I’m thankful to be Alive

by

Parents, please note that this following post may be a little too grown up for younger children.

So if you’ve been following me regularly, you’ve probably noticed that my blog posts have been rather sporadic throughout this whole year. Even when I’ve been home with enough time to post on my blog, I haven’t kept it up nearly as regularly as I used to, and I’ve seemed to get less and less enthused about blogging at all. Its not that I don’t love this blog, because I really and truly do. I love to share all the awesome sets, video games, and LEGO creations by friends and fans around the world. I love attending and covering all the LEGO Conventions that I go to each year. Building with LEGO and writing this blog all about LEGO isn’t just a job for me, its a passion.

But something has been off this year. It really started months ago, probably around March, when something in my personal life started interfering with my professional life. I didn’t really pay attention at first, it was affecting my health, but I didn’t know what it was and as I don’t have a “normal” job, I don’t have insurance either. So I didn’t think about going to the doctor. I’ve always been pretty healthy and even when I had insurance, I rarely went.

I thought that whatever was happening would get better on its own, I really did. I even joined a gym, because despite me being overweight, I actually do love to work out. So when I felt good, I would go and work out. I used to work out 2-3 times a week for eight years doing Capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) so even though I haven’t worked out in a few years, I know how to work out properly.

But as the months have passed, I’ve been getting worse, not better. It would go in cycles, I’d not feel like doing anything, then I’d get better, then I’d go back to not feeling well.

In mid-August I got pretty sick for a couple of weeks, but again I eventually got better, so I thought I was doing okay.

But then, about mid October, I started not feeling good again and this time it didn’t go away. I felt less and less like me. Less energy, less of everything, including interest in my work.

Well, I had finally had enough of being sick, so I finally made an appointment to see a doctor this last Tuesday. After a really (and I mean really, really) bad weekend of feeling totally lethargic I got to the clinic at 8 am sharp. From the moment I walked in they could see something was wrong. I was light headed and very short of breath. My heart was pounding in my ears with an intense roar that didn’t bode well.

The first thing they did was check my blood pressure, which I could have told them even without the test was high. Then they tested my hemoglobin — the amount of red blood cells in my body. It was low — lower than the RN checking me had ever seen in 20 years of practice.

She said “You are literally bleeding to death. You need a blood transfusion. Get to the Emergency Room right now.”

It shook me to my core. I knew I was sick, I knew that my blood levels were low — the loss of color in my face last weekend was a big clue. But I had no idea, none at all, that they were at life threatening levels.

The ER doctor told me that if I hadn’t have been so relatively healthy otherwise, I would have been in even worse shape than I was. I needed not one, but two pints of blood.

Luckily there was no one else in the ER that morning, and it was early when I started the day. Because I spent the entire day, all the way till about 4 or 5 pm at the hospital getting the blood I needed to start on my road to recovery.

So this Thanksgiving has very special meaning to me. I still don’t know fully what’s wrong, and I’m not anywhere near back to normal — that’s for other doctor visits and tests in the future — but I’m thankful, more than thankful, grateful to be alive to see this Thanksgiving.

Hopefully whatever it is can be found and cured. And I still have to take it easy. Even with the transfusion, I’m still at only 2/3rds the amount a person should have. So although I’m not at Death’s door, I still have a long way to go.

So even though I will keep up with this blog when I can, I have to let my health come first right now. Thank you all for reading my blog, following me on Twitter and Facebook, and for just being there. You make this all worthwhile. I feel bad when I don’t have a post for you to read, and I love hearing from you when I do. I’m not giving up, not after all the years I’ve put into this, but I’ve got to slow down till I get better.

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving! :)

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12 Responses to “I’m thankful to be Alive”

  1. Jen Hoffmann & Jenny Johnson Says:

    So sorry to hear, but thankful indeed that you are better since the transfusion. We hope you get well soon! Jen & Jenny from BrickFair VA

  2. TheBrickBlogger Says:

    Mariann, gosh, that sounds scary. Please take care of yourself. Everything else is secondary. Wishing you a speedy recovery! And you are a Capoeira gal? That’s just awesome! :)

  3. Joshua Hanlon Says:

    I hope you get better soon, Mariann! I really enjoy it when you post on your blog!

  4. Kenneth Wright Says:

    Mariann – health before anything else. Take care of yourself, and at least (once in a while) post how things are coming along for you. I’ve always followed your blog (and even been a customer) because of the wonderful LEGO things you do. Now I will follow it just to hope and see if you are feeling better. Stay on top of things and you’ll be ok. Thinking of you and wishing you the best. Kind Regards, Ken

  5. bricktales Says:

    Hey Mariann,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re not doing well. Thank goodness you went to the doctor in time. Will be praying for a full recovery.

    Bruce

  6. John Stryker Says:

    Mariann,
    Get well soon! Looking forward to seeing your latest creations at Brickworld in June.

    John

  7. magpieschest Says:

    Mariann,
    I can only really echo Kenneth’s thoughts – health first.
    When I started out your blog was one of the first that I picked up on and have enjoyed all your posts – and will no doubt enjoy more when you feel you are able.
    I hope that a cure can be found, but enjoy what you have now (even if it is only 2/3…. that’s a lot more than what it was).
    Kindest regards and best wishes
    David

  8. 316danny Says:

    Oh my gosh – I hope you’re OK. With any luck, they’ll be able to figure it out, correct it, and get you back to normal quickly. Get well soon and keep us in the loop as you get better.

  9. Beth Says:

    I was a regular reader, but got behind for the last 5 months because of health issues for me and for my Mom who’s battling melanoma. I’m so sorry to read what you’ve been through, and I truly hope your health is getting better and better. Pleasepleaseplease take care!

    • Mariann Asanuma Says:

      Beth, thankfully I am much, much better! Thank you for your concern. Hopefully your mom will have as swift a recovery. :)

  10. Gabriel Thomson Says:

    Far out, that sounds scary Mariann! I hope that you make a full recovery soon. Look after yr health before anything else hey, that’s certainly nothing to apologise about. :)
    ps. I used to do Capoeira too! Wish my knees could still cope with it, heh!

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