Thursday, September 29, 2011

There's power in the blood...

This week I found out I am slightly anemic. This experience got me thinking about the first time our family got up close and personal with anemia, it happened when our daughter Abby was a senior in high school.

Abby was  a starter on her varsity basketball team, but this was  a rough season for her. After being in a game for only a few minutes she would need a sub as she was struggling with her breathing. She would sit for a few minutes and then go in for just a few more. Naturally we made several trips to the doctor that seaon. The diagnosis was that she had asthma, so numerous inhalers were prescribed. She was tired a lot of the time and also had a strange obsession with ice, she was always craving it and eating it. There was one game that really had us scared for her. She couldn't get subbed as quickly as normal and we could see her struggling to make it up and down the floor. We were ready to call time out to get her out of there. After that game, we made one more trip to the doctor and he had no answers for us. We were frustrated, we kept praying and doing all we could with drugs and breathing techniques to help her out.

Shortly after that our miracle came. Abby was doing her Anatomy and was reading about blood and blood disorders. At lunch she casually mentioned the symptoms of anemia and I realized that has to be it (big time light bulb moment!!), why didn't we see it before. So, I called the nurse and we agreed a blood test would be good. Well, as soon as the test was completed our doctor made sure to see us asap. Abby was not only anemic, she was borderline in need of a transfusion! The cool thing is Abby had just diagnosed herself.(hurray for homeschoolers!)

notice how her skin is as white as the uniform...a sign we missed...

How could we all miss something that now seemed so glaringly obvious. It was missed because we were all focusing on her breathing and previous diagnosis of asthma. We got some iron pills and started pushing the red meat on her. By the end of the season, Abby was able to play with more energy and set some personal scoring records for herself. She even survived a double overtime game! She went from being as white as her uniform to a rosy pink color when she played! (oh and by the way, the craving for ice is actually a symptom of anemia!)

As we look back on this time, we see that what Abby did during that basketball season was all God. With her levels so low, she should have been struggling getting out of bed, yet she managed to practice and play in BB games. We prayed for answers and strength for her and God answered. This week as I'm struggling with my own anemia I keep thinking about her. My levels are about 4 point higher than hers were and I'm tired, I know God was keeping her going during that time. There truly is power in the blood!!! God knew Abby's testimony on this team was important, she is one of those truly joyful people and her team needed her!! Plus what an amazing testimony of God's power working to give someone strength when they were weak.

After the double overtime win...smiling and able to play!



  1. Wow, I'm glad she figured it out! I am slightly anemic as well. A good reminder to never take our health issues lightly.

  2. Wow, I'm surprised no one ran a blood test early on. But YAY for kids who read and apply information for themselves! What a blessing. (Visiting from Company Girls)

  3. What an amazing story. And scary a year or so back, for you as a parent. I remember a time when God "showed me" what it was like for my child. . .I was a busy at-home mom with several toddlers and needed to keep to my schedule. One was sick but my thought was "I carry her to the car, I will push her in the cart, I will bring her home. . .she doesn't have to do anything!". A few days later I caught what she had. . .and didn't want to get off the couch! All of a sudden I realized that I was putting *my* needs before hers and that even just carrying her around was too much for her at the time. I've never made the same mistake. . .and am actually glad that the Lord made me sick enough to realize what I had done so it wouldn't happen again.


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