Remission

Remission is now Online in the September issue of Word Catalyst Magazine. It is my first attempt at a medical story. In another first, I am debuting in Word Catalyst with my husband Harry Calhoun, who has five poems and a column in the magazine.

In “Remission,” pediatric hematologist Dr. Angel Carter treats children with rare blood disorders while grieving for her own lost child and marriage. The story grew from my own experiences with spherocytosis, a rare hereditary blood disease. In my case, about 1.5 percent of my red blood cells are sphere shaped instead of the normal Frisbee shape. The amount of abnormal cells varies with families. I am lucky my number is fairly small.

Still, I would have died at age thirteen if I had not had my spleen removed then. I was sick with flu-like symptoms for about a year. My doctors had no idea what was wrong with me during that time. That tiny percent of sphere-shaped red blood cells would have ultimately caused liver disease, resulting in death if left untreated. The abnormal cells were being destroyed in my spleen, leading to increased hemoglobin in the bloodstream. The liver then had to remove the hemoglobin. After the surgery, I have led a normal life with apparently no further symptoms.

My mother has spherocytosis. There is a 50% chance for the disease to be passed on. Out of her five children, one of my sisters and I have spherocytosis. I have one child who was unlucky enough to inherit the disease. She had her spleen removed at age eight. Watching her suffer before the surgery was one of the worst experiences I have been through, but that experience gave me the idea for “Remission.”

I hope it touches some of my readers. For anyone who has ever had to watch a child suffer, you have my full sympathy. May God be with you.

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One Response to “Remission”

  1. Hiya – I have HS as well so I was interested in your story- I also found a great yahgo group for HS – really helpful for parents and folks with HS. Thankfully my son seems to have it so mild it probably wont effect him. My Mum was one with HS and had 6 children – same as you – only myself and one other sister has it but both my sisters two kids have it quite severe.
    my blog is diaryofanirishwoman dot com (like you trying to avoid the spammers. I’d be intersted in reading your story.
    Spherocytosis@yahoogroups.com is the yahoo group
    best of luck with the book!
    Kindest Regards

    Sinead

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