Good news! Chickadee doesn’t have mono!

Bad news! Chickadee is apparently severely anemic! Worse news! The doctor is now out of town until next week, so sorry, he’ll call when he returns to talk about “next steps.”

Helpful tip: Do not ask Dr. Google about children and anemia. Seriously. Just don’t.

If you need me, I’ll be spending the day hand-feeding my child popsicles, buying her ponies, and also bleaching my brain.

[Edited to add: Got a second call from the doctor’s office to schedule a follow-up, and this time had the presence of mind to ask for actual blood test results. Hi, my doctor’s office is staffed by morons—she’s not anemic, she’s the OPPOSITE (blood count too HIGH). Don’t Google that one, either. Nice to know the spinach she eats is working well as she’s potentially harboring a deadly disease, though.]


  1. Nicki

    Oh, Mir! It’ll be okay. Rachel was severely anemic when she was little. Some iron and now she’s fine. Chickadee is tough. She’ll pull through.

    It’s the parents the doctors should worry about. We beat ourselves up too much over what’s going on with the kids. I’ll be thinking about you.

    PS. Chlorox makes a lovely floral scented bleach…

  2. Leandra

    Oh no! Do you think it’s because of the no eating meat thing? Plus, what with the cutting out of wheat, she’s probably not getting a lot of iron-fortified stuff that way either.

    Poor Chickie! No wonder she’s been feeling like heck. I’m sure everything will be just fine though! See if you can sneak a steak into her tofu this weekend.

  3. Em

    I want to leave a comforting message that does not contain anything that will mortify Chickadee so I will tread carefully but I won’t be offended if you delete it…

    Given her age and the fact that most women of childbearing age find themselves anemic, at least 5-7 days a month… Ahem. Um. Maybe there are more changes coming. Yeah, I’m sure that is comforting. More changes. Childbearing age. You know what? Forget I said anything.

    Or maybe the vegetarianism is catching up with her a little? Maybe some more spinach and less listening to strangers like me suggested embarrassing causes for her anemia that are mostly likely of the average, non scary variety. That ought to fix her right up!

  4. bonuela

    instead of dr. google, try searching “iron rich vegan foods”. one will give you angst, the other gives you blackstrap molasses and watermelon as a cure. no brain bleaching required. :-)

  5. Randi

    I was anemic when I was pregnant with both my kids – iron pills work! Kind of annoying for the doc to conveniently go out of town when you have questions, isn’t it?! I’m sure he would have put Chickadee’s case into the hands of another doctor if something serious were going on.

  6. Megan

    Anemia was my mother’s favorite diagnosis of me for YEARS which means I know far more than I want about: spinach, cooking in cast iron pans and molasses. Poor Chickie – horrible to be all draggy and tired and not know why. Your irritatingly-absent doctor needs to either come back early or be willing to answer e-mails to provide some sort of practical solution!

  7. Kendra II

    Might be the vegetarian diet coupled with her growing/hormonally changing body. Maybe she’s on the verge of getting her period and her body is saving up for the big event? (I have no idea if that remotely has any medical credence). I second the iron rich vegan food research suggestion.
    I’m still too iron-deficient to give blood–not sure if I’m technically anemic, but it doesn’t seem to matter how much red meat, spinach, etc. I eat prior to donating blood…still iron-deficient. :(

  8. Heidi

    Whoa, the ups, the downs. Hope this all gets figured out quick. I disobyed and googled, and my vote is for dehydration because it’s a pretty easy fix. I don’t think my vote counts, though…

  9. Katie in MA

    I know this is shooting for the moon, but is there any possible chance that this could be tied to her skin issues? Because curing two mystery ailments at once would be a karmic miracle that you’re about due.

  10. Rasselas

    Interestingly, a similar thing happened to my sister when she started being vegetarian. The doctor had to double-check her blood results because apparently she had the blood count of a full-grown male, somewhat unlikely for a thin, tall, menstruating female.

