Stumped

Greetings! My sincerest apologies for being away for so long, but I do have a pretty valid excuse. A little over 2 weeks ago, I started to have bruises show up that were really not explainable. I kept an eye on things for a few days and new bruising kept appearing. Then I had a day in which  felt very low on energy, followed by another day with even less energy. So Nora and I decided I had better get myself checked out and with my health history, I skipped the regular walk-in and went to the Emergency Department at our local hospital. They did some tests and discovered my platelet count was extremely low. The normal range for platelets is around 140,000-400,000. I had 1000.

Our local hospital is great, but small and they do not have the resources to deal with someone in that condition, plus because I was so low, it was decided to ship me out. The first choice was Mayo, but they did not have room for me at the moment. Next was Wausau, but same thing. The next call to St Luke’s in Duluth provided me with a room and treatment, so I got to take a nice sunset flight from Houghton County airport to Duluth aboard a fixed wing air ambulance.

Once in Duluth, lots more tests, blood infusions and some drugs that typically help reverse the condition I had. I was there from Wednesday night through Saturday night with no positive results, so I was decided to ship me off to the Mayo. No air travel this time but they did give me something to keep me relaxed and comfortable for the 4 hour drive. 

They drive went well and I got settled into my new digs at the Mayo. That was a week ago and since then I have had LOTS of tests done. So much blood drawn that they have had to put some back in me! My platelet count has been bouncing around every day and if it gets too fare below 10,000, then they give me a bag of them. My highest platelet count since this all started has been 24,000, which was a week ago today, but that also followed a transfusion and the medicine that typically helps boost platelets in the body. Yesterday I was at 9,000 and today 8,000. 

Tomorrow is a pretty important day. I am going to have a PET scan done in the morning. It is a scan that looks for areas of abnormally high metabolism. That could indicate cancer or or infection. They also have a test scheduled for Tuesday in the event the PET scan does not show anything. That Tuesday test would give them a very good look at my heart valves to see if either or both of my artificial valves are destroying the platelets.

The doctors here say that it is very rare to have someone stump them for so long, so I guess at least I have that honor! So far the the Lord above has been giving me plenty of doses of patience. Typically I start to get very anxious after around 2-3 days in the hospital. This due to all the previous hospitalizations creating an anxiety disorder.

So I am very grateful for not having lost my cool. I am also extremely grateful for the care I have been given from the first moment. Portage Health, St Luke’s and the Mayo have all been top notch in every level. I also have had a friend from Jacobsville here since Tuesday of last week, keeping me company and helping to pass the time. He has truly been an angel of mercy with all the time he has spent here with me. 

Nora and Grace have not been able to make the trip down yet. School just started and there are lots of other things going on, including having to take care of Bleau and Kashi. I am really hoping that the test tomorrow bring out the guilty party and that it is not too serious. I am ready to go home and be with my family. I’ve been through a lot of sticky wickets in my life and find myself pushing through another. I got plenty of fight in me and am locked, loaded and ready to keep on keeping on. I welcome any positive thoughts, prayers and anything else you can put out into the universe to help me on my latest adventure and I will be sure to keep you all updated on things.

Have a wonderful week and…

Good Night from the Keweenaw (in thought)..
JD 

A Hint