Pt One – How to Host an ITP Awareness Day

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In the lead up to this years ITP Awareness Day, September 26th (Yes , yes we know it is technically the official day for America not Australia – Don’t be a party pooper!  Australia doesn’t have a day yet ) we are getting a little excited.  ITP and Me have been doing a little bit of party planning and want to share a few helpful tips to make sure you have the best ITP Awareness day EVER!

Firstly, Drinks

What to serve those thirsty guests who have come all the way to your ITP Awareness day party, only to arrive dehydrated and looking for something to sip on as the mingle with your guests?  It is important to always give all your guests a prop or something they can play with while they are in the company of strangers.  It is all about making people feel relaxed and hydrated.

We suggest serving a very dark bloody juice, to get people talking.  After a few experiments in the juice department this one looks like the crowd favourite.  I have written before about the benefits of drinking juice here, Juicing – The Best Explaination and now it is time to put that into practice at your very own ITP awareness a party.

IVIG Beetroot Juice

ITP Awareness Day, itp, itp bruises, bruising easily, hide a bruise, Bruises, Bruise, itp, low platelet countITP Awareness Day juicing

  1. 3 carrots
  2. 3 strawberries
  3. a beetroot
  4. an orange or lemon
  5. ginger to taste

This IVIG Beetroot Juice will actually be very beneficial for any guests who have ITP.  Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory and contains minerals that are good for the heart such as magnesium and copper.  Oranges are packed with Vitamin C and you’ll get lots of Vitamin A and K from the Carrots and Beetroots; along with a dash of anti oxidants from the strawberries.  For my favorite juicer, I can’t go past the cold press, slow masticating juicer I have at home.  Yummy!

Sangria

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  1. bottle of red wine
  2. bottle of lemonade
  3. cup of orange juice
  4. chopped fruit to serve.

Sangria is one of the easiest cocktails you can make for a party and is perfect for lots of guests.  You can make a big batch of it in a jug and let people help themselves.  It is also easy to quickly made a bit more in case you run out, just have the garnish fruit chopping in the fridge and ready to go.

 

More to come…

Over the next three weeks, we will be posting more handy tips about decorating your house for the party, which fun foods to serve and how to provide some quality entertainment for your ITP Awareness Day.  We may even throw in a few ways that you could raise awareness and perhaps even some money for ITP Awareness.  Stay tuned for Part Two.

Robert

ITP, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itp

My name is Robert, I am 54 years old and live in Northern Sydney. My story starts at the beginning of February 2014 when I started to notice some strange changes on my body. I have been fortunate in life as I have had very few illnesses and enjoyed good health by having a sensible diet and exercising each morning to try and remain fit. I have had my own consultancy business for over 25 years now which has always been busy but in the latter quarter of 2013 and into 2014 had become extremely busy.

Robert’s Diagnoses

It was on the first Sunday in February that my wife noticed a large bruise on my thigh. I had no idea why this was there as I had no recollection of bumping it and thought that I must have unknowingly done so whilst mowing the lawns and put it down to that. I had also noticed that there were small amounts of blood whenever I blew my nose, even just lightly, and there seemed to be small red dots on my lower legs but I convinced myself that maybe I was just imagining these as I felt perfectly normal.

Over the course of the week I noticed that I was getting more of these large bruises which I kept these hidden from my wife as she was concerned with the ill health of her Grandmother and also one of my children was not well and so I didn’t want to worry her. Continue reading

Have You Heard of Louise Hay?

You can heal your life

I was surprised to discover just how many people have not heard of Louise Hay, considering how widely successful and interesting she is.

Through Louise’s healing techniques and positive philosophy, millions have learned how to create more of what they want in their lives, including more wellness in their bodies, minds, and spirits.  Louise was able to put her philosophies into practice when she was diagnosed with cancer. She considered the alternatives to surgery and drugs, and instead developed an intensive program of affirmations, visualization, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy. Within six months, she was completely healed of cancer.  Louise Hay [dot] com

Louise Hay is a motivational speaker, alternative health practitioner, writer and public figure.  She is also the founder of Hay House Publishing, a project that begun very small in her house, which has grown into a hugely successful international publishing company.  Hay House print self help books and have all the big names on their list.  Their tag line is ‘Look within.’

