Halloween T-shirt

Some Lessons Learned

First, always notice when something odd crosses your path. It isn’t happenstance. I believe it’s a higher power looking out for you. And who knows, maybe a cool t-shirt will be your reward. Oh and also, blood-letting and fear make for a different Halloween story.

I don’t know if I have hemochromatosis and probably won’t know for months. But I feel much better taking the initiative to follow the suggested treatment while helping others with a blood donation. It is one of the easiest ways you can help your fellow man. 

If you’re in Central Florida on December 15, 2019, I’m teaching an Introduction to Japanese Meditation class. Stay tuned for more information or even better,  sign up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll never miss a blog or an announcement.