It had to be on the first day of our holiday, of all of the days, things changed. I was laying on the sun bed, feeling a little under the weather. I didn’t know whether to put it down to the long day we had before travelling, the alcohol, or the sun, but i felt more tired than usual. Even after a doze, I never felt like I really woke up. Our sun beds were positioned at the end of the front row, right next to the steps that serviced about 75% of the people who wanted to get in and out of the pool. Whilst i was dozing, a child walked by with a huge inflatable crocodile, which brushed my feet as he passed. I don’t like things touching my feet, but especially not big green reptiles. I brought my foot up to scratch it, and thats when i noticed that the rash I had on my arm the night before, had migrated down to my feet.
The rash itself was deep and red. It laid under the skin, but did not cause any raising of the skin. It was worst around the joints in my toes. I inspected my arm again, and found that the rash had spread, and the pre-existing dots had grown, and were following the vein in my arm. Being a 20 year old, i picked up my iPhone, and began sending photos back home to my parents labelled ‘What an earth is this’, and ‘I knew i was diseased!’. There reply was ‘We always knew you were strange. Keep your eye on it, and you know where the doctor is if you need him’.
Later on that day, concern grew enough for me to remove myself from my sun bed, and visit the doctor. I didn’t want to go, and my girlfriend felt the same way. But by this point, i knew something wasn’t right. It seemed too coincidental that I had a rash appear after a flight, that followed the lines of veins in my arms, but didn’t itch, sting, or match with any knocks or scrapes I had received in the usual queues at the airport.
A trip down to the doctors followed, and the doctor and nurses crowded round and poked and prodded. Eventually, they decided that I needed to visit the hospital for a blood test, to rule out anything sinister. There was another family in there with an upset stomach, who were also waiting to be sent to the hospital, so I thought this was perfectly normal.
So we headed over to the hospital with nothing more than the clothes on our backs, and about £10. I was kept at that hospital over night (I wasn't happy at this point), but then the doctors came in the following morning, and told me I was being transferred to the bigger hospital over an hour away for 'Critical Care'. I spent 4 days in hospital in all, and after trying several translators, and going through the holiday company, we found out that my platelet levels were at below 12,000. After 4 days on treatment (I don't know what i received in hospital as it was all in Turkish), i was released with a platelet level of 48,000.
3 weeks later, I am now back in the UK. The first thing I did was take all of the medical records to my GP, who tried to book me an urgent appointment with a Haematologist at our local hospital. The appointment was booked for 18th November, but it was then rejected because they booked it with the wrong hospital?
I have now gone with BUPA. I am currently taking 100mg Prednisolone daily, along with 70mg Aledronic Acid a week to stop the steroids affecting my bones.
I have attached a couple of photos of the rash I had, and also the bruises I was left with following blood tests. They didn't butcher me in Turkey, I just bled... A lot!!