I nearly died.
That’s what my doctors told me.
They said I had to spend Halloween in the hospital because they were afraid I’d die otherwise.
Going from a mom of four planning Halloween costumes and with my biggest worry how to decorate the trunk of our car for the Trunk or Treat, to suddenly being told I can’t go to any of it.
You see, four years ago, a sudden non-itchy red rash started spreading from my chest all the way to my feet.
Then bruises that didn’t hurt started speckling my legs and back.
When a weird red bulls-eye showed up on my arm, I knew something was up!
After begging my dermatologist to order blood tests, his office frantically called to tell me that my numbers were WAY off.
My platelets, the part of the blood in charge of clotting, were dangerously low.
They said I only had 12 (out of a normal 150-400).
My doctor told me to go straight to the ER.
By the time I made it to the ER, I only had 3… out of 150!
They said I was a ticking time bomb.
Anything that jerked my head (car accident, falling down the stairs, etc.) could cause me to bleed to death in my brain.
To keep me safe, they ordered me to stay in the hospital for a week.
They wouldn’t even let me walk from the hospital bed to the toilet by myself in case I tripped… even though it didn’t feel like anything was wrong with me.
Most of the hospital staff had never seen anyone with platelets that low, or with my diagnosis of ITP. Everyone brought their students (medical, nursing) to come meet me, to show their rare case.
Along with an emergency infusion of blood donors’ platelets, they told me what I never wanted to hear.
“We have to give you PREDNISONE. It will save your life.”
I thought to myself, “Not that! Anything but that!!!”
I remembered learning about this scary drug in pharmacy school and how awful it is. The list of side effects was a doozy to memorize for the exams.
Since I’m a pharmacist, they let me choose which sleeping pill to prescribe so that it would be safe for my nursing baby.
It broke my heart to spend my first night away from my baby.
Poor baby had no idea why mommy suddenly wasn’t there.
We both had a rough night, but many angels helped us get through it.
I had no idea how I could go another 6 days in the hospital.
I thought I’d just take 7-10 days of Prednisone and then life would get back to normal.
I had no idea what a roller coaster I had in store for me.
I didn’t know that it would be months and high doses and dozens and dozens of needle pricks, blood tests and chemotherapy and a surgical evaluation and practically a part time job just keeping me alive.
Four years ago today, something wonderful happened.
They sent me home early!
I was supposed to stay in the hospital for a week and miss Trick or Treating with my four little kiddos.
But the prednisone did its job. It stopped my immune system from going haywire and killing the baby platelets.
It saved my life!
After much less than a week, I was home with my babies.
I wrote in my journal exactly 4 years ago, “I just hugged my babies all day, cherishing being alive and home.”
I celebrate the miracle that prednisone gave me (for without it, I’d likely be dead).
Four years ago I was given my life back.
I’d love to know–what has prednisone given YOU?
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