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I didn’t always used to be like this. Whatever that means. My body forgot how to make blood at some point. Not sure when. Who knows how long I’ve been symptomatic. But my hemoglobin first fell to a nice and frightening 6 pretty much exactly 3 years ago.

I didn’t always used to be like this. When you’re body stops making blood on its own and you spend at least 3 years with never as much blood as you’re supposed to have, cognitive function goes. The brain isn’t getting enough blood. Nothing is getting enough blood. But the brain is where you miss it the most.

I didn’t always used to be like this. It’s a whole other type if learning disability, really, to semi-permanently function at a fraction of brain power.

I didn’t always used to be like this. I mean, yes, I’ve always been a dumbass. But that’s always been a reference to my wisdom modifier. My intelligence modifier was through the roof. I only took the test because I was lonely and wanted to make friends, but I almost got into mensa after I was already symptomatic but didn’t yet know it. I had potential.

I didn’t always used to be like this. I still graduated with top Latin honors. Summa Cum Laude. Despite being at rock bottom through most of it. Pulling off straight A’s while getting regular blood transfusions that only did the trick a month at a time. Iron infusions in between, that only did the trick a month at a time.

I didn’t always used to be like this. But even like this I still fought as hard as I had to. Because my self worth has always been tied to my intelligence. It’s all I’ve got. I don’t judge others based on theirs, don’t get me wrong. I know there is so much a person has to offer beyond intelligence. But I don’t have those things.

I didn’t always used to be like this. And I’ve forgotten that, as my cognitive function has gotten worse over the past however long.

I didn’t always used to be like this.

This looks like forgetting common words or the names of things time and time again like they are a foreign language at the tip of your tongue just out of reach. This looks like taking days to read books that used to take you hours. This looks like not being able to remember things from episode 1, now that you’re on episode 8, even though episode 1 was a mere hours ago.

And I won’t always be like this.

And I won’t always be like this. I started taking a high dose of B12 a few months ago, against the recommendation of my doctor because he said it wasn’t my B12. Two doctors said that. But I had a nugget of knowledge and a hunch.

And I won’t always be like this. A few months ago I started making my own blood. Test after test has shown my levels rise and stay steady. Well past normal.

And I won’t always be like this. It’s been 11 months since my last blood transfusion. Maybe 6 months since my last iron infusion. I was about due when I started the B12.

And I won’t always be like this. The source of my nugget of knowledge tells me it takes about a year to fully recover from this type or anemia. A year to reach my full cognitive function potential. Whatever that means for me now.

And I won’t always be like this. I have a long way to go. I don’t feel any different. I don’t remember how I used to be. I don’t know what I’ll become in the coming months. But I know.

I won’t always be like this.

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