*** This post was supposed to go out on Monday but apparently didn't get published 
(stupid hospital WIFI) ***

How was your Valentine's Day? Full of love and sweet treats I hope!

Ours was definitely unforgettable. Branch ended up in the hospital.

Yep, that's my handsome Valentine in the ER... And we're still here (although now we are in a private room upstairs). So what happened you ask? 

We were hanging out on the couch while Easton was napping. We had a pretty relaxing morning, going to the gym, making a big brunch, and catching up on some TV shows when we noticed a grouping of purple dots on Branch's foot. He took off his other sock and there was the same grouping. We then found the purple dots in latches all over his body. They didn't itch and he had no other symptoms but we thought it would be a good idea for him to go get it checked out.

Easton was still napping so Branch headed to a CVS Minute Clinic. The RN there said she wasn't qualified to handle it so she suggested he go to see an MD at an urgent care Clinic. The urgent care clinic she recommended didn't accept his insurance so he went to another one. It was closed. It was now about 1:30 on a Saturday so all the urgent care centers were closing. I made the decision that we take him to the ER. We didn't have any other options.

Both of our moms were unavailable so we took Easton to a drop in day care and Branch to the nearest hospital, St. Thomas West.  Turns out the "rash" was petechia, which is a series of small bruises just under the skin. They did some blood work and his platelet count came back low. Really low. Your platelet count should be somewhere between 150,000 - 200,000. Branch's was 3,000. 

Having a platelet count that low put him at risk for uncontrollable bleeding and hemorrhaging so we were admitted to the hospital immediately. The bleeding results from unusually low levels of platelets — the cells that help your blood clot.

When Branch was four or five, he had Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), which is a disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. All signs indicated that it was back. 

Remember that stomach bug we had a couple of weeks ago? Chances are, that triggered the ITP's return.  Branch's immune system went into over drive to kill the virus that caused the stomach bug. Then, after the bug was gone, it just kept on working and started killing off platelets.

They've got Branch on steroids to help suppress his immune system and a medicine to coat his platelets and protect them.  They checked his blood again on Sunday and there was no change. Another round of steroids and medicine later and Monday's blood work showed an improvement to 5,000.  

The doctor would like him to be close to 10,000 before Branch is discharged. 

Fortunately, Branch isn't in any pain or discomfort (besides having an IV in his arm all the time and a case of cabin fever).  Today he and I are cooped up with Ice Storm 2015 raging outside.

Easton is staying with my mom who has been handling all of the childcare so that I can be here with Branch.  She's been a total lifesaver!

I'll keep y'all updated with any changes! Until then, please pray we can get out of here soon!


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