I just got this feeling 2008 will not be a good year for me. I went for my yearly In-Camp-Training and barely into the second week, I got diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). It is the condition of having a low platelet count of no known cause. Most causes appear to be related to antibodies against platelets. In other words, my own immune system is destroying or acting against my blood platelets.
On 21st January 2008, huge ugly bruises began appearing on various parts of my body and I got really worried since I rarely have them. So I went to consult my Medical Officer. I was immediately referred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for further tests. As it turned out, my blood platelet count has dropped to a dangerous level of 3,000. Usually, ITP patients suffer from; bruising, nosebleeds and bleeding gums if the platelet count is below 20,000, as compared to a normal range of 150,000–400,000. You could imagine the doctor was quite frantical at that moment.
He told me that intracerebral hemorrhage or other internal bleeding are the possible complications of this disease. But it is unlikely for patients with the platelets count above 20,000. Well, I got 3,000.
Immediately I was wheeled to the ward and given strict orders not to leave the bed. Then came a barrage of blood tests and whatever tests the doctors could think of. They rule out dengue, HIV (yes HIV) and other diseases before confirming ITP. It was really unfortunate for me to get such a diease and it seems to me my life will be changed in more ways than one after this.
I have been lying there thinking what really happened, "how the heck did I ended up like this?", "Was it my diet, stress from work or what?" I could not think of an answer. I felt that life is so unfair to me. I could barely get over the passing of my mum, why struck me with another thunderbolt? Was I such an ass?
My blood platelet count was flunctuating like the stock market for the next few days. But it finally came up to about 22000 after numerous platelet transfusions and steroid treatments (not to mention the side effects to follow later, sigh....). And I literally begged the doctors to discharge me even though they were looking at a more acceptable number in 30,000. I just could not stand it anymore. I could not bathe, brush my teeth and have to use the urinal from bed, urghhh!!
But I guess it wasn't all that bad, friends and relatives came to visit me and made me realised they are always there for me. I was really comforted. I have never realised that just a simple visit could be such a powerful motivation for me to carry on. These are the friends I can never forsake! My dad and sister were worried and I prayed that I could get out of there as soon as I could.
Thus, with absolutely nothing to do, I began to reflect on my whole life. How have I fare in my career, marriage, well being and family. It suddenly dawned on me that I was always heading towards disaster. I was too busy to learn to relax, too passive when I need to stand for myself, financially drained because of my hobby and family expenses, stressed out by work and emotionly drained because of my mum. I just could not handled all this at one go. I just could not.
Hence, I have decided to take my foot off the pedel for awhile. I'm going to work and not bring my worries home from there. I'm going to wise up in regards to all my expenditure. I'm going to learn to let go of my mum. I have to learn to open that mouth of mine. And I comtemplating giving up this hobby of mine which may have been a chore rather than passion to me now (not to mention financially drained part). I could certainly use the money and invest for my son's future. Yeah, that sounds more sensible.
For now, I taking things one at a time. I suspected that I have a long road to recovery. And I'm pretty sure my platelet level will almost never certainly go up to 150,000. Well, there goes my weekly basketball game!
I sincerely thank those who came to comfort me during this difficult time and I will never forget your kindness nor your graciousness towards me. Kudos guys!
My journey continues.....