My name is John and I am a 41 year old engineer, husband and
father of two. Over Memorial Day, May 25, 1997, I came down with what I thought was the flu, sore throat and a light red rash
on my chest. After laying around the house for few days I went to see a Dr. who stated he thought that I had Scarlatina. I
was down for a total of 5 days which is very unusual for me.
A couple of weeks later I noticed some unexplained bruises
on my legs. I also had night sweats and a mild sore throat that lasted for months. I went to the Cleveland Clinic and saw
an infectious disease specialist and he was "cautiously optimistic" that I would get better on my own. He said that my ITP
problems were due to my Memorial Day flu.
I was on lighter doses of steroids for six months that brought
my count from a low of 10k to a high of 175k. My counts have stayed around a 100k for the last 24 months.
I don't know why Drs. give ITP patients so much Prednisone,
perhaps it is the American culture of give me the instant cure. The most I had was 30mg...that was hard enough. I have a conservative
Dr. and he saw no need to take mega doses as most Drs. are prescribing. Even at 30mg. I felt the power of the drug, brain
fog, could not sleep, gain 20 pounds, and joint pain. The "simplified" theory as I have been told is that the virus that attacked
us is similar in molecular structure to our platelets, our immune system is confused and attacks our own platelets, hence
autoimmune disease! The steroids weaken our immune system and therefore it
does not attack our platelets as aggressively and our counts go up. Steroids do not cure ITP they just raise your counts while
your body fixes itself.
I am back to an active lifestyle and lost the 20 (Prednisone
induced) pounds. Of things to get this has not been so bad and in fact it has raised my appreciation of what is really important
in life. Other then having lower numbers and only occasional bruises I feel that I am essentially cured.
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