ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura) is an autoimmune disease, meaning you have a low platelet count which in turn means that clotting of the blood is impaired.
I was first diagnosed with ITP back in October 2015 following my osteopath’s insistence on a blood test after he saw the level of bruising on my body. In the evening of my test I received a call from my doctor telling me my platelet count was 12 when it should be between 150-300; I was at risk of a heart attack, a stroke, or even a brain hemorrhage. Living alone, I can remember going to bed that night terrified that I wouldn’t wake up but unable to tell anyone as I didn’t want anyone to worry.
I felt very alone but made all the necessary appointments to see a consultant. I was put on Prednisone but I hated it: I couldn’t sit still, went into manic hyper drive with everything being done at speed and yet still piled on the pounds. Despite this, the Prednisone didn’t have much effect so it was decided I would have immunoglobulin infusions – I felt better but the platelet count began to drop off again over time. At this time I also had an MRI and an ultrasound scan and there appeared to be a problem with my right kidney which the doctors suspected was cancer.
So from the Christmas until the April I waited for an operation (delayed a couple of times due to the junior doctors’ strike). I can remember crying myself to sleep wondering how I would cope and if there was anyone who could help look after me, how was I going to pay my bills, would I have a job, would I need further treatment. It was an awful time because I didn’t feel there was anyone I could reach out to. Everyone had their own problems so as usual I put on a brave face and carried on.
The tumour proved to be benign. My blood count fluctuated around 30 but it was agreed I’d try without medication. I managed two months at work before my back gave out and I couldn’t stand, let alone walk. I had also suffered a severe prolapse and, after investigation, they found I had gallstones. I remember thinking ok, enough is enough, now I need to start listening. I gave up my job and started on a road to change my life.
While off work recovering from my operation I had started to listen to Jack Canfield, an American inspirational coach. He opened the door to my learning of the principles of the law of attraction, inspiring me, for example, to read Feel the fear and do it anyway, a book by Susan Jeffers (available on Amazon) and then watch the film ‘The Secret’ (available to watch on Netflix). But by far the biggest leaps came from studying Seichem, mindfulness and diet (particularly the energy within food).
So where am I today? My gallstones are disappearing, the prolapse is repairing, my back pain is much improved and my blood count stands at 80. Yes, there are still days I get very tired, my back plays up and my legs hurt but I have the tools to deal with the issues. I have learnt to love myself, to take time out and to really look at what’s causing me pain or discomfort. Practising mindfulness every day helps focus on the here and now, concentrating on what is important. I eat healthily, drink plenty of water and make sure I have a good quality sleep. I also try to avoid stressful situations wherever possible but I’m only human! I don’t always get it right but I am now able to recognise the problems and get myself back on track. Having those life tools in your tool box makes all the difference.