My name is Teela Beals I am 33 years old, living in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. I am single and living in my own apartment. I am an esthetician working in the beauty industry. I first had TTP back in October 2007.
I felt really tired, like I couldn’t get out of my own way. At the time of my first episode I was living with my mother, she is a nurse. I can remember saying to my mother walking up three flights of steps "man I’m tired mom these steps are killing me", not knowing I had TTP. A few weeks after that I noticed bruising and little red dots on my arms and at that point I knew something was wrong, so I went to the doctor and he gave me a form to get blood work done. I waited until Monday, my day off from work, to go to the clinic.
Blood work was done at 7:30am. After that I went to my aunt’s house to meet her to go shopping around 9:30. Not even an hour later my doctor calls my cell phone and says "Teela you have to go over to the emergency right now at the Q E 2 hospital something is wrong and I don’t know what it is. I called them to let them know you are on your way." At that very moment I knew my blood pressure was up. I was scared. I did not know what was happening to me.
I was in emergency for at least 7 hours, my mom running back and forth because that was the hospital she worked in. The doctor looked at me and said "Teela we have to admit you". I broke down in tears. That night I will never forget the nurses taking great care of me. I was on Prednisone.
I really don’t know what happened or how it happened or why? I still ask myself. I do believe that everyone has an underlying sickness and stress will bring anything out, and at the point in my life I was stressed. I never heard of TTP before and wondered why me out of everyone I had it, but I knew that God does not give anyone anything they can’t handle and it was up to me to beat it. My mom was my rock she helped me more than anyone; she was there for me mentally and emotionally. I do know after they told my grandmother she ended up in the hospital and I know it was because she was worried about me. From the end of October to January that year I was off work. Went back a week around Christmas time and I was so tired. I never realized when you’re in the hospital your life stops and everyone else around you keeps moving along with their life. Most of my friends I feel don’t understand what I went through, but I’m ok with that because I know what I went though and that’s all that matters.
When I had to get Apheresis it drained me, I remember one time I had a reaction to the plasma and my throat was itch and scratchy and I had hives and they had to hook me up to a heart monitor because I was having chest pains. I'm thinking in my head "only I would be allergic to plasma". I really laughed at myself because the only way I could get though this was smiling. I felt like Will Smith off the movie Hitched when he ate the shell fish and had a reaction. (Laughing) The Apheresis team was great to me and made me smile every day I was in there. Dr. Robinson was awesome; she made me feel like I could ask any thing. I felt like I was VIP in there. I also met a girl my age in there. Me and her still to this day keep in touch, she had TTP too. It’s kind of funny my mom baked them a cake because they treated me so well just to show some appreciation.
I did have another relapse in December 2009 I took myself right into the hospital on Christmas day and was in there for about 3 weeks until I became an outpatient I wasn’t on Prednisone this time which was great! I took January off from work and went back in February.
I find myself waking up looking at my arms every morning looking for bruises I carry a blood form around in my purse just in case. If I feel anything weird I’m getting blood work done. Maybe a bit paranoid but I think it’s cautious.
I want to have kids someday but I hear stories online about people getting TTP back when they get pregnant, I know how hard it was for me to go through and I don’t know if I would want to go through it with an unborn child, but I still believe if God wants to bless me with one then he will.
I tell everybody to give blood. Whether or not they listen to me, is there choice. You will never know when you will need it. I never in a million years would expect to get TTP and never expect to receive a great gift from someone I don’t even know, I realized how much it meant to me when I was in the hospital that someone giving me there blood was the best gift I ever received in my life. Because of these people I never even met I'm still here kicking around. I have a great deal of respect for blood donors, they gave me my life and I thank them.
Now I try to eat my leafy green vegetables, I am on iron pills but they seem to not be working me and Dr. Robinson decided to start me on IV iron in a few weeks to see if we can keep my iron up, my day to day I just live to the fullest because I never know when God may want me. It has been a great life and I do believe I am here to tell my story an educate people on my story with TTP.