Monday, 20 June 2011

ICU- ITP diagnoses

Max was in ICU for one week and during that time it never felt real. I didn't feel like I was a part of this story, I felt like an observer. I felt like I was watching it on TV. It's nearly 3 weeks later and I still don't really believe that my boy had a stroke. I think this detachment is what has helped me to stay strong. If I stopped for a minute and allowe myself to soak up the magnitude of what has happened then I'd probably go completely bonkers.....

The first 24hours that Max was in ICU, it was such a blur of neurosurgeons, neurologists, haematologists, paediatricians, oncologists and intensive care doctors. I tried to smile and nod politely and look like I knew what they were talking about. In reality, I only heard a few words. All of these specialists would look at me sympathetically and pat me on the back. I never found that comforting, it was just annoying. The sympathetic gestures only reinforced that something was wrong. There was nothing wrong. It wasn't my son who was so sick, it was just some character on the TV. That afternoon they tested Max's bone marrow to see if he had leukemia. We were relieved when we found out that it wasn't. They decided to start treating Max for ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Perpura)- a disease where the bodies immune system attacks the platelets putting the person at risk of bruising and (as in Max's case) bleeding on the brain. ITP was rare in babies and bleeding on the brain was rare in ITP. We were unlucky in both regards.

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