by Terri Libenson
ET-Overachieve Yep, here we go again. If you're a long-time PD reader, you probably know about Jill's (and my) weird platelet back story. If not, you can catch up at my ancient blog post, "Blood disorders and all that gooey nonsense." To sum it up, I have "Essential Thrombocytosis," or "E.T." (please, spare me the alien jokes). It basically means my bone marrow produces too many platelets. To read about the myriad of symptoms E.T. can produce (and believe me, it's one of the more benign blood disorders), click here. And for the record, I do not have bloody stool. I've addressed this disorder in my strip because there are very few things about myself that I don't address. I also like to bring attention to E.T. because it's an orphan disease and does not receive a lot of press or funding for a cure. ET_Lexicon_c I wrote this particular story line because after years of holding pretty steady, I found out my platelet count had shot up considerably. Stronger meds were recommended to prevent serious problems. Going on those meds was pretty scary. That first week it felt like I was jacked up on 50 cups of coffee. Then I would get killer headaches. The good news: after experimenting with the dosage, my side effects disappeared and my platelet count started going down. So far, so good. We'll see. In the meantime, between the two capsules and baby aspirin for the E.T. and all the vitamins I take to prevent the symptomatic migraines, my pill sorter (yes, I have a pill sorter) resembles that of an ailing octogenarian's. Thankfully, this also gives me superhuman powers and I can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Not really, but I can do my 6 mile running course without upchucking. And thank goodness there are meds. Still, E.T. and its blood sisters -- polycythaemia vera, primary myelofibrosis and chronic myeloid leukemia -- could use a little more help in that department. If you'd like to find out more and help out folks like me, go the MPN Reasearch Foundation and make a donation. And keep reading the story line. You might learn something. I sure did. Like how the symptom, "transient ischemic attack," is a mini-stroke. Good to know.

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