Vibeke Myrås

Patient

My name is Vibeke Myrås. I am 38 years old and from Norway. I have a wonderful husband and three children between the ages of 10 and 16. I have a fairly successful career; I own my own company, which employs a couple of employees.

In 2010, I had my first, and hopefully only, TTP incident. It is hard to say exactly how it all started, but for me 2010 got off to a difficult start. I was constantly tired, unhappy with my work, trying to diet, I wanted to lose 20 kilograms, all while trying to maintain a healthy family life. It all seemed to be too much to deal with due to my tiredness. I even changed jobs to one with fewer responsibilities, less travelling and less pay.

In May I started my new job, with the feeling of no energy and a lot of stress. On July 1st, I had my TTP crisis. From May to July I experienced less and less energy, petechiae, complete breathlessness after walking a flight of stairs, numbness in my tongue and a lot of sleep problems. First, I blamed the stress from my other job. Then I starting to think that maybe I had cancer. When I finally decided to go to the doctor I had to beg him to take my blood. I knew something was wrong with me and I wanted answers but he thought I was just another “stressed out housewife.”

Ironically, I was admitted to hospital just a few days before I had my TTP incident. I had been diagnosed with ITP (the less severe type of thrombocytopenia). At that time, my red blood cell count was next to nothing and I was aggressive, depressive and not fully in my right mind. They sent me home assuming some Prednisolone would cure me.

I clearly had a slow development during the months before. But as I was misdiagnosed, the red blood count was allowed to fall and the thrombs were allowed to multiply, making me aggressive and depressive.

On July 1st, my husband and children were supposed to have gone on a summer vacation. I was going to stay home for a few days and planned to join them later when I was feeling better. Luckily, my dear husband didn’t feel comfortable with the plan and decided they would wait with me. If they hadn’t, I don’t know if I would have lived through my TTP incident. I still don’t remember much from the incident other than I was vomiting all over the living room, I couldn’t speak because my tongue didn’t cooperate, I was naked, confused and had no understanding; I needed help. My poor kids were the ones that had to witness me like that and it still makes them feel unsafe whenever I catch a cold. I was brought to the hospital in an ambulance with sirens and blue lights, under the belief that I had suffered a stroke. For the first 24 hours in the hospital I was in a medically induced coma. I was told this was to keep me from cramping and to keep me still. When I came to, I was diagnosed with TTP.

I spent one week in hospital and received several outpatient plasmapheresis treatments during the summer. I turned down the doctor’s offer of chemotherapy treatment, but did accept the Prednisolone. I also sought out acupuncture and homeopathic remedies. After approximately five months, I was back at my full time job. And today, four years later, I run my own company.

This was a traumatic experience for both my family and I. We are very afraid of possible relapses. However, four years have passed without any relapses, and we become more and more assured that I am healthy again each year.

The full story and the thoughts I had during my TTP experience may be found in the blog that I wrote during my experience. Feel free to follow this link and read more about my experience: www.ttpgirl.wordpress.com

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