Haemoglobin

I’ve heard this word uttered plenty of times – on Grey’s Anatomy, on House, and in primary school we used to have competitions to see who could say it the fastest – but I never really knew what they were (or did) until a couple of days ago.

I had been feeling exhausted for quite some time – The kind of exhaustion that would knock me out for hours because my body was too useless to do anything other than sleep. It didn’t affect life so much because my lectures started at 2pm so an early morning nap was a luxury I willingly took. Unfortunately, now that exams are just around the corner, I can no longer afford to take leisurely snoozes whenever I like. The tiredness really hampered my study routine so I decided some medical intervention was needed.

I went to the school nurse who did a finger-prick test which revealed my low haemoglobin count (1.5 mg lower than the minimum threshold for an adult female to be exact). Basically, I lack sufficient “iron-containing protein attached to red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body”. Apparently anaemia is common among females and a healthy dose of vitamin B12 is all that’s needed.

Now, I’ve been told horror stories about the vitamin B injection. Even the nurse warned me how she’d seen grown men squirm before the needle. Well, frankly, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. The injection itself wasn’t painful at all, and sure, the vitamin B burned a little but it was hardly something worth moaning about. Pfft.

Oh, and I got some cortisone cream for my elbows and they seem to be working (yay!).