Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happily Even After

You know how when it rains it pours? Last week I introduced you to my brother. Monday night my mom called me in a panic. She took Jake to the doctor for a wart on his knee. While he was there, the doctor noticed some bruises on his wrists and hands, so they drew blood and promised to call Mom within 24 hours with the results. By the time Mom made it home 20 minutes later, they were already on the phone with my stepdad, Jeff. A normal person has 250,000 - 450,000 platelets or so in their blood. Jake had 5000 So his blood wasn't clotting. They scheduled an emergency appointment for him Tuesday with a pediatric hematologist. I immediately started doing research online, only to have my wits scared out of me with leukimia as the prime cause.

Mom and Jake picked up Mia and me at 7:30 am. We arrived at the doctor's just before nine am, and it's a fantastic office. Disney channel in the waiting room with LOTS of toys, Gameboy Advances and Gamecubes in the patient rooms. Mia and I spent the day in the waiting room while Mom kept us updated. When the nurses rubbed Jake's elbow to look at his veins, he immediately started bleeding; that's how thin his blood was. The verdict: they think he has a condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, which is an autoimmune disorder where the body starts attacking the platelets in the blood. He received an infusion of some medicine that makes it attack the hemoglobins instead. It immediately made him vomit and turn white. Ten minutes later he was shaking violently with the chills; apparently that's the normal reaction. As is his jaundice and 102 degree fever.

We go back to the doctor tomorrow. If his platelets are up, then ITP is the likely cause and we wait to see if it's acute (lasting under six months) or chronic (lifelong). Either way, he will have to be careful. No football or roughhousing. When his platelets are low, even a simple bump to the head could cause him to bleed internally. If his platelets aren't up, then it's not ITP, and they have to look for other possible causes, including lupus.

Happily Even After by Marilynn Griffith is the last book in the Sassy Sistahood series (No!!!!) Griffith is one of my favorite authors. She always manages to capture real women in tough situations and do it with grace and style. I want all of her characters for my friends, and I definitely want to attend the churches in her books. Tracey has married Ryan, the man of her dreams, they have their fantasy home, and a perfect baby girl. What could go wrong? Well, just about everything. Tracey is struggling to make her web design business a go between taking care of her baby and trying to fit in at their new church. But Ryan's business isn't going so well, and in his fight to keep their finances afloat, he pulls some pretty shady manuevers. And his mother named Queen Elizabeth (really!) scorns everything about Tracey from her weight to her breastfeeding. When the Queen embarrasses Tracey in front of their entire church, and Ryan doesn't back her up, she's at the end of her tether. But God works in mysterious ways, and he uses her humiliation as a way to introduce her to the women of the church. Soon Tracey is making friends and getting her self confidence back, except for about her weight; she just can't seem to lose the last few pounds of baby weight. Tracey is a realistic, fantastic woman, and reading about her frustration with her weight and mothering duties, plus handling her mother-in-law makes for enjoyable reading, whether I'm laughing or crying with her. Tracey learns to lean on God for her needs instead of her husband, and as her faith deepens, so does the story. Griffith has a powerful story with messages for women of all races and colors.

We're all running on a state of high alert right now. Life is a bit stressful. Mia and I are looking forward to tonight though: Molly's cheering at her first game. I'll post pictures tomorrow.


Kim said...

I work for a man whose son has this disorder. He has had it for about three years now. The treatments help despite the side effects. I understand removal of the spleen is the answer if the treatments don't work.

I know it's scary. I've watched this man come in after a long night at the emergency rooms. Bumps to the head are inevitable with boys, and they take on a whole new level of scary with this problem.

I'll be praying for you family. Hang in there! I know it's scary!