UNITED STATES—What a week America, because I was dealt with some news regarding my health that shocked me to the core. I would argue within the last 2 years, particularly with the Coronavirus pandemic that I have to take my health more serious. I’ve done so by getting regular check-ups, going to the doctor when something is wrong with my body, exercising more and eating healthy because you only have one body, once it is gone it is gone people.

In the past month, I have been suffering some extreme inflammation on the right side of my body. When I say inflammation I refer to extreme pain and discomfort from my foot to my lower back. I’ve been to the doctor more in the past month than I can count, which I absolutely hate. However, I got some meds the first 2 visits and felt a lot better.

Last week, I had a series of blood tests completed and had a follow-up scheduled for later in December to get those results. It is never a good thing when you get a call less than 2-3 days after completing blood work, with your doctor requesting a follow-up. Why? The first thing that pops into my mind is WHAT IS WRONG? That lingering feeling is horrible, and I was expected to wait nearly 2 weeks before having that follow-up. Well, that was until I had a series pain in my right foot earlier this week. I have had 3-4 bouts with Gout in recent years, because I’m genetically predisposed to the illness. I will just say this America: the pain is unbearable, but this time things felt different and looked different.

I thought this might have been Gout yet again, but I had no idea how it was possible, as I was on meds and my diet and exercise regimen had not been healthier. I know what I can and cannot eat, so that was not something that I was concerned about. Hell, I have even started to journal what I eat to keep track of my meals and caloric intake. No, I never thought I would be one of those people, but here I am.

However, this didn’t feel like Gout, my foot was swollen red in a way that I had never seen. It was discolored, it was puffy, I couldn’t wear socks, a shoe I couldn’t get on nor could I get out of bed; that is how visceral the pain was America. I couldn’t take it any longer and had to go to the emergency room for treatment, where I was wheeled in on a wheelchair. Frustrating to say the least because the mere thought of walking sent pain through my entire body I cannot describe with words.

I discover I have a bacterial infection in my foot, and I was given antibiotics for treatment, however, that was news that was bad, but not the news that knocked my socks off. I got news from my PCP that my cholesterol was good, my kidneys appeared in good shape, the same with my liver, my blood sugar was slightly higher than expected, putting me inline to be on the verge of a pre-diabetic.

I had already virtually cut all sugar out of my diet, but that made we REALLY say that is it, sugary foods, fatty foods, excessive carbs they are out people.

I had lost some more weight from my previous visit over a week ago, so that brightened my mood as it became a realization that if you eat right and exercise the weight will come off. However, it was what my doctor told me last that worried me: your White Blood Cell count is extremely low. My first reaction was what does that mean? The doctor explained it could be a number of things, but most likely it was genetic. However, that was not a satisfying answer because that is the first time I was told my WBC count was lower than average and I’ve been to the doctor countless times in recent years and I have had blood drawn.

I know your White Blood Cells are crucial to fighting off infections and viruses and also critical to healing the body when injured. So if my WBC are low there has to be a potential reason. The doctor explained we’re going to heavily monitor the situation to ensure it doesn’t become more serious, but his tone conveyed worry for me. And then comes what I didn’t want to hear: more tests. I have literally been poked with more needles and had so much blood drawn in the past month I have lost count.

However, I know from research and speaking to people, a low White Blood Cell count can be signs of possible cancer, leukemia, anemia, sickle cell and bone marrow issues. That dread immediately struck me down my shoulder as the doctor reiterated that my Uric Acid level was explicitly high, my body is producing it more than it should and it is not eliminating it at a normal pace. They were trying to control that number to get it back to a rate lower than 4, I was at a 10. That build up in the body is not good.

However, with my White Blood Count being so low there is a concern that cancer or leukemia could be present in the body so tests are being done to examine just that. Hearing the word cancer or leukemia is scary as hell. That is probably one of the reasons I hate going to the doctor because I fear receiving bad news and that is what transpired. I guess it is indeed better to know than to not know.

It wasn’t 100 percent confirmed, but the doctor stating that news freaked me out; it scared me and now it’s a waiting game yet again to get test results to know exactly what is going on with my body. My low WBC explains why my body is not quickly healing from several injuries as of late, how if I get infection or illness it seems to take longer to heal than the average person, and it also makes me more susceptible to serious viruses, illnesses and cancers people.

I know people who have been told they have cancer and the thought of having to grapple with the notion that you could literally be fighting for your life is daunting. You don’t know how serious the cancer or illness has progressed. You don’t know rather chemotherapy or radiation or a combination of both will do the job and eliminate the cancer. You then don’t know if the cancer has progressed to a state where no matter what you do you’re facing a death sentence. I almost feel like this is karma for not being more empathetic to family members who have endured various forms of cancer and survived.

I’m scared, I’m nervous and coming to a realization, all these things in life that I have been so focused on: work, family, money, none of it matters if I don’t have my health. You can be healthy one moment and the next moment you receive news where your life is completely upended people and you discover all is about to change. Are you ready for the battle, are you going to fight, are you going to give up or are you going to push through against unsurmountable odds and prove that you stronger that you appear. It looks like I am about to find out.