Anemia is a medical condition in which the blood lacks hemoglobin, the protein that is responsible for transporting oxygen. As a result, individuals diagnosed with it constantly feel weak and tired. I was born with thalassemia, a condition that destroys red blood cells and makes you more susceptible to getting anemia. There are many factors that cause the condition, but symptoms are consistent for sufferers.
Fun fact: 30% of the world's population is anemic.
1. Always forgetting to take your ferrous sulfate pills
My friends and family constantly hound me to eat them, in addition to the daily reminder I have set up on all of my devices, and I still manage to forget to take them most of the time. It's a bad habit considering we kind of need these to survive, you know.
2. "I'm tired" is a phrase too common to your vocabulary
I honestly say this so often that sometimes I'll straight up use it as an excuse to get out of social responsibilities. I'm not lying, though, it takes me an extraordinary amount of effort to do even the simplest of tasks because of how drained I always feel. I also apologize for constantly yawning, you're not boring, I'm just a lethargic piece of crap.
3. You dread the idea of working out
Sure, I'll be your workout buddy, you just have to put up with my constant breathlessness and need for rest breaks. I'd rather do something that involves little to no physical activity, though, so you wouldn't have to witness me panting and dying.
4. Constantly having those spontaneous shivers
You know exactly what I'm talking about — you'll be sitting in class, minding your business, and a random shiver will shoot down your body and make you tremble in the weirdest manner possible. I actually had someone sitting next to me ask me once if I was seizing.
5. Your extremities are always unusually cold
This is something I find myself having to explain a lot to people, especially when they grab my hands and ask me why they're "so cold." Because of the lack of oxygen circulating in our blood, not enough heat reaches our extremities, which in addition to hands also makes your nose, ears, and feet cold.
6. Cravings for weird ass objects
When I first started to develop anemia in middle school, I was drawn to the smells of gasoline, Wite-Out, fresh paint, Pine-Sol, the list went on. My friends looked at me like I was a druggie, but once I told my doctor she told me that this is a very common symptom of anemia, and actually is a condition termed "pica," which characterizes the craving for non-nutritive items. Some individuals actually start eating dirt to satisfy their cravings.
7. Having nosebleeds at the most random moments
I'm not sure if everyone can relate to this, but growing up I had a lot of nosebleeds, as did my twin brother who also is an anemic. I'll still have them occasionally, always at the worst times, too.
8. Sleeping for more than 12 hours and still feeling tired
There's really no difference between sleeping two hours and 15 hours for me because I'll still feel tired regardless. To top it off, caffeine exhibits no effects on me, so I just constantly look like a sleep-deprived bitch. These eye bags are Chanel, though.
9. All. Those. Damn. Blood. Tests.
I'm almost 20 years old, but I still ask for the butterfly needle (what they give to little children) at every appointment because of how much I dread needles. Like hi, your blood supply is already declining, but we'll just take out six more vials of your blood. The worst part? When they can't find your vein and start shimmying the needle around. Definitely not looking forward to my next doctor's appointment.
10. Always feeling like a brand new person when you finally do remember to take your pills
Not sure if it's my body reacting to the increased amount of oxygen in my blood, or if it's just the placebo effect, but as soon as I take my iron pill, I feel like a boss-ass bitch. I just have to remember to do that more often.