Last October my No.1 daughter, I shall call her L, fell ill with a weird virus. We thought in the beginning that it was just one of those viruses that pop up and fizzle before you know it, but when L developed tonsillitis. Two courses of antibiotics, a few doctor visits and several weeks later, there was no improvement.
L was sleeping all the time, felt ill, had a temperature, cough and a sore throat. Her appetite waned and was feeling very down, as one would expect.
After a month, bloods were done to confirm or deny Glandular Fever, aka Epstein-Barr Virus, aka Mono.
Winter-Break Brings Improvement
Christmas came and went. L‘s health slowly improved. She wasn’t yet back to full health, her stamina was low and she continued to sleep whenever possible. We fed her good food, L took her iron tablets, she joined the gym. We did everything we could to bring back the old L, the chilled-out and fun person she used to be.
New Year – Better Health?
The virus did seem to have gone by January. L‘s appetite returned. There was no more tonsillitis, cough or temperature.
Why she was so tired and generally unenthusiastic about life was still a bit of a mystery.
L tried so hard to act as normal – participating in family activities, going to college, shopping, general stuff really – but it was obvious to me by mid-January that she was struggling to live ‘normally’ as before.
I could see it.
Strange New Symptom Appears
The top of L‘s foot went weirdly numb. Back to the doctor’s she went. Another blood test later, an answer finally came. Vitamin B12 deficiency, plus iron deficiency.
The NHS website reports that the symptoms L has – fatigue, lethargy, feeling faint and a bit dizzy, irritability, depression and not feeling like herself, pale skin, and weird numb foot – are indeed signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency and B12 anaemia.
It has been a few days since this new diagnosis, but I can’t help being worried even though B12 deficiency anaemia is a treatable condition.
In fact, both my mother and my sister-in-law have B12 injections tri-monthly to combat symptoms. They don’t have any complications or ongoing issues.
Autoimmune Disease Worries
What concerns me is the cause. What if L‘s B12 deficiency is rooted from Pernicious Anaemia – an autoimmune disorder that stops normal B12 absorption?
It can be hereditary, my mother’s deficiency isn’t caused by Pernicious Anaemia in any case, but that isn’t my concern. I’m worried I’ve given my daughter the genes for autoimmune disease. If you can have one, you can have another, and a worse one at that. I’m happy to share the blame with my psoriatic husband, but ultimately feel I’m the one who’s made my daughter ill.
If my defective genes have given L one autoimmune condition, is she likely to have another – worse – one or two?
There’s a blood test scheduled this week to see if Pernicious Anaemia is indeed on the cards, plus 6 injections of B12 goodness over the next fortnight for my brave little Samurai. Not forgetting the iron tablets. L will soon be back to her old self.
I may well be worried for absolutely no reason whatsoever, but a mother can’t help worrying.
I have asked and received permission from L prior to publishing
I even have the go-ahead to post a picture!
Thank you SO MUCH for reading!
…Update coming soon…