ITP Warrior - Elizabeth

Let’s backtrack to early March 1995, when I went to get a blood test required to apply for a marriage license. When I went to pick up my results, the doctor was concerned because the test came back positive for an STD, but when he had the lab retest it, it came back negative. He told me something was wrong and I should see a specialist.

I saw a specialist at the end of March and was admitted to the hospital that day. The first possible diagnosis was leukemia or HIV. Now, I only had one sexual partner. I bruised easily and I had anemia when I was 12 years old. Those were my only two symptoms. I was tired, yes, but I worked full time at 22 years old and was going to college, too.

They tested me for everything and I received no official diagnosis, but I got hemoglobin transfusions and steroids. A few months went by and finally there was a name to my situation: ITP. Back then, there was little information I could find… no Google! After months of failed treatments, as soon as the dosage of steroids decreased so did my platelets, I couldn’t bring them higher than 70,000. In mid-January, my CBC showed a very scary number – only 12,000 platelets – and we finally had to take the next step, which was a splenectomy. It was scary not knowing the outcome, but I took a chance.

My platelet counts went up right away.

Fast forward to 2020, I have two beautiful children, and still have high platelets.

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