Getting Closer!

I had two appointments with a hematologist this past week. I left the first visit feeling like I was being pulled back in time, as he wanted to run a whole series of tests to support his theory that I had an auto-immune disease, and not an implant reaction. I was down this road earlier in the year, and knew that this was not the case. Brad went with me to the second appointment, as I had a strong feeling that what I would be hearing would not be good news, but we were both surprised...as we ended up with what we considered the "best case scenario!"

After running a myriad of tests, the doc has come to the conclusion that my low platelet count is likely due to the implant reaction. I think he was a bit surprised. In fact, the only things that showed up as something to be concerned about support the implant reaction theory and are not consistent with anything else. He agreed with me that as long as I had the artificial disc in my platelets would be low, so it would make no sense to further postpone the surgery since the surgery is likely what I need to correct the issue. This being said, he is giving his approval for me to move forward with the surgery, with the suggestion that they have platelets on hand for a transfusion during the procedure.

The one slightly sticky point is that my platelet count tanked even more this past week. It was at 21, and as of Wednesday I was at 13. The 13 is unbelievably low, so I'm now on a heavy dosage of steroids to bring the count up. I'm taking 10 of these things a day for four days, and then will go into the doc on Monday to see what the platelet count is. I'm guessing that if it does help bring up the count, he may recommend I take them leading up to the surgery to keep the count higher. Though the count is very low (should normally be at least 150), the good news is that the platelets I do have seem to be very healthy, as I'm not exhibiting issues that most people with that low a count would be having.

On Monday I will be working with my Baltimore surgeon's office to reschedule the surgery, which I'm hoping can still be done in December. It's no longer the best time for me to do this work-wise, but I'm hoping I can still make it work. I'd really hate to have to wait until March to get this resolved (since with my job I have year-end close to do in January & February), especially since my pain levels continue to worsen by the week.

In the meantime, these last few days have been a bit odd, as the steroids are a bit difficult to stomach. I'm taking two Zantac twice a day to help neutralize the stomach pain the meds cause. In addition, the steroids have a tendency to usually make it harder to sleep, can cause headaches, and can also make you starving all the time. I'm not dealing with the starving part, but I have been hit with everything else. The good news is that I think I'm starting to get use to them, at least.

Thanksgiving day was a tough one, and I found myself lounging around my parents house most of the day feeling ill. Thursday evening I was really bad, but Friday was a bit better and today - though I was wide awake at 6am - I feel a little bit better still. I need to start re-preparing for my surgery once again, so I'm planning on taking some time today to work on that. On Sunday I'm hoping to meet up with my friend Moe in Cincinnati for lunch, as I haven't seen him in more than a year. Considering we're only 3-1/2 hours apart, we should see each other more, but with opposite schedules it makes it difficult. If I can manage to do the trip tomorrow, that should be a fun day.

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