A Case of Neglect

Oops! Road Sign


It was just iron.  I’ve had iron-deficiency anemia for most of my life.  I was once turned away from donating blood because they told me, “You are anemic.”   But I knew my iron was low since at least the start of 2013 – mostly around 7.4 [normal = 11.7 – 15.5].

I had made a few irregular attempts to correct my low levels.   Like taking Blackstrap Molasses, eating more beets, and eating more brown rice and lentils.  All of which would perk up my blood levels, but were not done consistently.

My hematologist [blood doctor] would suggest blood transfusions each time I saw her.  I refused, afraid of what might happen.  I’d had 11 successful transfusions between 1977 and 1979.  But this was a different time.  New germs [my thinking]?  But months passed and I let improving the iron slip into the background of my busy days.

It seems crazy to have to share this experience with you all, since I wrote to you about homeostasis, in this Blog, on January 23, 2013.  I should have done better.  Here is part of “Balancing Act”:

Homeostasis means keeping conditions inside the body balanced within certain limits; within a certain range.  No matter what is going on outside the body, things inside must remain stable.  Sure, they can change a bit, but not too much or too little.  If conditions go too high or too low outside their limits, over time, the body is thrown out of balance.

When balance is lost and the cause is not corrected, over time, this makes it easy for a person to get sick; it lays the foundation for every disease.  Some of the things that need to stay in balance include oxygen and breathing; heart-beat and blood pressure; the amount of water in the body; body temperature;   acidity or alkalinity [pH]; blood levels of glucose [sugar], and other needed nutrients [like carbohydrates, essential fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals – like iron]; and the amount of waste products present. 

Every organ-system in the body [like the circulatory system, immune system, nervous system, etc.] helps to keep all these things in balance.  

Don’t neglect any imbalance – things being too high or too low [or too much or too little].  The body tolerates it – for a while.  But bit by bit it’s damaging some part or parts of the body.  Whether your imbalance is blood pressure, dehydration, fats, sugar, iron, not enough rest, or something else, deal with it quickly and consistently.  Or, disease will not be far behind.

Prime example: me.  Last week I landed in hospital with a diagnosis of mild congestive heart failure, and several other associated diagnosis.  I had swelling from my toes into my hips.  Very scary business.  Considering all the things that were now wrong with me, I told my husband, “If  I didn’t know God, and that He can do anything, I would cry.”  Probable cause for my heart failure?  Very low iron-deficiency anemia over time.  Because of the low iron, my poor heart muscles had to pump extra blood to make up for the lesser amounts of oxygen that the blood could carry [the more iron, the more oxygen the blood can carry].  And muscles need iron to work well [so do the brain and immune system].

What was a simple and treatable condition, became one of much damage [to heart muscle], suffering, loss of time and money.  Prevention and correction are way easier to deal with. 

So dear ones out there in cyber world, do not neglect any excesses or deficiencies in your body.  Don’t laugh them off or take time in treating them.  Homeostasis is no joke.  The body can shut us down or take us out of this life if we neglect it.  OK?

So grateful  that God kept me through this crisis.  See you next time.


Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence


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