How to Heal A Bruise, An ITP Book

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For Patients and Parents living with ITP,

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There is so much information available about the medical problems of immune thrombocytopenia.  Written by doctors and professionals, it’s difficult to read and even harder to decipher. Medical journals and scientific papers never address the questions you actually want answers to – What is it like to live with ITP?  How can I still live my life?  What will it feel like now that I have ITP?

HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE was inspired by Meghan Brewster’s most popular ITP articles.

 HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE includes stories from Meghan’s ITP Journey, some of the latest ITP research and advice for living a life with ITP.  This book is comprehensive yet easy read; from a person who actually has ITP.

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About the Author, Meghan Brewster

meghan brewster, author, how to heal a bruise, itp blood disorderMeg was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia when she was 22 years old.  She struggled to read dense medical journals and scholarly articles to learn more about her ITP.  What was missing from the ITP conversation was information from other patients, about what immune thrombocytopenia was really like.  

In 2012, Meg set up ITPANDME.  Three years later, it’s one of the largest ITP blogs in the world.  Meg has been writing about ITP for more than 6 years, has heard hundreds of patient stories and answered many questions about ITP life from patients and parents.

HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE is an honest account of her journey with ITP, as well as practical advice for living with ITP and information from some of her most popular articles.

This book takes you through the stages of ITP from coming to terms with your diagnosis to finally accepting and thriving with ITP, what to expect while living with ITP and how to make sure it doesn’t take over your life.  An honest and informative account of living with an autoimmune disease.

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Praise for How to Heal a Bruise

The book includes lots of ITP information such as, the science, history, tips and guides, alongside strong emotional support. It is now my own ITP Bible! I could not recommend it more highly! FULL REVIEW HERE from Katie Meloy

Beyond being a book documenting scientific and medical information, is the personal experience of Megan Brewster after seven years of living with this blood disorder and is enriched in fourteen chapters…I didn’t know what to expect on How To Heal A Bruise, then simply I couldn’t stop reading.  FULL REVIEW HERE from Laura

‘My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what we are looking for.’ Andy USA

‘Thank you for your thoughts…they’ve helped me with finding perspective in our reality.’ Jenny Australia

‘Love the way you write.  Meg, you made me chuckle.’ Bron Australia

‘Thank you for writing this, it will surely help the newbies.’ Padma, India

Features

  • The History of Immune Thrombocytopenia.
  • Practical Diet and Lifestyle advice.
  • Pregnancy and Babies with ITP
  • Advice on Natural Therapies and alternative medicine.
  • Possible Isolation and Depression from an ITP diagnosis.
  • Covering up Bruises, tips for healing and hiding bruises.
  • First aid tips and tricks for around the home.
  • ITP fears and how to overcome them.
  • A Huge list of References – Meg’s favourite blogs, books and ITP Resources.

Bellies, Babies and Bruises

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For Women Living With ITP,

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In 2009, Meg Brewster was given a copy of her family tree. Looking back through the generations, she wondered if the family tree would stop with her or would she be able to have a baby while living with ITP and APS?

Meg had heard the risks of bleeding, bruising and infertility involved in ITP and Pregnancy. But were they real? Had she only heard the horror stories. She wondered what it would actually be like to have a baby with ITP, and if it was going to be as complicated as everyone had led her to believe.

Seven years in the making, this is the story of an ITP pregnancy; Including research and interviews with other women about their ITP pregnancies.

BELLIES BABIES AND BRUISES was inspired by Meg’s personal journey with ITP and APS while pregnant. ITP is an autoimmune disorder that causes bleeding and clotting problems in its patients. APS is a clotting disorder that is commonly associated with ITP and low platelet counts.

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About the Author, Meg Brewster

meghan brewster, author, how to heal a bruise, itp blood disorderMeg was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia when she was 22 years old. She struggled to read dense medical journals and scholarly articles to learn more about her ITP. What was missing from the ITP conversation was information from other patients about what immune thrombocytopenia was really like to live with. 

In 2012, Meg set up ITPANDME. It’s now one of the largest ITP blogs in the world. Meg loves writing about ITP, hearing other women’s stories and helping women with ITP connect.

