26 March 2010

For Once, Something Curable

I now know why I've caught every cold around this winter and am always exhausted. It turns out, I'm anaemic!

It has been a long time since I had a medical problem that is both well-understood in its pathology and easily treatable. I'm quite chuffed, really.

As anyone who has been reading this blog will have realised, sleep is a big problem for me. However, for the past three months I have been sleeping ridiculously well and I've had little to no problem falling asleep. The past few weeks have been nine or ten hours a night and the past two have also been accompanied by daytime naps of three hours' duration. Normally for me a daytime nap means irregular and broken sleep for a week.

My fingernails have been displaying a marked propensity to break and I've been dropping things and walking into doors quite a bit more than is normal for me. I had been worried about the coordination issues - tardive dyskenesia sprang immediately to mind, although I know the way that manifests itself is a bit different in reality, as did neurological damage. I read the patient insert leaflets.

What I never read on a patient insert leaflet, however, was that lithium and various of the mood stabilisers have an effect on one's B vitamin levels which in turn has an effect on one's ability to absorb iron which combined with the heavier menstruation associated with such medications can give one an increased chance of anaemia, particularly if a female of child-bearing age. Apparently, this is the case. Spread the word.

I had been very perplexed. It's spring and I have a touch of the mild manias - nothing to write home about - but I've never known mania, however mild, to combine with sleeping 12 hours a day!

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