In my last blog I mentioned my phobia of needles and injections... this is something I have had since being a child (when I had to have what seemed like hundreds of injections to check for various allergies). Over time this phobia has got worse and I have to act against what my mind is telling me when I need to have any injections!
A couple of weeks after my third miscarriage I had to have my first blood test for about twenty years (I last had one when I was about 11 or 12 years old). I went to the Doctor's for a check up in relation to the miscarriage and mentioned that I was having dizzy spells so the Doctor thought it would be a good idea to have a blood test to check that all was ok.
I arranged to go and took my husband with me for moral support. I absolutely freaked out when I had to have it, I don't think my husband could get his head round my over the top reaction! lol! If you've got a phobia you'll know where I'm coming from... you know it's irrational, you know that your body is over reacting but still you behave in a dramatic way! My whole body was shaking, my palms were sweating and I couldn't sit still. After a few attempts they did manage to get the blood they needed and I thought that would be the end of it.
All but one result was fine which was the liver functioning test... so the Doctor said unfortunately it would mean going back for another test the following week. I spent the whole week worrying... thinking there was something wrong with my liver and knowing I needed another test. (If only someone could have told me that liver functioning often changes after a traumatic event and then returns to normal)!
The following week I went on my own for a blood test (I know this isn't a big deal for most but it was a big deal for me). I drove down to the Health Centre reciting 'I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me' :-) and praying that the waiting room would be empty so I didn't have to sit and wait and panic. Praise the Lord it was! But I still had to go and have the test... as you can see from me typing I lived to tell the tale ;-) but at the time found it quite traumatic and I had to be held down by one phlebotomist whilst the other did the test! The test result this time came back normal though so that was good and I thought that would be the end of blood tests/ injections for quite sometime... maybe, I thought, next time would be when I got pregnant and the pregnancy continued (which would make the tests a bit more bearable)!
In about August time after the dust had settled after the miscarriage, I returned to the Doctors to ask if there was anything that could be done to look into why I had had two miscarriages and to prevent a third. The Doctor's at my Doctor's Surgery are very helpful and friendly which is a real blessing as I was at a different surgery a while ago where they weren't at all! The Doctor explained that I would need to wait until I had three miscarriages before being referred to a gynecologist... explaining that as miscarriages were common it was likely that my next pregnancy would be fine. However, she was happy to send me for some more blood tests to check for common problems that may cause miscarriages (which is one of the first things the gynecologist would do anyway). This included blood sugar levels, blood count, antibodies, thyroid functioning etc.
I decided that despite my massive dislike of needles I would go ahead with the tests as this would help me and my hubby move towards our dream of having a baby. Again I prayed and recited Bible verses on the way to the Health Centre to have the tests. However, this time I went in the waiting room and it was full to the rafters! My heart sank but I knew I had to get the tests done. God did provide an elderly man next to me in the waiting room though who could see that I was visibly worried... so he said he would tell me a few jokes. This eased my fears sitting listening to jokes whilst I waited. This man didn't know it but his kindness gave me strength! (I strongly believe that there are times in our life when God uses us to bring kindness in to other peoples' lives to bring them strength and we may not ever know the impact of our words and actions)!
I had the blood tests (I think there were 5 pots in total that needed to be filled), again it took a few attempts with me moving my arm away as the needle came towards me, but in the end I got there! I was asked to ring the Doctor's Surgery for the results in a week's time. I waited a week and rang the Doctor's surgery and was happy to be told by the Clerk that all the results had been returned normal... what I hadn't realised was there was one more result that hadn't come back yet!
About a week later, I was sat having an evening meal with my husband when the phone rang. I recognised the voice but couldn't place her... yes I'm sure you've guessed, it was my Doctor! She explained that something had been shown in relation to my blood and that I would be referred to haematology. I was told not to worry but that this might be the reason behind my miscarriages and that simply taking a low dose aspirin might prevent future miscarriages! Well that sounded too easy... and it was!
In early November 2010, I had my appointment at haematology. What I now know is for every appointment at haematology, it is standard practice to have a blood test! Great! I have come to think over the last few months that God does not want us to live a life filled with irrational fears and so one way or another at some point you may be required to face your fears and to overcome them! I wouldn't have chosen to but as you will see I don't have a great deal of choice!
I went to see the consultant. The consultant I would usually see wasn't in so I saw a different one. I was told that I had what is called a Pro Thrombin Mutant Gene. This means that my blood is a little bit thicker than most people. Generally speaking this shouldn't cause me any problems but should be monitored. In relation to having a baby, it could be instrumental in the baby not getting the nutrients it needs to survive in the womb. To counteract this I was told that when I next found out I was pregnant I would need to return to haematology to be given blood thinning injections to be injected every day of my pregnancy alongside taking a low dose aspirin... I knew the low dose aspirin suggestion on it's own was too good to be true! This really upset me and took some getting used to. But I knew I would need to get used to it, if I was going to give me and my husband the best chance of having a baby so we decided to wait until after Christmas and try again - hopeful that next time, maybe everything would be ok!! And if I was pregnant maybe having daily injections would be a small price to pay for a beautiful baby at the end of it!
Again, I will continue this story with part five! I'm getting pretty close to the present date now so hopefully this isn't too dull and long for people reading the story!
My prayer is that by reading this, people won't feel alone in their circumstances. That by reading this people will feel that there is someone else out their who has irrational and rational fears, who has had difficulties and hurts and who is still pursuing a dream that hasn't happened yet!
Some of the things I discuss will seem small to others but have been giants to face in my life... I pray that you would have the confidence to face your fears! God didn't promise an easy life but He did promise to be with us always and to give us the strength to face our circumstances head on :-) I'm not perfect and have daily struggles but thankfully His mercies are new every day!