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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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Can't Stop....
Mar 12, 2002

Hi.

I've already been tested and am waiting for my results. I'm almost certain that I am infected. After being single and abstinent for two years after having my son, I got back together with his father sexually (sometimes protected... sometimes withdrawal). I initially had symptoms that lead me to believe that I was pregnant, such as, white milky discharge from the vagina. This was a sign of pregnancy twice before, but I've always tested negative for HIV. My last test having been in January, which was also negative. Afraid that I may have been pregnant, I went to the health department for a test and was relieved to find out that I wasn't. I continued to experience some vaginal discomfort (itching, mild burning, and inflammation). Within the past three weeks I've been treated for "Trich", Clamydia, and Gonorrhea. I've had this unusual craving to chew ice and someone at work suggested I was anemic (which I laughed at because I've always had excellent hemoglobin counts when donating blood, 13.8-14.3), but after having my hemoglobin checked yesterday it was found that I am, in fact, anemic (11.3). I've been searching the net for information and haven't really gotten the answers I'm looking for. I know this is pretty stupid to ask, but is there anyway that I could escape this one? Could these signs and symptoms be tied into the other infections I've had or do some signs fall outside of their "classification"?

Thank you, ....Crying.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Can't Stop Crying,

Dry those tears! A hemoglobin of 11.3, vaginal discomfort, and an unusual craving for chewing ice are not diagnostic of HIV disease. I'm glad you've already been tested and I'll bet when those results come back, you will shout, "Woohoo!"

You are very mildly anemic (lower limit of normal for women is 12.0 g/dL). There are many potential causes - iron deficiency, heavy menstruation, vitamin deficiency, etc. Your physician can help you sort this out. Your vaginal problems may require a visit to your Ob/Gyn doctor.

As for your on-again-off-again relationship with your son's father, you should probably set some boundaries, including safe sex - each time, every time.

So, put the Kleenex away; your mascara is running. Next time you write to me, I want you to be "smiling," OK?

Stay well,

Dr. Bob


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