“I decided to not give up hope”

I’m Preeti, a twenty-seven year old ophthalmology resident. I was diagnosed with ITP one year ago, and being in the medical field, it was very tough for me to accept it. My platelet count was only 5,000. I was admitted in PGI Rohtak (India) for one week. I was able to recover without any treatment that time. So at this point it was an acute kind of thing, which I was very happy to hear, and everything was good.

But just three months after that episode, I observed small petechiae and bruises on my legs. I rushed to the hospital again and my count was at 4,000. I was shattered. I was not able to think anything positive at that time. My parents took me to Medanta Gurgaon (a prestigious private hospital in NCR) and I was admitted for a few days. They prescribed me a 60 mg dose of steroids, and I stayed on steroid therapy for six months with regular blood tests. Everything was fine except the horrible side effects of the steroids. I gained almost five kilograms with baby fat on my face, acne, and developed new fine tremors. Being in the surgical field, of course the tremors were the biggest challenge for me. I didn’t lose hope, and tried regular exercises and dietary modifications.

My frequently changing refractive error and my unexpected behavioral changes were some annoying things. So after tapering my steroids, my doctor put me on Dapsone. My counts were absolutely normal. My life was getting back to normal. During that time, I got married to the love of my life, who is a constant support and my source of all positivity. I started doing well in my professional and personal life; I was very happy and it was a fairytale. I used to go to the gym daily for two hours, and I was in my best form when unfortunately I once again discovered petechiae and bruises. My count was only 3,000 and now with active bleeding. Again, platelets were transfused and I was part of that vicious horrible steroid cycle with higher doses of steroids.

My story is one year with three relapses. Somehow, I learned to live with this disease, and I decided to not give up hope. Even if I live with a chronic blood disorder, I can live my life happily with my noble profession and all the beautiful people around me. I don’t know what’s written in the future. I don’t know how many relapses I am going to have. I just know one thing: that I am not going to quit at any cost. I am really lucky to have such supportive parents, life partner, and friends, and even after any hurdle I am going to win this battle.

As of June 2020, Preeti is a doctor and currently working on her Master’s in Ophthalmology.