Wednesday, 23 October 2013

ITP is...

Something I had never heard of until 3rd September. It transpires  that it is a reasonably rare blood disorder where your immune system attacks the bits of your blood that make it clot.  These are called platelets and they should be at round 150 in a healthy person.  When my blood was tested on 2nd September my platelet count was 4.  Low eh!

This kick started a hospital chain reaction: 2 phone calls from the on call specialist, an admission to A&E, a 7 hour wait to see a doctor, admitted to the Clinical Decision Unit for three hours sleep before a day of observations and blood tests.

When I did see the specialist on the 3rd, he could at least rule out, leukaemia!  I didn't even know it could be leukaemia! Phew!  However I was also told not to cycle or play badminton or do anything to strenuous in case i had an internal bleed or of course an external one!

Since that time I have had many blood tests and have got very used to the 'sharp scratch' that I am always readied with. I have got used to some medical jargon and also being treated really well by excellent health care professionals.  I have had two different drugs pumped into me via infusions, the latest of which we are till waiting to see if it will have the desired effect.

I have told the story many times and I have even taken to using Face Book to update people as to the latest status reports. I even wonder whether Bruce Forsyth may start a new game where he can do higher and lower and just call it 'The Platelet Count'!

Today I sit here not knowing what has caused me to have ITP and I do not know when the count will be normal and I do not know if it will stay normal once it has to to that place.  I generally feel fine, but just get very tired very quickly. The steroids I have been on are  the cause of this as well as the increased appetite, the irritability, and the facial puffiness that are recognisable side effects (honest governor).  It's also been an emotionally tiring time.  Not knowing what will happen next and just riding the rollercoaster is an exhausting journey; not being able to do things that you really enjoy, in case you hurt yourself unnecessarily is frustrating; being irritable with the ones you love the most is upsetting;  and just choosing positivity in itself can be a battle.

In all this we choose, as a family, to cling to God, to thank him that this is not cancer or anything else more severe; we thank him that we can continue pretty much as normal in family life; we thank him for a great church who has stood in prayer support; we thank him for a great job which has shown flexibility with random hospital appointments and procedures; we thank him for family and friends who have been a great support; and we thank him that we walk this journey of faith with Him.

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