We met with the surgeon this morning. It went well ... or as well as such an appointment can go. He has a very good reputation and seems very careful and competent. He was very clear about the risks involved and what I should expect in terms of recovery time etc. Much of what we discussed was stuff I'd already gleaned from the internet but it was good it have in confirmed and clarified.
All things going well they will perform the procedure laproscopically. However given my condition there is the risk that if I bleed too much they will be forced to resort to open surgery (they simply can't see what they are doing otherwise). This will require a much longer recovery time and I'll have a nice battle scar just below my left ribs.
If my platelets don't come up on their own they'll give me another infusion to try to bring them back to a safe level. If this is still insufficient to get my platelets back to at least 50 they'll give me an transfusion of platelets both before and then again during the procedure.
I have a tentative date of Monday 28th March for the operation and should know for sure in the next week when it'll be happening.
I'll have to go in to the hospital about a week before for a pre-op appointment. This is when they'll do all their tests and I'll get to meet the anesthetist. I've been warned that this usually takes 4-6 hours. It's going to be along day!
Yesterday I took the immunisation information around to my doctor's clinic. I rang in again today after I'd seen the surgeon to confirm that we would be going ahead. On Monday they'll set about ordering in whatever immunisations they don't have and sometime next week I'll go in and have needles stuck into me in multiple places. I'm not looking forward to this! Blood tests I can handle with nary a blink, but jabs are something else.
Without a spleen I'll be more susceptible to bacterial infections, especially those of the chest infection kind. So there are four or five vaccines I'll be required to have. [note: depending on where in the world you come from this list may vary]
(this protects against pneumonia)
Haemophilus influenza type B
(protects against Hib or Hib Meningitis)
(protects against a group of bacteria that can cause Meningitis)
(protects against the flu)
(protects against Meningococcal B)
Once this is done I'll have to repeat the Pneumococcal every 5 years, Meningococcal every 3-5 years and the Flu vaccine every year during the normal autumn flu season.
I've been snatching rests when I can and picked up some sleeping tablets yesterday and so managed to get a decent sleep last night. I had a better day today.
I haven't declined as rapidly as I'd anticipated since finding out that my last platelet result was 18. I'm very slowly getting a few more spots everyday, but haven't had a drastic increase in symptoms, so perhaps the Prednisone is working to slow the decline. I'm assuming my platelets are still on a downward trend since the petectiae (the little red blood spots) are increasing rather than disappearing as they usually do when my platelets go up.
Thanks for all your support, encouragement and prayers. It really does help!