A Close Run Thing, Almost hit the last bump in a long road

December 5. 2008.

I awoke on the morning of Tuesday November 25th. with severe bruising on the back of both hands, and both lower legs, plus extensive bleeding in my mouth and a number of bleeding alcers there too. When I injected insulin, or pricked a finger to obtain blood for a blood sugar reading it would not stop weeping blood. I also had a maze of tiny red dots showing up on my legs, hands and face. I talked to my daughter Jayne, who had by luck gone through a similar experience with her son when he was but 3, and had to have his spleen removed.

She responded, Father is having a Idiopathic Thromboctopenic Purpura attack, his immune system is destroying his Platelets made by the spleen. The count ought to be 150,000 +, if it falls below 20,000, you will massively bleed, which may well be life threatening.

We were picked up and whisked to Epworth Private Hospital's Emergency Department, here my nephew Robert, was the Doctor in charge.

He took quick life saving action with chest X-rays and a blood test, and set up a top Haematologist to manage the ITP and blood, and an Associate Professor, an Endocrinologist to care for my Type 2 Diabetes.

The Platelet level was a frightening 1,000, treatment oral Steriods to build up that count, and I was admitted to a private room on their Oncology Ward.

We had a slow build up to a 4,000 Platelet count, then a glitz at pathology gave a false reading of 36,000, really only 5,000. When the true count was revealed it was a huge physological blow for me, and hard to cope with.

The problem with the Steroid treatment is that it plays havoc with the blood sugar levels, they varied widely from high to low, the low bordering on hypo conditions, and I found that very difficult to both handle and control. I am a human pin cushion by needle finger pricking about 7/8 times daily to get blood for the blood/sugar readings, and my Insulin intake of both a 24 hour long term Insulin added to by Ultra short acting Insulin, meant I was inject ing 5 times daily, in lieu of once.

On Tuesday Decmber 2nd. I was discharged home with a Platlet count of 171,000, the Steriods to be kept going but tapered back slowly, we will not know if the count stays normal until the Steroids are finally stopped.

Meantime blood tests twice weekly will monitor progress, and a visit to my Haematologist on Wednesday the 10th. of December will revue the whole treatment regimen.

It was a close run thing, I was saved by knowledge learnt by Jayne, the quick response by Robert, and superb nursing and Specialist treatment, but adding one more life to the many I seem to have already used up over a long life.

That last road hump loomed up, but I was not yet ready to hit it, life is far too exciting, much remains to savour and achieve, I just was not ready to give up YET!


December 5. 2008.


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