Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good Health News

So today was my follow-up doctor's visit and as things go it was fine. Or at least better. I don't know if I'm happy or not just because part of me is thinking, "So could my platelets just drop randomly and I'll bleed out somewhere?" I'm thinking this is a fiction novel waiting to be written :) Someday I'll get around to that too.

Basically my platelet levels have gone up to 89,000! Still low but obviously better. It also turns out that they ran a Lupus Anticoagulant Assay on me and that came up abnormal. The good news is in 90% of people that doesn't mean anything and is just some innocent thing in my blood. Because I have no idea what it really means or how to explain it I'm going to cut and paste what I found on the internet. Ultimately it doesn't mean much but I don't have to go back for 6 more months and should be fine. I'll just have to check with him before I have any major surgeries or put my head through a windshield :)

Lupus anticoagulant (also known as lupus antibody, LA, or lupus inhibitors) is a medical phenomenon where autoantibodies bind to phospholipids and proteins associated with the cell membrane. Since interactions between the cell membrane and clotting factors are necessary for proper functioning of the coagulation cascade, the lupus anticoagulant can interfere with blood clotting as well as in-vitro tests of clotting function. Paradoxically, lupus anticoagulants are also risk factors for thrombosis.

The name "lupus anticoagulant" is a misnomer. Most patients with a lupus anticoagulant do not actually have lupus erythematosus, and only a small proportion will proceed to develop this disease (which causes joint pains, skin problems and renal failure, amongst other complications). Patients with lupus erythematosus are more likely to develop a lupus anticoagulant than the general population.

Conceptually, lupus anticoagulants overlap with the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. Lupus anticoagulants can be understood as the tendency of antiphospholipid antibodies to prolong the clotting times, especially in phospholipid rich clotting testing such as the dilute Russell's viper venom time.

Often, the lupus anticoagulant is diagnosed on asymptomatic patients by a routine blood testing prior to surgery. Patients with a lupus anticoagulant are prone to thrombosis, excess bleeding, and habitual abortion (repeated miscarriages).

Get all that? Yea, me either. But mostly I'm just going to be observed for a while and that's about it. I get to keep my spleen and bone marrow :)

That's good right?


Cadi, Lance and our 4 miracles. said...

Hmm, yeah that makes absolutely no sense to me but I'm glad that its good news. I've heard of lupus and know that its an autoimmune disorder but the rest is just big medical terms that mean nothing to me. Gotta love medicine, huh? I think they just make stuff up so they can feel superior.

Please let ME know, too, before you put your head through a windsheild. I will pray for you.

Angie said...

You are a testament to the power of prayer.

In my previous life I worked in physical therapy and I still have a hard time with some of the medical terminology!! I am just glad you are improving!

Tripletblessed said...

So glad that your platelets went up that is good news.
Just try to avoid the windsheild for a while ok?!

MaryBeth said...

Finally, some good news health wise to go with the good writing news! I loved the last chapter btw...

Candace Hickey said...

Ok, we will keep the prayers coming.
I have a friend who has Lupus (sp?). She goes about every day life fine...just takes her meds...get tired sometimes...etc.

Glad to hear things are getting better. :)

Denise Wheeler said...

I am so glad that things are looking better. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 22. My mom has Lupus and RA. I also had a positive Lupus test but I don't have Lupus(not yet anyway). I can tell you that my mom lives life just fine as long as she takes her meds. She is 66 and just finalized the adoption of a now 2 year old that they had as a foster baby since she was 4 months old.
I will keep praying for you and that things continue to improve and all of this was just a fluke.