Hay House Australia, It made sense to realise that Jess Ainscough had also published with Hay House Australia. Continue reading

The Seven Stages of ITP

What is itp? - what does itp stand for? - ITP, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itp

How does it feel to be told that you will likely live for the next 25 years with a rare, mostly unpredictable and unknown autoimmune disorder that will effect your bloods ability to clot and heal, and your immune system’s basic ability to fight off infection?  How does it feel to be told at 24 years old that you will not be able to conceive and deliver a child without an enormous amount of medical intervention and that the medication you will need to take to manage the disorder will most likely, over a long period of time, effect your bodies ability to regulate hormones, shut down your adrenal system and increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity?

How does it feel to be told that there is little to no information about your disorder, that every case is different and unique and will most likely eventually couple with a number of other autoimmune disorders as you age? …That there is no long term plan for the treatment of your disorder and all you can do is suppress your immune system and manage the side effects?

The answer to all these questions is this… fine!  Because by the end of that speech, you’re in shock.  You think to yourself…. Yes, yes, yes that is all very well and good for someone else, but none of that will happen to me (Even though at that exact moment it IS happening to you!!)  That is the sweet beauty of shock and denial.

Shock & Denial

The First Stage of ITP

At the time of my diagnosis, I never felt in denial.  I told everyone about ITP, I was happy to discuss it and I felt ok about the diagnosis.  I thought ITP was actually quite interesting and told myself, well if you’re going to get anything, it may as well be something weird. Continue reading

Juicing, The Best Explanation

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I never quite understood why juicing your vegetables was so great.  It’s just juice! Right?  I had seen and heard so much about juicing in the last year, that I started to wonder if the whole thing was seriously over-rated.  You only need to search #drinkyourgreens to see over 20 000 pictures of other people’s juices on Instagram.

It felt like a big fad to me.  I could not understand why you would throw away all that fibre and plant matter, to make such a small amount of juice?  It felt like a waste and that was not how I was raised.

If this opinion sounds familiar to you, then you really need to read this - Why Your Body Loves a Cleanse.  If you think that tossing all that amazing plant matter into the compost feels like a waste; or you think it’s far too expensive to make juice everyday, then keep reading.

When my partner purchased a Hurom 100 Slow Juicer we were both pretty happy with it.  The juice it made was incredible.  We made cocktails, breakfast juices, great party drinks and super sweet treats.  Having a juicer was delicious and yummy –  But it didn’t feel like a miracle?  Was I healing my body, one juice at a time?  I didn’t think so.

That was how I thought until  I found this book.  As I was walking past Saltwater Organic’s in Merimbula I saw this book in the window - Make Peace with Your Plate, by Jess Ainscough.  It is wonderful.  I expected the book to be inspiring.  I expected the book to help me learn how to become healthier.  I did not expect Make Peace with Your Plate to have the best ever explanation of why I should be drinking juice all day.  It turns out I had no idea what I was doing and why it could be so important.

Here is what Jess had to say about drinking a whole lot of juice…

Digestion takes up a lot of energy. When we’re constantly feeding ourselves (as I tend to be) our bodies don’t get the opportunity to detoxify completely. Our bodies are naturally designed to detoxify themselves, but this process is interrupted when we eat. Energy is redirected to breaking that food down and absorbing it. This is one of the reasons why our bodies do such a stellar job of healing when we’re asleep. They can get to work with no distractions.  The Wellness Warrior 2014

Once I started to research juicing and juice cleanses, I realised that I had a lot to learn.  I discovered just how much energy digestion takes, and what is possible when you give yourself a short break.  I also learnt that I could put a lot more fruits and vegetables through that machine than I first thought.  Have you ever juiced parsley, parsnip, lettuce or zucchini?  I have.

I am still getting used to it and have a whole lot more to learn about how my body functions.  I tried a juice cleanse over the weekend and failed on my first attempt!  I know.  I am a failure.  But that’s ok, and you might fail too on your first attempt.  I had a lot of trouble managing the boredom that came from not having to cook.  I did not get bored of the flavours or the juice itself, what I missed was that time I spent preparing food, cooking, searching for new recipes and siting down for a meal with my partner.

Paleo, Autoimmune protocol, eating for itp, ITP diet, itp eating paleo, low platelet count diet, living with itp, chemical free itp food,

Even with a failed juice cleanse I felt wonderful afterwards and my partner has not taken an antihistamine since.  What is important now, is that I give it another go.  Now that I know what it will be like, I am more informed for planning another one.  I will spend more time preparing this time.  (Perhaps with a whole season of Orange is the New Black )

Have you tried drinking juice for two days?  How did it go?

