We had an appointment scheduled for 10:15 this morning. This was during Zi's regular nap time. As you can imagine it was a bit of a challenge keeping him content, especially due to the fact the Dr. didn't come into the room until almost 11:15. I kept perspective the entire time realizing that he could have been speaking to a child's parents that were going through something much harder than we were. They may have had a list of questions even longer than mine.
The Dr. spent at least 45 minutes with us, covering both Zi's diagnosis of ITP and why, based on his lab results and clinical presentation he did not believe Zion has Leukemia. Acute ITP usually presents after a child has experienced a viral illness. Based on the fact that Zion was sicker than a dog about 3 weeks ago after his six, (yes six all at the same time) vaccinations and viral illness that came on at the same time, it made perfect since and confirmed even further the diagnosis of ITP. Basically, he explained ITP as "friendly fire." When Zion's immune system was hit with a big job to do it "went into overdrive" and the antibodies that your body usually makes to fight infection for some "unknown reason" began attacking his bodies own platelets and attaching themselves to them. Then his spleen which has the job of destroying the cells that the antibodies attach themselves to gets a bit confused and just destroys these good platelets that the antibodies are hitching a ride with figuring they are "Foreign invaders." Yikes, "information overload," hence the title of my blog today.
The Dr. then went on to explain all our treatment options which ranged from doing nothing to admitting him as an inpatient and giving him an IV treatment over a three day period for six hours a day. Based on Zion's age and stage of life (a one year old learning to walk) and the possibility of getting injured and causing dangerous bleeding the Dr. did not recommend the "doing nothing" option.
So where do we go from here.... We have chosen the least invasive route to begin with and would like you to join us in praying that this approach would work and completely cure Zion's condition. We began heavy doses of oral Prednisone today and will taper (or decrease) his dose every 4 days based on his lab results for an initial period of 16 days. Yes, that means every four days we will be going to the lab for blood draws. In addition Prednisone has some unpleasant side effects. We obviously are not looking forward to this but are more than willing considering what our news could have been yesterday.
I was so concerned to give Zion his first dose today. Normally he takes medication well but the pharmacist warned me that although it was flavored it was extremely bitter. She encouraged me to taste a little on my finger prior to administering it to him. Let me just say, I can sum it up in one word...NASTY!! I prayed big time before giving it to him and God is so good. Zion took it like a champ and actually wanted more! He also loves to suck on Lemons... go figure!
So that's the latest! We are asking for prayer that Zion will respond beautifully to this first line of treatment and be completely healed! The information that I have read says that Acute ITP is curable in 80-90% of children diagnosed as early as Zion. Praise God! Please pray our little man falls right smack dab in the middle of that percentage! Please also pray that he does not suffer any of the unfortunate side effects of these steroids. We would also pray for protection from injury and infection and especially that our family remains healthy during this entire process. One of those "unfortunate side effects" is that they are more prone to illness while on the Prednisone.
Lastly, I want to again thank everyone for your outpouring of love, support and prayer. Your comments are just so uplifting and have encouraged us tremendously. We love you all and will continue to keep you posted as we navigate these "uncharted waters."