Platelets and Cream

First, a word about my newest sponsor: TruckerCo.
Chuck and Greg are on a mission to deliver quality bike parts and apparel. In fact, beginning in the Spring of 2012, they will have expanded to include a custom team cycling clothing line. Get your orders in now!
Oh, and they continue to race bikes and dominate. Visit TruckerCo for their goods. 

Today, kids, we’re going to learn about platelets.

Special Bonus: you’ll meet some of the valley’s best healthcare experts along the way.
Let's meet the first experts now.
The Lab crew at American Fork Hospital. They take your
blood without a pinch but make you joust first.
What are Platelets and why are they important?
 I’ll use my favorite analogy, which also ties in my newest sponsor, TruckerCo. The R&D team (cough-cough) at TruckerCo invented Cream, which is the best and lightest tubeless tire sealant on the planet (thanks, Greg, you can send the pallet straight to my house). You simply add a small serving of Cream to your tubeless tires, mount up, inflate (high psi), and you’re good to go. If your tire gets a tear or puncture, Cream finds the puncture, coagulates, and plugs it. Sometimes without you even knowing it. Brilliant. When your Cream gets low, which it does over time, its special sealing power diminishes and you flat. That could ruin a perfectly good ride. Take away: make sure you have plenty of Cream on hand.

What does this have to do with Platelets? 
Easy. Cream is to tubeless tires what platelets are to your body. You get cut and your platelets band together and rush into action. They converge on the cut and plug it up, thus preventing you from bleeding. Sometimes they do this without you even knowing it. When you have too few platelets, you bleed a lot when you get cut, scraped, or for no reason at all, internally and externally. This totally sets you up for rude comments from rude friends. More importantly, it poses a serious threat in that you can’t sustain too much blood loss and expect to be productive. You just can’t. A pop in the head could pose a big problem because blood has nowhere to flow up there. 

This is where my analogy stops.

With tubeless tires, TruckerCo has not yet invented a way for Cream to auto-replicate and maintain optimal levels. In most human bodies, there is something in place to auto-create platelets. It’s called bone marrow. Your bone marrow’s job, among other things, is to create the platelets you need to not bleed every time a tree branch waves at you. Brilliant! 
This week I got results back from last week's bone marrow biopsy. The news was positive - my bone marrow's doing its job. This ruled out, to a degree, other complications and certainly rules out the need for bone marrow transplants.

Dr. Freestone and his partner Chris - the bone marrow experts.
These guys know how to inflict exquisite pain!
At the end of October, I was feeling really weak. 
On November 3rd, my doctors discovered that my platelets “appeared to be nonexistent.” 
At that time I had 3,000 platelets. 
“Normal people” have 250,000 to 350,000.
My condition was/is diagnosed as ITP. Today, about four weeks later, my doctors are still trying to figure out why my body destroys my platelets.

Platelets: 43k
(down from 78k two days ago)
Meds: 70MG Prednisone (Steroid)

Because my platelets keep dropping, we’re changing directions tomorrow. 
I’ll tell you about that later.


South County Ciclista said...

Keep Trucking along. You will beat this thing.

Aaron said...

Have they tried injecting Cream or Stans fluid directly into your blood stream? The nice thing about Cream and Stans is that they cannot be killed like platelets.