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Praise for How to Heal a Bruise

The book includes lots of ITP information such as, the science, history, tips and guides, alongside strong emotional support. It is now my own ITP Bible! I could not recommend it more highly! FULL REVIEW HERE from Katie Meloy

Beyond being a book documenting scientific and medical information, is the personal experience of Megan Brewster after seven years of living with this blood disorder…I couldn’t stop reading.  FULL REVIEW HERE from Laura

‘My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what we are looking for.’ Andy USA

‘Thank you for your thoughts…they’ve helped me with finding perspective in our reality.’ Jenny Australia

‘Love the way you write…you made me chuckle.’ Bron Australia

‘Thank you for writing this, it will surely help the newbies.’ Padma, India

Features

  • Stories of pregnancy from women with ITP.
  • Meg’s personal journey with ITP and Pregnancy
  • Information about natural and caesarean births.
  • Information for breastfeeding mothers with ITP.

Bellies Babies and Bruises: An ITP Book for Women and Babies

Understanding your Spleen

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Feature image from ANCIENT CHINA

For many people with ITP, their spleen is to blame. The spleen plays an important function in the immune system, so when the spleen is misbehaving, it plays an important role in autoimmune disorders.

The human spleen is similar in structure to a lymph node and functions primarily as a filter of blood. It is also responsible for initiating immune reactions to blood-borne antigens. The spleen is on of the immune organs what tells the immune system to start fighting.

There are a number of reasons why people have ITP. It might be that the body does not produce enough platelets. For other’s their body kills off platelets as they are made. This is the spleen’s doing!

Splenectomies are still used as a treatment for ITP. A splenectomy

I used

Get a better understanding of what it actually does, to help inform your decision to have it removed. I used to now really understand and thought – just take it out already.  But I’m so glad my doctors didn’t listen to me – and I am so glad I have it.  It’s more complicated than you think.

When the spleen is removed, the body’s immune system is compromised and is can develop a susceptibility to certain illnesses. When I was first diagnosed, I told my haematologist to just ‘Take it out!” It doesn’t work like that.

Firstly, a splenectomy will only successfully treat ITP if the spleen is to blame for the platelet destruction.

Secondly, even if the splenectomy is successful, there is always a chance that the spleen will grow back and the ITP will return.  A study was done on 114 patients whose splenectomies failed and who required additional therapy.

A study was done on 114 patients whose splenectomies failed and who required additional therapy. The study showed that if the operation was likely to fail, it would be evident within the first year of the surgery (A couple of people’s splenectomy treatment did fail later).

PDSA – their page on splenectomy – https://www.pdsa.org/treatments/conventional/splenectomy.html

Splenectomy – pregnancy and not having a spleen – there is a little quote about the complications.

Guide to ITP people – http://guide2itp.com/truth-about-splenectomy

Just one more thing about ITP, it works for some people but not everyone. Everyone is different and ITP is unpredictable. I’m getting really sick of hearing this!

Further Reading

Long-term OUTCOMES IN ADULTS with chronic ITP after splenectomy failure

Book Reviews, How To Heal A Bruise

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I’m so happy and proud to be celebrating HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE‘s 1st Birthday. It is one year of the book being out there in the world, and to celebrate I’ve been looking through reviews.

The book is AMAZING! It’s so easy to relate too. I read the titles of the chapters and was positive I hadn’t been through that phase, then after reading it in more detail, the realisation sank in that I had, I just hadn’t realised it.

It is honestly brilliant. Thank you for writing it! I think it will be a massive help to all ITP suffers and their family and friends.

Meghan’s book is filled with all kinds of important information on Immune Thrombocytopenia, even a detailed history of how it was discovered. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has ITP or knows someone with this blood disorder. It will change the way you look at the disease and empower you to take a more proactive approach with your health.

“How to Heal a bruise” is a must read for anyone diagnosed with ITP. It should be prescribed by the doctors and as early as possible to avoid feeling terribly alone, disillusioned and helpless

Continue reading

How to Heal a Bruise is On Sale!

