ITP does not discrimate when it strikes its next victim. It affects the young and old, rich and poor all over the world. Dealing with this blood disorder is no easy task. The fear and frustration of not knowing where the roller coaster will take us next can be daunting.

This blog is for ITPers to express thoughts, feelings and lessons learned during their ride. Send your post to We want to hear from you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stop the Rollercoaster - I Want to Get Off...

Prologue- I had not been to a doctor in over 5 years…. I should have but I hadn’t gone…

I had just been to Wine Country in California the middle of July 2011.  Hubby and I took a second honeymoon and traveled from San Francisco to Silicon Valley and then toodled through wine country.  We had over two weeks in California so we took our time and went sightseeing.  We had bid on a wine country tour at a charity event and had won.  We visited six wineries that were on the tour and about 10 more.  I was having the time of my life.  Until, hubby decided to drive through the mountain range from Napa to Sonoma.  I had tremendous headaches but didn’t think much of it because it could have been due to allergies.  I have always suffered from pollen allergies. 

But during the latter half of the vacation, my legs started to get sores that would just bleed a little spontaneously and then would go away.  Ok I thought- something strange but it cleared up.  Must be I’m tired, did too much. I’ll need a vacation from this vacation.

We get home and I go back to work, however, I am really exhausted.  A couple times, I had to take a nap at work. I started to break out in black and blue marks and didn’t remember where they were from. Nothing unusual for me, I always have bruised easily and been a slow healer.  But these bruises were different.  They were a different color and no pain. I got a spot on my eye that I thought was a sty but it bled…

Then the spots broke out. I have red hair, fair skin, light eyes and lots of freckles. I felt like a red headed leopard. I started to sleep 20 hours a day, couldn’t eat, or concentrate but for a few minutes.  This went on for three days and finally hubby says that’s it, you are going to Urgent Care. That was August 8, 2011.

 We get there and they said, “She needs to go to the Emergency Room right way.  She needs testing that we can’t do here and it has to be now.  Either we call an ambulance or you can drive her and we suggest a hospital that has little to no waiting time….”

Thus begins my saga at South Miami Hospital ……..

I walk into the emergency department and hubby and my dad get their badge. From the way I look, I’m surprised, they didn’t ask about domestic violence….

We get to triage and they get the information quickly and march me into the emergency room.  They take my blood and go to do the blood tests.  That’s when they tell me, “You have 1000 platelets. If you had waited to come in any longer or had hit your head, you would not be alive…..”

Needless to say, I am the immediate emergency at that time…  Lucky me…

Round One ITP (1) – Jill (0)

They immediately ordered a platelet transfusion and an IV because I was dehydrated.  Before they started the IV, they wheeled me in for a chest X-ray and a CAT scan of my brain.  When I got back they started the IV. 

All this time, they still hadn’t told me anything except for the fact that my platelets are 1000K.  And that I needed to lie still….. 

They finally wheeled me up to a room about 11:00pm, after 6 hours in the emergency room.

They get me settled in the room and the nurse writes on the board her name, phone number and in big RED letters – catch the significance- BLEEDING RISK

To make life more interesting at the hospital, I have rolling veins so they had to get special technicians to take my blood and to start an IV.

The next morning, the on call doctor and the hematologist come in and start asking a million questions…. Have you been out of the country? No. Have you had a virus or been real sick lately? No. Do you drink tonic water? No. Do you have HIV or Hepatitis C?  No.  And on and on……

Round Two  ITP (2) Jill (0)

To be continued…...


  1. You have me on the edge of my chair.......anticipation!!!!!

  2. I like the score counter! I'm not sure I want to look back and see what "my" score counter would read.

  3. I wrote that in about four minutes...that does not cover the back story of stress leading up to ITP which may or may not be the cause....
    I'll write my next blog portion next week which will cover the first two days in the hospital....