I’m sure you are all wondering what on earth vWD is….I know I did the first time they told me the name.
It started when I was 12 (boys look away now if you don’t like talk of women’s things!), the start of my journey into womanhood. I had no problems with my first period, everything was normal.
I was warned that there was a possibility that I could miss a few months which is quite normal between my first and my second as my body tries to regulate what is going on. My first was in May and my second wasn’t until October….and that’s when everything changed.
My 2nd period was completely different to my first, I was anaemic, it was heavy, I’d have a bath and within five minutes of getting out and being dressed I would need another. Going out became a nightmare just through sheer fear of something embarrassing happening or me fainting. I missed two weeks of school because I couldn’t stand and I was at A&E twice – having all sorts of questions fired at me (one being are you pregnant falls on floor) My second one lasted 35 days! 35 days of me feeling lethargic, irritable, tired and downright miserable. I can’t tell you how bad that time was for me.
My next few didn’t last as long but they were completely irregular – two weeks on, 3 days off, 5 days on one week off etc. I didn’t know if I was coming or going most of the time and what my day would entail. Would I have a non-bleed day or would I not? I had to start taking extra clothes with me to school, packing like I was going away for a weekend – by this time I was 13 and hating being a puberty hit teen!
I was referred to a haematologist (blood doctor) after presenting myself twice at A&E, after eight months of questions, tests, more questions more tests, I finally had an answer (hallelujah!) – Von Willebrand’s Disease, basically my blood does not clot normally all of the time.
Once I had my diagnosis I was relieved – finally I had an answer! I went home and Googled (as well as worried), my Mum and Dad were bother tested also and it turns out my mum is borderline to this condition (which answered a lot of her questions and history!) After reading up on the illness, it turns out I’d had symptoms from before I’d even started my periods that had been put down to being a child – bruises and nosebleeds etc. I used to get bruises just from tying my shoelaces to tightly, bleeding gums is another symptom and no matter how soft my brush it still happens to this day.
Now my condition is under control – I have no periods due to the contraception I am on as it was taking far too much out of me to have them every month as I ended up with severe anaemia and was taking iron tablets everyday. I have a nasal spray that I use as and when I should need to, but it also means I have to be aware of everything. Pain medications cannot contain any anti-inflammatory drugs or anything other than paracetamol (you’ll be surprised how many times I have to remind my GP of this). Any procedures i need have to be done on timings as I need to have an injection an hour before my procedure to ensure my blood clots properly.
And that’s my story of being diagnosed with vWD,any questions please leave a comment 😊, have a great day guys!