    Then again, I’ve been anemic my whole life, despite recurrent attempts to fix it. I was just as anemic when I was a kid and still eating meat. I usually feel tired when my iron levels drop, but it improves when I fix that. It’s strange that a high blood count would have the same effect, so please keep us updated, it’ll be interesting to find out more. At one time, I was diagnosed with zinc defficiency in addition to anemia, but after taking some metal-looking pills this has never returned again. Maybe this is all just her body accomodating for new changes, and getting in a slight disbalance as it does that.

  11. steff

    How frightening, I’m hoping for a swift resolution.

  12. Chris

    I was thinking the same thing Katie said, that this might be related to whatever is the underlying cause of the mystery skin scale. Add it to your clue pack and see if a light goes off with any of the dr’s.

  13. Amelia

    My dad’s iron was too high, too. Mom had to quit cooking in cast iron for that reason…which is anathema to a Southern woman.

    I’m sorry y’all are dealing with this. My thoughts are with you as you figure out this mystery (and you WILL figure it out. Keep the faith!)

  14. Headless Mom

    Gah! What a nightmare.

    Praying for you guys.

  15. Beth R

    Um, don’t forget to TELL the doc about the mix-up when you see him next. Medical errors = scary. Inept front office folks = fired!

  16. ~annie

    Of course! It’s Friday the 13th. Know just how you’re feeling. My daughter came to me with a complaint last night that I shouldn’t have Googled either. Deep breaths, DEEP breaths… Try not to panic until you see a printout of the actual numbers. For all you know, the morons you were talking to might be dyslexic. Since you’ve already researched both possibilities, you are well-armed to face the doctor as soon as he’s back.

  17. Brenda

    You guys so deserve a break!

    Hoping Chickie feels better very very soon!

  18. TC

    Her RED count is too high? Or her white? Or both? Not that any of those are especially yummy prospects, but they’re pretty different beasts.

    Also, how high is ‘high’?

    I’d like to think that the fact the doctor thinks you can wait a week to follow up means that it’s likely one of the least-serious issues in the list of Scary Google Diagnoses. I know that’s not always necessarily the case, but I’d hold onto that idea until persuaded otherwise, if I were you.

    Hang in there, both of you.

  19. Anna

    Ack. I hope Katie is right, that it’s tied to her skin issue.

  20. Brigitte

    So what’s supposed to be done for THAT!? Bleed her with leeches?

  21. meghann

    Brigitte isn’t too far off the mark actually. I’ve heard That removing a certain amount of blood is one of the ways they treat it. They use a needle though instead of leeches, although I’m not sure that would be a comfort to Chickadee.

  22. My Kids Mom

    A friend with this problem gives blood regularly to keep it in control. Prescribed donation of blood- interesting.

  23. Sheila

    Chocolate cake! You can solve everything with chocolate cake, or at least tide yourselves over until your doctor deems to see Chickadee again.

  24. Gigi

    Did you know that one of the causes for a high red blood cell count is the use of anabolic steroids, which stimulate red blood cell production and wasn´t she given a bunch of shots over the summer?

  25. Karishma

    Gigi’s probably on the right track. Maybe her body is just sensitive to steroids. She’ll be fine at the end of it, the doctor doesn’t seem to be too worried, so nothing can be all that wrong, you know?

  26. Half Assed Kitchen

    Poor Chickie. Poor you. Step away from the Google.

  27. Heidi

    Rethinking this, I think the entire family needs to eat more cookies.

  28. elizabeth

    Oh, dear, stay calm… If her *white* count is high, that usually means just an infection, which antibiotics or her own immune system will fix. If her *red* count is high, I also suspect the steroids or dehydration. (This also happens to smokers– but no one is smoking around your kids, right?) If her platelets are high, there is medicine for that. It isn’t unreasonable to ask to repeat the test before treating.

    Best wishes to the whole family!

  29. Michele Bardsley

    Did you know that you can put chocolate with alcohol? It’s called a chocolatini. Give the truffles to Chickie, and the ‘tini to you. And remember to breathe.

  30. No Drama Mama


    I am sorry to hear that Chickadee is still having some problems. My daughter has a chronic health condition and I have learned to always have a copy of tests sent to me because well…. some offices are staffed by morons. On the other hand, playing Google MD doesn’t help the situation when I get said results in hand.

    Thoughts and prayers for your family.I hope they resolve whatever is going on VERY SOON!

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest