Hi. My name is Simon. I am a 26-yr-old male dairy farmer from New Zealand, usually fit and healthy. I have recently been diagnosed with ITP. It came on suddenly-- one day I started peeing blood and had kidney pains so I booked a doctor’s appointment for the next day. When that came around I also had bruises and blood spots all over my body including my mouth. The doctor sent me straight to the hospital saying I had low platelets. It turns out he was right.
The hameatologist said I had two more options to try before other major drugs -- spleen removal or rituximab. At this time I also had nosebleeds that would not stop, sometimes for six hours until they put things in my nose to stop it, which was very uncomfortable. I chose spleen removal because it sounded like the rituximab had less chance of working and even less for the future.
So I had the spleen out while having platelet transfusion. All went well and a blood test that night showed a 76,000 count. That was followed by 41,000 the next day, then 20,000, and then only 8,000. Since that was not the desired outcome it was time to try the rituximab. I had the IV drip of rituximab last night and am waiting for blood tests but I have blood ulcers in my mouth again. It looks like my count is down low because I only get them when it’s around 1,000. They have been weaning me off the prednisone and I'm still in the hospital so they can watch me.
The doctors took a bone marrow sample and I'm producing plenty of platelets. They are testing my blood for various things, have scanned my liver but still we don’t know what is going on. I've had to quit my job because the cows still need to be milked and I had to pull out of a sharemilking job for next season. I am getting very frustrated and down sometimes since nothing seems to be working and there are no answers. I am trying to stay positive for my partner and family because I don’t want them to worry or myself since worrying won’t help. It all just seemed to happen so fast. I am now wanting to look at natural ways that can help my situation, like a change of diet, herbs etc. Even if it gets me to a count of 10,000 I'd be happy. If anybody has any suggestions or anything that might help I would very much appreciate it.
Thanks for reading. Simon P. (New Zealand)