Diagnosed in 2009 at the age of 35, Louise, now 40 shares:
I will never forget the day that finally a GP had said the word "polycythaemia" and I asked him to write down, went back to work and googled it. For years I had been battling with migraines amongst other symptoms yet no one, not even my local hospital had picked it up. I was sick of feeling unwell and being treated like I was a hyperchondriac. So this was such an amazing day because even though what followed was the realisation that I did have a chronic blood disorder, it also meant I was not going mad. AND there was help out there, I was not alone thanks to MPD voice.
Throughout my diagnosis and treatment I have remained positive and I continue to manage my illness with 75mg aspirin daily and regular venesections. I have good days and bad days and am currently struggling with low ferritin levels, but I won't be beaten and will try for as long as possible with a good diet and exercise to stay healthy and if possible drug free.
This invisible illness has at times had me in tears and feeling broken but I will always pick myself up and count my blessings that I am one of the lucky ones. There is always someone worse off and through my journey I have met some amazing and inspirational people. Last year I ran a half marathon and this year I ran a 10k and achieved a personal best. I know my body and my limits and I deal with that and the fact I’m not getting any younger. Although I would never wish to have this disorder or disease I am grateful for the growth I’ve done as a person because of it. Someone said, ‘you live with it or you wait to die from it’, and I truly believe we have one life and we need to live it. The mind is a very powerful tool and so for me remaining positive is the best medicine so far.
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