Chronic illness is a lonely thing

Chronic illness is a lonely thing
Image courtesy of Karen Tomkins and The Irish Times.

"For the past year I religiously text my husband, Shea, every Friday afternoon. There’s nothing unusual in that, but the weekly message contains just a number, no words. Triple digits and we’re happy; single digits and it’s time to get family in to mind the children and pack a bag for hospital.

The number I text is my platelet count. I am one of approximately 1,000 people in Ireland with ITP (immune thrombocytopenia), a rare blood disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks its own platelets. It can occur in pregnancy, follow a virus, vaccination or certain medications, but for most people the cause is unknown."

-By Karen Tomkins for The Irish Times. Image courtesy of Karen Tomkins and The Irish Times.

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