Personal: Bone Marrow Biopsy

Just about every serious illness I’ve had in my life is connected with my blood. I’m registered on the rare blood type register yet I’m not allowed to give blood due to a blood disease my grandmother died of in the late 1980’s (it’s not known if it’s heredity and no chances are being taken). I have very low blood pressure, very high platelet count and I’m anaemic. It’s a wonderful combination, but in my non-medical opinion, I think being anaemic is working in my favour right now.

Anyway, due to the high platelet count, which has reached dangerous levels, I had to have another bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday (my last one was five years ago when my blood disorder was first diagnosed). Painful! It’s not pain in the same sense as when you cut yourself. It’s a painful discomfort as they scrap the inside of your bone, which sends a horrible sensation down your leg and up your back. It’s not pleasant.

Bone marrow tests are used to check whether your bone marrow is healthy. These tests also show whether your bone marrow is making normal amounts of blood cells.

Bone marrow is the sponge-like tissue inside the bones. It contains stem cells that develop into the three types of blood cells that the body needs:

Red blood cells carry oxygen through the body.
White blood cells fight infection.
Platelets (PLATE-lets) stop bleeding.

– taken from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website

High platelet count is called Thrombocytosis. This means my platelet cells cause clots to occur when I don’t need them. It can be dangerous as the clots can travel through the blood to the brain and can cause a stroke. It’s a scary thought.

I have a few more tests coming up before I have to return to the blood specialist. Maybe then I’ll be put on medication to control this disorder … and hopefully that will take some of the danger away!

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