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Feature image from ITP&ME

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ITP AWARENESS MONTH is a chance for people living with ITP, patients and families to come together, learn more about ITP, reflect on their own health and raise month to support ITP services.

KINDLE EDITION for only $5

HARD COPY EDITION for only $15

You can learn more about How to Heal a Bruise by following this LINK.

Exercise During an ITP Pregnancy

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Feature image from 365DAYYOGA

Also with Antiphospholipid Syndrome, you have to exercise like heaps anyway…

First Trimester

  • Ballet – Monday & Wednesday.  I stopped going to Friday class because I was so tired.
  • Yoga – Did a little yoga at home, until I joined a prenatal friendly yoga class on Tueday’s
  • Walking – A wise person told me a very long time ago that if you walk every day of your pregnancy, you will never notice how much the belly weights.  You will be accustomed to walking with the weight of it each day and your body will grow stronger to hold it.  If you stop for just a few days, when you head out to walk, the belly will feel difficult and heavy from the changes.  So with that in mind, I am walking.

Second Trimester

  • Ballet – Just Monday nights for a little while.
  • Yoga – Once a week for an hour and a half.
  • Walking – Almost every day, unless it was raining.

Third Trimester

  • Ballet – twice a week, beginner classes.  Monday and Wednesday.
  • Yoga – Once over the weekend.  there are a couple of classes I can go to that are suitable, so I just fit them in around seeing friends.  I went to a pregnancy yoga class but found it really boring.  All they talked about were babies and everyone’s feelings.  Yawn.
  • Walking – Walking around Sydney a lot.  Walking to friends houses and to go shopping.

Post Baby

  • Ballet
  • Yoga
  • Walking

If you want to try it out – I suggest the GRACEFUL & FIT PREGNANCY BUNDLE from Mary Helen Bowers, if you can’t get to a Ballet class, and are interested in trying it.  I have her other DVD’d to do at home, during ballet breaks.  But I continued going to Ballet classes where my teachers could guide me along.  So I didn’t end up buying the Pregnancy DVD’s in the end.

What was your exercise routine like during your pregnancy?  Did you have people telling you, you couldn’t do this and had to stop doing that?

A Confession From Me; Why I Completely Freaked Out

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Feature image from ALLABOUTVISION

This morning I had a freak out.  Not a regular kind of ITP freak out, but a full blown monster freakout.

I thought my blood disorder was going really well.  I had been stable and healthy and happy for a long time. I felt like I was in a good place and that I could relax for a little while.  This is probably what made my freak out even worse!  Here’s what happened.

I woke up this morning, I went to the bathroom and I looked in the mirror. In the corner of my right eye was a blown blood vessel, bright and fresh, staining the corner of my eye with blood.

I did not rationally tell myself that people get blown blood vessels in their eye all the time, from sneezing, bending over, coughing, or for no apparent reason.  I did not behave like a person who has lived with ITP for more than 8 years.

I did not behave like a person who started a website about ITP, to help hundreds of patients a month live calmly and peacefully with their ITP.  Oh No!

Instead, I completely freaked out.  I told myself I was going to die; that overnight I’d been bleeding into my brain, I was convinced platelet count was below 10 and there was nothing that could be done to save my poor life.  I was a goner!

I stood there, staring at my bleeding eye.

My hair was in a big pile on my head, my pajamas were all crumpled and a little smelly.  In the strange dawn light I was sure it was a waste of time going to the hospital.  It seemed like a waste of energy.

I did not want to die in a hospital.  Better to die calmly in my own bed, I told myself.  So I went back into my bedroom and jumped into bed with my husband to die calmly in his arms.  (I kid you not this is actually what I was thinking!!)

As soon as I saw him, I immediately knew I’d over reacted.  My platelet count was 57 last week.  I didn’t have a headache, I didn’t feel sick, I wasn’t going to die.  I went back to the bathroom and looked at my eye again.

The dot of blood was tiny.  I mean tiny!  I felt foolish, paranoid and embarrassed.

So why am I telling you this?

Because living with ITP can be scary – even after 8 years.