 

ITP Friends

low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itp

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. Continue reading

Brushing Your Teeth with ITP

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Feature Image from Dorisferres.com

A little while ago I posted a comment about how much I disliked brushing my teeth when my platelets were low.  A few people replied that they also had problems with brushing their teeth and bleeding gums.  The problem with this is that you might actually get Gum Disease as a consequence Below is a more detailed post regarding what low-platelet-oral-hygiene options there are.

Did you know that dentists are often the ones to diagnose ITP in their patients?  Dentists are known to recommend their patients to seek a consultation with their GP if they notice any abnormal bleeding without the presence of gum disease.  In this way, as many people can ignore bleeding gums, they might be the first ones to notice anything abnormal.

There are a number of reasons why your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth.  You might have ITP or you may have the beginnings of gum disease.  Your gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush your teeth.  For someone with a bleeding disorder, often the first place to bleed is the mouth and gums.  I know that the first place I notice a really low count is in the bathroom sink at about 10.30 pm.

The problem with this scenario is that I can’t always assume that my gums are bleeding because I have ITP – I might very well have gum disease as well.  This is were the confusion comes in.  People with ITP can still get gum disease and it is important to not just assume that a bit of blood in your spit as you brush your teeth is from a low platelet count.  Am I making any sense?

When I have a low platelet count, I notice my gums bleed more.  I dislike the taste of blood.  I think it tastes like metal or electricity in my mouth.  For me it is one of the worst sensations.  Therefore, I will usually avoid brushing my teeth so I don’t have to taste it.  This is a problem because I am now more likely to get another gum related, gross hygiene issue in my mouth. …and the bleeding goes on.

So what can you do to make sure your gums are always healthy and treated properly? Continue reading

Kinesiology – Your Body Knows Best…

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Guest Post by Amber Glajz from Dealing and Healing

Last week I went to my first kinesiology session with my sister-in-law’s sister, Erin from Achieving Balance. It’s taken me a week to process the whole experience and to also do some further research about it as a healing practice.

Kinesiology is a healing technique that tests your muscles that represent different parts of your body to essentially listen to what the body itself says it needs healing with. I was asked what my goal was for the session and I said that I was generally feeling confused about my health, that I felt like I had lost touch with my own instinct as to knowing what was right for me. So we put this sentiment into words so that my goal was written something like “to feel confident and stable about the decisions made regarding my health, especially on my own terms”. This profoundly resonated within me because I currently have so many doctors now that my dependence on their advice has become crucial, even though sometimes it conflicts with what I believe, or what other doctors that I trust have said. Sometimes having too much information can be a shit fight! And to no surprise, this issue with my doctors also came up this week!

Anyway, back to my first official kinesiology session – I was asked how my body’s response mechanisms work by holding up my arm and relaxing at the joints. She asks my body to show my “yes” and “no” responses by asking me to push against her finger – and seriously, there are times where I can not hold myself up against the touch of her finger! And it’s not like she is battling me with it, she is gently touching me, but my body is responding to her questions about my feelings, about my treatments and about my life experiences by either positively or negatively working against her touch. I did ask her whether my body could trick myself into responding a certain way, for example, I want my response to be something, thus, will my body adjust to match that response? But no, it didn’t work that way.

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My Tips to Not Looking like a Junkie

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Feature image from Lissy Laricchia

So, you have ITP now – Welcome.  What you might not know, is that every now and again you may find that you look a lot like a junkie.  (Unless you are a junkie and then you’ll probably find yourself pissed at me for writing this article).  The distinction between Junkie and ITP patient is pretty dam small.   I don’t have anything against junkies.  They have always got funny stories for me and have brightened the character cast of Orange is the New Black for three great seasons now… I digress.  Looking like a junkie is just another fact of ITP that doctors fail to mention.

Reasons you might look like a junkie are as follows – Track marks – Tired eyes –  Mood swings – Late nights – Nausea – Thin, Fragile Skin – Hallucinations – Liver Damage – Confusion and finally, Paranoia.  Ok, I can’t help with the paranoia.  I find, most of the time when people think everyone is out to get them, it is normally true.  But for the rest of it, there is hope..

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