Friday, June 10, 2011

Update. Not good.

My vacation was cut short due to an acute episode in which I became very ill. I experienced a sudden onset of a drenching sweat, dizziness, and palpitations (feeling of the heart beating weird) with an overwhelming feeling that I was going to pass out and die. My husband helped me crawl into the bed, where my heart continued to beat very slowly. Earlier in the day I'd felt feverish and was retaining fluid in my legs, arms and face. All were very puffy with pitting edema (fluid retention that is pronounced - when you push on the area it leaves a dent that takes a while to pop back to normal). I said goodbye to Bill and told him to make sure he told the kids how much I love them. Then I began to experience sudden, severe surges of adrenaline with shaking and extreme anxiety. After taking many meds it did calm down a bit but I still felt awful the next day and peed constantly.

I hadn't yet told my doctor about the petechiae in my legs, so I decided it was time to pay him a visit. The short version is that he thinks I have developed Addison's Disease (adrenal insufficiency) and he was alarmed when he palpated my abdomen to feel how enlarged my spleen had become. Addison's (President Kennedy had this disease altho it was kept quiet while he was President) could be caused from one of three ways in people with my history. The petechiae was most likely from low platelets.

I had a battery of blood tests and am going into the hospital on the 22nd for a bunch of in-depth studies to see what's going on. Today I learned that my platelet count is <100,000, which is right where a person would get petechiae. In the meantime, I am not supposed to drive except brief errands, no lifting over 10 lbs and not be alone for extended periods. And, I am supposed to rest as much as possible.

I will admit it has been a bit scary. It's all just a sign of advancing disease. I think I am handling it well emotionally and I am following doctor's orders.....but I'd appreciate a prayer and positive energy. Neither issues is minor for me or my family.