I was diagnosed in 1990 after thinking I had an allergy to something that was causing my terrible disabling itching. After finding I had no allergies. I found a doctor whose diagnostic ability was outstanding. She asked if I always had a ruddy complexion, no. Were my eyes always blood shot, no.
She sent me to a blood doctor and after CAT scans and many blood tests he said I had Polycythemia Vera. I went to the University of Illinois Medical Library because I had to know what it was. Never heard of it. It was for old men who smoked.
Information is better now with the MPN Foundation. I have been dealing with this for 26 years and always want to learn, help, and share. When you are newly diagnosed it is very scary.