Monday, April 23, 2007

Getting Old Is Not For The Faint of Heart

I brought back a very special gift from Costa Rica: bacterial diarrhea. Nasty subject, but I did already have the antibiotic of choice, Cipro. My doctor sent it with me. Suffice to say that I am back to normal. I had two more cortisone shots for my rotator cuff problem. Those are my getting old stories.

Now for Kerry. First, he has a platelet disorder called ITP. No reason to give you the long drawn out name; it means that his body kills off his own platelets thanks to some virus that may have lain dormant in his body for years or may have just arrived in his spleen five years ago when he was diagnosed. Platelets are what make your blood clot. His last blood test had him at his lowest count yet, 30,000 platelets. Normal folks have anywhere from 150,000 to 400,000. At 20,000 you start to bleed out. So now he's back to every other month for blood tests. I get to worry more. He wears a Medical Alert bracelet.

Second, before we went to Costa Rica, he had a lesion removed from his scalp. His doctor knows he has clotting problems but didn't really think about it; that's my take on it. He hit an artery in Kerry's head and the blood poured out. He was covered in it as was the room and everyone around him. I don't think I like this doctor. The good news is that it was not cancerous. The stitches are still in because the doctor is worried he will bleed again when they come out. He sent home a sterile suture removal kit for me to take them out when the scab is looser. Lucky me.

Last week he hurt his knee playing tennis. He was sure he was going to need some surgery; I pointed out that he could bleed to death during surgery. That was a wake-up call. He asked his hematologist about this; the guy said they would pump him full of platelets before, during and after surgery. He had platelet infusions when he was first diagnosed; four days of platelets cost $48,000. His insurance paid for it. The infusion didn't help.

Now today he hurt his back and is currently resting on the heating pad.

I just needed to vent a bit; it's not like either one of us is dying but when your body starts to break down and your mind is fine; that's worrisome. I'll go back to happier things, like Costa Rica, tomorrow.


dykewife said...

wow! he's really stuck between a rock and a hard place. i'm more than unimpressed with his doctor sending a kit home for you to remove the stitches. since he's got insurance, make an appointment with his blood doctor and have him remove the stitches to ensure that any bleeding that may happen (not to say it will happen) can be medically contained.

doctors sometimes suck.

Rhonda said...

oh my gosh sounds like you two are in bad shape...sorry to hear you have the poops. That definitely isn't as glamorous as the Costa Rica pictures but hey you need to pour your heart out...
I feel for you both.

Randi in Chicago said...

This reads like the only TV show I watch: House

mama o' the matrices said...

ITP, eh? Hmm. I've talked online to a few people with/parenting kids with ITP on the Yahoo groups. Sounds pesky.

Have the docs suggested steriods? Splenectomy? I wonder if Amicar might not be useful to have on hand, for help controlling mucous membrane (nose, mouth) bleeding.

Oh, my. Sorry to pepper you with questions, and good luck!

GamePals said...

Hi Kathy & Kerry!
We didn't know about Kerry's health worries when we saw you last. Gosh...He's really going through a lot of stuff. Please tell him we're wishing a ton of platelets and even more general good health on him.

You, of course, looked great, even tho' you'd had M's revenge. We really had a great time and are looking forward to Battle of the Sexes at our place next time! ;-)TTFN
JKJ and DJ