Sunday, September 18, 2011

You Can Teach an Old Dog!

  Hurray for me (as she pats herself on the back), I think I just created a blogspot!  We'll see when I finish this and try to post it ;)  Thanks to Cheryl and Heidi for "tweaking" me, and to Linda for her expertise.  I'm still learning how to navigate the tech world, and can use all the help I can get.  No kids or grandkids to teach me!

  So this is where you tell stories and share your world, huh?  Where do I start?  How about with the basics:  I spent much of my first 47 years in and out of hospitals and getting fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate and whole blood transfusions.  Over 20 surgeries, including a total hysterectomy at age 31, before 4 miscarriages.  Nobody guessed I could have a bleeding disorder, because I'm female.   We're talking the 50's and 60's here, when knowledge about women with bleeding disorders was almost non-existent.  I was often asked if hemophilia was in my family, and always replied no, but my dad was called a "freebleeder"  (that's a kind've old-fashioned, country term.  Dad died at age 47 from an intracranial hemorrhage, probably from an undiagnosed bleeding disorder). 

  It took a dentist in 1998 to tell me he thought I should get a test to see if I might have a hereditary bleeding "problem", and lo and behold, that's one more reason to get your dental checkups!  All of those docs missed it all those years.  I've always bled in and around my mouth /tongue/gums (no, not because I talk a lot!), and always thought it was because I bit myself or brushed too hard. Wrong!  And always bled with dental visits too, especially when they use those metal probes.   I was even hospitalized for 11 days when I had my wisdom teeth extracted (no wonder I'm tech-challenged!), because they couldn't stop my bleeding.  Turns out that spontaneous mucosal bleeds are one of the symptoms of my bleeding disorder.  I'm forever grateful to that lovely little man for his wisdom in getting me diagnosed. 

  My current dentist has totally embraced anything I've explained to him about my disorder, and he's learned new ways to give injections to me too, since they have to be given a special way in the mouth for us, to limit bleeding.  I get my teeth cleaned 3 times a year because I develop a lot of tartar...can't stand feeling like I have mittens on my teeth!  And my hygienist is a total pro too, and works carefully around the gums so I don't bleed.  And I ALWAYS treat with factor before my appointments.  Kudos to the dental community!

   Am I off to a good start?  Anybody following me yet besides me?!  We'll see...!