‘’I have learned to take nothing for granted, live life to the fullest and enjoy making memories with my family and friends.’’

Michelle, living with Hypogammaglobulinemia & Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

I was 29 years old when I was first diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). I had six platelets left, was bleeding from the inside and covered in countless scary bruises.

I received life-saving IVIG and was able to go into remission. Along the way I encountered other issues that I knew were linked. My amazing doctors discovered that I have hypogammaglobulinemia, a primary immunodeficiency that was present prior to my ITP diagnosis.

That’s actually how I got ITP. I had a series of severe sinus infections; and no matter how many rounds of antibiotics I took they still did not work. The illness attacked my immune system so severely that it caused ITP. 

For the past 18 months I’ve been receiving intravenous immunoglobulin every four weeks, in six-hour infusions, to help me and my body just be OK. It has not been easy going – with the side effects, arranging my treatments with my work schedule, and also caring for my young son.

My son gives me the inner strength I need to fight each and every day to be well for him and for my family. Can this all be scary at times? Absolutely.

I choose to focus on what I can control—diet, exercise, decisions about physicians, treatments and my overall health. Attitude is important as well. I choose to not let this make me bitter. My perspective is that things could be much worse - there are so many people enduring situations worse than mine.

I have learned to take nothing for granted, live life to the fullest and enjoy making memories with my family and friends. Living with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I realize that changing my attitude makes my situation easier. This has been so helpful.

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