Shortly after Christmas 2019, I noticed small, red dots spreading up and down my legs and arms. I found out later these dots are called petechiae. They form when the little capularies under your skin burst open causing a small amount of blood to rise to the surface of the skin. Shortly after noticing this I also discovered that I was bruising more easily. I went to the doctor on January 9, 2019, had some blood work done, and that night I was admitted to the hospital.
My platelet count was down to 4,000. In the normal person they run from 150,000 - 400,000. Platelets are responsible for clotting your blood when you get cut. What followed was 8 days in the hospital where several different tests were done and many diagnoses were kicked around. The one the hematologist finally settled on was Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia. It's a disease where the number of stem cells in your body is affected negatively by your immune system.
Treatment started but I did not respond to anything that was tried. Finally, my hematologist got to see the full report from a bone marrow biopsy I had done, and after conferencing with a hematologist at the University of Minnesota, concluded that I actually have Aplastic Anemia. My stem cells have been killed off for the most part, and the ones that are left are dying.
In order to survive, I need a bone marrow transplant. We are currently looking for a match while I prepare mentally and physically for what is ahead.