I’ve been injected with radioactive blood! This of course was done by a doctor, at a well-renowned hospital. For the last three weeks, I have been to five doctor’s appointments because I have been diagnosed with polycythemia. For those of you who don’t know what that is, don’t feel bad because I had no idea what it was until it was explained to me by my doctors. The quickest explanation I can offer is that polycythemia is the opposite of anemia, so where an anemic produces too little blood, a polycythemic produces too much blood. Now when I heard that I thought, perhaps like some of you are thinking now, “Isn’t producing a lot of blood a good thing?”. Turns out, surprise, it is not the best thing for your body.
Essentially my blood is thicker than that of an average person, and while polycythemia is by no means even close to the worst thing a person can be diagnosed with, it can lead to some health risks if untreated. Upon speaking with my doctors and doing further research, polycythemia could led to severe headaches, general fatigue, and as the polycythemic grows older risk the chance for stroke if untreated. But I am getting treated so no worries! One of the medical appointments I have been to for this was this Friday at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center where my blood was pumped full of radiation like the Hulk.
Since this radiation has entered my system I have gotten only compliments from everyone who passes me on the streets. Women swoon when they see my muscles, and men cower at my hulking frame! I mean just look at this incredibly powerful bicep and tremble!
(Courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary; Image next to “Noodle Arms”)
Now that you’ve all witnessed the terror I instill in the minds of men with your own eyes it is probably time to explain just exactly how and why I have radiation coursing through my veins. With polycythemia there are two types: primary and secondary. Primary polycythemia is where your body naturally has a problem in the production of red blood cells; Secondary polycythemia is where an underlying condition is responsible for the problem of red blood cell overproduction. Due to the novelty of my diagnoses, it is still unclear if I have primary or secondary polycythemia, so one of the tests I’ve had to take to help figure that out is a Red Blood Cell Mass & Plasma Volume test at the Nuclear Medicine department of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
Since this test fascinated me and gave me superhuman good looks I wanted to describe it here. The test began with one of the nurses drawing a good amount of blood out of my right arm. The doctor explained that first they would draw this blood from me, and then I would have to wait about an hour for them to radiate the blood or “tag it” as she put it. So after the blood was drawn my mom and I made our way down to the hospital cafe and just hung around for an hour and a half until I was brought back in to another room. Here the doctor explained that they were going to now put the irradiated blood fully back into my body through my right arm. She explained that the radiation would stay in my system for two days (The subtext in her voice was obvious, she might as well have said “Take advantage of how glorious you will be for this short amount of time”). So after they pumped my arm full of my nuclear blood I was told that they would draw blood from my left arm every ten minutes for thirty minutes. So thirty minutes later, my left arm was wrapped up like a mummy and I was free to go home to await the results.
I will not hear back from my doctor for another two weeks, so until then I remain in the dark about what the next step in my treatment will be. However, as of this moment I only have about 24 hours remaining with this radiation inside of me and I must make the most of it! Thank you for reading this and have a nice day.