Comic: Annie has anemia

Comic: Annie has anemia

Infographic cartoon: Annie has anemia.  Click on the image to open the PDF

1686241272 645 Comic Annie has anemia | history-ophthalmology.com

Annie teaches a classroom with elementary school children. There is a blackboard with a container of chalk from which chalk is pouring.

Annie is looking at the cast

Annie: Why do I suddenly feel like eating that chalk?

Annie is walking home and looks at the dirt near the sidewalk/grass.

Imagination bubble which is her remembering weird things she wanted to eat:

Plaster

Lined sheet of paper

Soil/dirt

Ice

Annie thought bubble: I’ve had some weird cravings lately. I really want to eat the dirty one, but it feels weird.

Annie is walking up the porch stairs of her house and is short of breath

He comes in and gets a big cup of ice and starts eating it.

Annie’s mom enters

Mom: are you okay? Every time I come over lately, you’re eating a big cup of ice. And you seem to be taking a lot of naps.

Annie: I don’t know. I have longed for ice and also other strange things like chalk.

Mom: Hmm… I’ve heard of cravings like that, especially for women with heavy fibroid bleeding like you. I think you should see your doctor.

Next week …

Annie’s at the doctor’s, a female WOC, early 40s

Thought bubble “I’m not going to tell her about the weird cravings. It’s too embarrassing!”

Annie: I’m just so tired lately, and I’m not sure why.

I have also had very heavy periods due to my fibroids.

The doctor looks at Annie’s mouth (cracks on the sides), brittle nails and overall pale skin.

The doctor uses the stethoscope to check the heart

In the doctor’s office

Doctor: You look pale, your nails are brittle, and you said you were tired, weak, and out of breath.

You also have an irregular heartbeat. Have you had any unusual cravings, by any chance?

In the doctor’s office

Annie: Now that you mention it, I’ve had some weird cravings. I thought I was losing it!

In the doctor’s office

Doctor: What kind of birthmarks? Were they things like earth or ice?

Annie: Yes! Exactly! How did you know? I keep craving earth, ice and chalk. It was really weird.

Doctor: Those non-food cravings are called pica. And they can come from severe anemia, which is really low in iron. This could be due to your heavy bleeding from your fibroids. Let’s do some blood work and see. We will also check your vitamin D levels.

One week later …

Annie came back to the doctor in different clothes

Iron-rich foods:

Meat

Egg

Peanuts

Iron-fortified breads and cereals

Fruits and dried fruits

Dark green leafy vegetables

Legumes

Doctor: Well Annie, your blood tests show you are severely anemic and low on vitamin D.

I will prescribe you an iron pill and a vitamin D supplement to help restore your levels. If iron pills don’t work, we can refer you to a haematologist to discuss other options. Also, be sure to add iron-rich foods to your diet.

Annie: Thanks. I will start taking them today. Is there anything else I should know?

Doctor: Sometimes iron intake can cause constipation, so make sure you’re getting enough fiber.

I can help you with the anemia for now, but you should talk to your OB-GYN about your heavy bleeding and fibroids. There are treatment options that could help you.

3 months later…

Annie is at the refrigerator handing a glass of water with 2 ice cubes to her mother and also has 2 cubes in her glass.

Mom and Annie clink glasses.

Annie: I feel so much better – and look, mom, I’m back to 2 ice cubes!

Mom: I’m so happy. Cheers to healthy iron levels!

For more information, visit HealthyWomen.org

This resource was created with financial support from Myovant Sciences GmbH and Pfizer.

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