My Recovery After Severe Blood Loss
Last updated: February 2023
My latest period was a bloodbath of epic proportions. This won't sound like an exaggeration if you happen to have endometriosis like me.
If you don't live with this condition, picture the scene in The Shining when blood spills through a corridor like a tsunami. That is the idea I am trying to convey when I talk about severe blood loss.
An amount that seems never-ending, one that, like a horror movie, chills you to the bone. I'm sure I am not the only one who, when suffering from heavy blood loss, hides it from others.
It can be horrifying to witness, and it leaves you utterly depleted.
I spent a week in bed, changing my pads every hour and dreading getting up because that would invite more blood flow. Dizziness came next. Each time I stood up or turned my head, my world would spin.
Healing after heavy bleeding
But like the seasoned endo-warrior that I’ve become since my diagnosis, I recovered. Here’s how:
I found an effective iron supplement
From my comfortable bed, I sent a friend out with one mission: find a particular brand of iron supplement with added multivitamins. I knew it wouldn’t be cheap, but I also knew it was the one doctors recommend.
I have been taking it daily, and it has helped get rid of the dizziness.
I watched my energy levels and adjusted plans accordingly
Over recent weeks I’ve canceled several plans. I work from home, so I produced content while lying on my bed. All my online meetings were done with the camera off so I could take part, albeit horizontally.
I have refrained from giving others extensive details of what has happened. Often, when I've mentioned my episodes of heavy blood loss, I've been questioned why I didn't rush to the hospital.
However, I know what works for me and when to seek medical help. By being selective about who I confide in, other people’s opinions don't trigger my anxiety.
I've made dietary changes to ensure I get enough nutrients
I have reintroduced fish to my plant-based diet. This will not suit everyone reading this article, but it has helped me.
I also don’t know if I will stay a pescatarian forever, but I felt it was time to tweak my diet and hopefully invite positive changes and a rise in energy levels.
I'm slowly reintroducing physical activity
During the peak of my blood loss, even walking my dog became impossible. I started exercising only when the dizzy spells had cleared, and I had the energy to work up a sweat.
Still, I kept my workouts to no more than 20 minutes and kept hydrated.
Heavy blood loss is nothing to take lightly
With severe blood loss, the best thing to do is talk to a GP, especially if it is the first time you experience it. It is upsetting and potentially serious, so do reach out for help if something does not feel right.
Also, losing a large amount of blood during every period should not be the rule. If you seek medical help and this merely results in being diagnosed as having "bad periods," be sure to get a second opinion.
With endometriosis, these scary episodes can become a regular fixture of life with this disease, which is why it's best not to panic. Ask for help, rest as much as you can, and after it passes (and it will eventually), take it very easy.
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