Ok Sarah here goes my story.
In 1979, I was 5 months pregnant with my second child, it was 31 years ago, but I remember all the little details, like it was yesterday.
All of a sudden, I started feeling really weak, I couldn't even lift my one and a half year old daughter, who was a feather weight. Then I started to hear my own heart beat in my ear.
Went to my doctor he did not find anything wrong, except that my blood pressure was low.
A few days later I went grocery shopping and passed out. Ambulance was called and with my little daughter placed on my legs, I was taken to the hospital.
I was admitted right away. Blood tests have shown, my hemoglobin was at 2.6, at 2.0 you usually slip into a coma.
I have received 22, yes, 22 blood transfusions, they where immediatly destroyed, as soon as the blood got onto my bloodstream. It was very painful, when my body was fighting of that new blood, I started shaking, like I have never done before, so bad, it hurt.
The doctor was baffeled, he had never seen a case like this in a pregnant woman. He even did a direct transfusion, from a family member.
It was so bad, that they didn't know, if I could be able to stay pregnant.
He started me on the highest dosage of cortison ( it was called Urbason in Germany)
that has ever been given to anybody. I don't remember the dosage anymore, but when I was released from the hospital 3 MONTHS later, I was send home with a 100 mg a day.
Needless to say, I have had the moonface, big time.
Long story short, after my second daughter was born, ( thank God, she was healthy), I was weaned off the cortison and things went back to normal.
They had no idea, where all this came from. The doc was joking, that I was carrying a vampire.
Now this many years later my rheumy is convinced, that I had lupus back then, but was not diagnosed until three years ago.
The oncologist in Germany told me, to eat alot of canned mandarines. Which I still do.
It sounds scary and it was, but if you listen to your body, you can prevent it, from ever becoming life threatening.
I hope my story helps you a little bit. Make sure you get your blood checked regulary.
I may have been dealt a bad hand, but at least I'm still playing with a full deck. ( most of the time anyway).