Thursday, September 4, 2008

Crazy ITP Days

These last couple of weeks have been somewhat crazy.

I have had a blood disorder called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) that goes in and out of remission on a whim for about 14 years. I have been in remission for about 3 years, but about two weeks ago, I noticed some petechiae (small pin-point bruises that appear as tiny red dots) on my legs. I also began bruising very easily all over my body. These are signs that the disorder is coming out of remission. With the Labor Day weekend, I had to wait a few days to get into the doctor, but I got a blood test on the 2nd at my PCP and found out that my platelet count was at 11K (11,000). A healthy person's count is around 250-400K. Not good. On the 4th, I was able to get into the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and see some specialists. My platelet count had dropped to 9K that day. I had a wonderful experience at the SCCA and highly recommend it for anyone needing a hematologist/oncologist! My doctor put me on a very high dose of prednisone and has been monitoring my platelet count since then. After only 3 doses of prednisone, on Saturday the 6th, my platelet count had soared to 65K and by Monday they had skyrocketed to 145K!

The good news is that this time God has heard my prayers and answered them quickly. I have not had to have the traditional (for me) ivIG treatment, which boosts the platelet count to a less dangerous level. I am VERY thankful for this seemingly small blessing! The doctors readily admit that they have no idea what causes the ITP nor do they know how the medications work, but by trial and error, they have seen some results. They do know that any medications that work are successful by tricking the immune system. For now, I'm glad this seemed to be a pretty simple treatment. The prednisone is awful (don't get me wrong). My body feels like it's running a marathon on the inside while I'm physically exhausted on the outside. But with the platelets going up, my energy seems to be returning, and I'm feeling much better. I've got the munchies and insomnia (very bad) but I'm doing great otherwise. :)

Many thanks for all of those who are fervently praying. With our prayers of thanksgiving, we can ask that the prednisone be tapered (very soon) and for the platelets to stay up during the tapering.

Now I'm hoping to hit the stamp studio to do some creating.

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