Mini self portrait...just another day on the school bus.
Mini had a doctor's appointment today. Her first in 2 months. Everything seems to be going well. Mini's hemoglobin was 14.3 today. WOW! (hootie - hoo...an inside joke between me and Mini) When Dr. B gave us the good news, my first thought was, "oh man, wait until I tell my mom." ...Second thought, "wait, she's no longer here"...I almost broke down right there in the doctors office...During my mother's battle with her own illness, we would compare her hemoglobin with Mini's...Sigh...My mom would be beside herself to hear what Mini's levels are today. Before transplant, Mini's hemoglobin hovered around 8 and 9...and today...just 9 months after transplant it is 14.3...NORMAL.
Hemoglobin in the blood plays a very important role in the daily functioning of the body. It's something most of us take for granted...Not someone with sickle cell...they don't have that luxury. So, what is hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is a type of protein, which is present in the blood. We all know that the oxygen we breathe in, is carried to all the cells in the body by the blood. The actual work of carrying the oxygen to the rest of the body is done by hemoglobin. Thus, we can see that hemoglobin is quite a utile substance. Scientifically speaking, hemoglobin is a metalloprotein in the red blood cells and contains iron. Thus, it can be logically inferred that an iron deficiency, will reduce the hemoglobin levels in the body.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of low hemoglobin levels. If your hemoglobin level is low, your cells will not get enough oxygen to fuel their activities and you will feel very tired. When enough oxygen does not reach the cells in the body, the heart has to pump harder than usual, (this happened to Mini...she had an enlarged heart) to ensure that adequate amount of oxygen reaches the cells. Hence, if you over-stress the heart for a long time, a person with a low hemoglobin count, risks the chances of heart disease. So, you see even with transplant you never know exactly what damage having sickle cell has done to your body. Other problems associated with lower than normal hemoglobin levels, include shortness of breath, loss of skin color, anemia and fainting.
THIS CHART LIST NORMAL HEMO LEVELS FOR EVERYONE
|Age Group||Hemoglobin Count (gm/dl)|
|Normal Hemoglobin Levels in New Born Babies||17- 22|
|Normal Hemoglobin Levels in Children||11-13|
|Normal Hemoglobin Levels in Adults (Male)||14-18|
|Normal Hemoglobin Levels in Adults (Female)||12-16|
|Normal Hemoglobin Levels in Elderly (Male)||12.4-14.9|
|Normal Hemoglobin Levels in Elderly (Female)||11.7-13.8|