It begun like this… Step back in time 6 years. I was away with friends for the weekend and was out partying at the time, when I got a call. I was sitting in the back of a car, passing champagne around and drinking from the bottle.
“I’m sick”, Meg said, as matter of fact as always.
“Oh, that’s no good,” I said, not registering the magnitude or chronic nature of the initials ITP. The long words meant nothing to me and I figured my friend would be fine soon. I still regret my callous reaction that equalled something to the significance of a cold.
Now step back again, before that call, and I remember when I first thought something was wrong. I lived with Meg in a house of girls. We would often make quick dashes to the shower in little more than our underwear. One day I looked at Meg as she walked by and I saw an incredible amount of dark bruises on her body. What struck me the most was that they were not in the normal places. Instead of bruises on her knees and shins, she had bruises on the inside of her thighs and highlighted against the porcelain white skin underneath her forearm. We discussed these bruises and figured they were nothing. Perhaps she needed to take iron tablets.
Step back even earlier than that and my friend had been on her first overseas trip to Mexico. She was meant to go for three months but came back a little early. She was sad; homesick, I thought. But when she got back, she didn’t look well. Her skin was bad and she cried a lot; and there were the bruises.
Eventually she went to the doctor, then the hospital and slowly she found out about Immune Thrombocytopenia. This was when I got that call, I’m sick. It wasn’t till I came home and she explained what it meant that I realised my friend was sick, in a real way. And that it wouldn’t be going away any time soon.
The life changes my friend has had to make is something I would like to discuss in a later article, along with the various experiences of caring about someone who is sick. So glad that my beautiful friend has created this platform for open, honest and inspiring discussion.