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.

Magnesium Oil Health Spray

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Feature image from ITP&MEINSTAGRAM

This Christmas I received a gift from Sydney based Kinesiologist Erin Straker, from ACHIEVING BALANCE.  She gave me this magic little bottle of MAGNESIUM OIL Spray.  Knowing I was pregnant, magnesium is a fundamental element in growing and developing healthy stretch mark free skin.

You spray it on your skin.  Magnesium Oil Spray is a transdermal spray traditionally used to slow the ageing process, relieve pain, grow healthy glowing skins, heals discomfort in muscles and joints and promotes health.

Magnesium is rapidly absorbed into the skin and is the most efficient method of restoring magnesium levels.

It is not really an oil at all but a salt solution, but who cares about that.  I have used it almost every day since and love it.

What does Magnesium do in the Body?

Magnesium is a mineral found in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation (I have no idea what that is, but when I started to research it, I realised it was pretty dam important), and glycolysis (the conversion of glucose).

It increases the release of DHEA, our youth hormone, encourages healthy, glowing skin and supports the repair of damaged skin cells.

This is why I am taking it.  Because I do not want to damage my skin cells while pregnant.  I do not want to end up with long purple lines across my tummy, like I already have over my butt.

Is it helping my skin? Yes.  Do I have belly stretch marks? No.

Magnesium deficiency is a pretty common problem.  The signs of a mild Magnesium deficiency are hard to pinpoint.  Usually seen as a lifestyle factor, symptoms of a busy day – They could be put down to anything really, lack of sleep or dehydrations.

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency include hyperexcitability, muscular symptoms like cramps, tremor, spasms or weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, apathy, confusion, insomnia, irritability, poor memory, and reduced ability to learn.

If you are looking to get a little Magnesium into your body, remember Magnesium is the third most abundant mineral in seawater – so go for a swim.  We absorb magnesium directly through our skin.

Make sure you use these sprays in conjunction with nutritional and heath advice from a trained professional, naturopath, kinesiologist, doctor or alternative health practioner who can give you personalised health information.

TWENTY-8 Magnesium Oil Health Spray

LIFE-FLO Pure Magnesium Oil

Natural MAGNESIUM DEODORANT

Raspberry Leaf Tea

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Feature image from HEAVENINAWILDFLOWER

There is not a lot that I can really say about Raspberry leaf tea.

It is an old wives tale, an untested herbal remedy, a myth, a story pregnant women tell each other, a common tonic spoken about between midwives.  There is not much scientific of medical research to claim that Raspberry leaf tea does anything for a Pregnancy woman’s uterus.

And yet…

Everybody raves about it… including me, (see below)

I have been drinking raspberry leaf tea since week 20 of this pregnancy.  A friend told me about it, and then a midwife, and another friend mentioned it.  All of them said that they were told to take it, from midwives and other pregnant friends.  All of them had positive birth experiences and healed quickly after labour.

My mother grows raspberries.  I have been very luck to have a free source of organic, locally grown fresh raspberry leaves.

So what is so great about these Leaves.

Raspberry Leaves

It is naturally high in

  • magnesium,
  • potassium,
  • iron
  • b-vitamins which make it helpful for nausea, leg cramps, and improving sleep during pregnancy. The specific combination of nutrients in Raspberry Leaf makes it extremely beneficial for the female reproductive system.
  • vitamins E, A, and some B complex, as well as essential minerals such as
  • phosphorus,
  • zinc,
  • and an easily absorbable form of calcium, making it a wonderfully nutritive plant.

Many websites state that Raspberry leaf tea is high in Vitamin C also, however, I am pretty sure vitamin c is sensitive to heat and cooking, so boiling water is not the best way to get vitamin c into your body.  Perhaps if you ate the leaves straight off the bush??  Maybe make sure you eat the raspberry fruit as well.

In a single STUDY I found, conducted at Westmead Hospital in 1998, raspberry leaf turned up some great results.  Of 108 pregnant women, those who took raspberry leaf during their pregnancy were more likely to have a shortened labour.  “An unexpected finding in this study seems to indicate that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.”

My Raspberry Leaf Tea 

Raspberry leaf tea on its own can be a little boring and bitter.  Try adding a little peppermint tea, fresh ginger and a hint of lemon.

If you are not lucky enough to have a mother that is an amateur raspberry farmer, check out Earth Mama Angel Baby ORGANIC THIRD TRIMESTER raspberry leaf tea or WOMAN’S RASPBERRY LEAF TEA by Yogi teas.

A Journey of Clexane Injections

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Feature image from MOTHEROFMAGIC

Clexane, also known as Lovenox and Xaparin, is made of Enoxaparin Sodium.  It is an anticoagulant used to treat blood clots, blood disorders, thrombosis and to treat Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (Hughes Syndrome).  Blood clots are a common cause of pregnancy loss.

Clexane is a daily injection used to break down blood clots as they form in the blood.  After finding out I was pregnant again, I was so eager to get those injections into my belly that I never considered it might actually be suck!

The First Needle 

The first clexane injection always goes well.  Of course it does!  It’s administered by either a nurse, your GP or a very diligent partner who is being overlooked by a medical professional.  Mine was done by a nurse, and I barely felt a thing.  I didn’t even feel the needle.  I walked away feeling pretty damn good about myself.  

10 minutes later the heat started to rise under my skin, and I felt a burning in the muscle, like a bee sting.  It hurt!  It hurt a lot, deep under the skin, like poison.  (I’ve started calling this the ‘After Burn’).

I found it hard to explain the feeling, because while it was hurting a lot, I was fine at the same time. Continue reading

Change, It’s Benefits & How to do it

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Feature image from ITP&ME

Change has been on my mind.  It’s that time of year.  January is the month of NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS and making plans for the future.  I can’t help thinking about how much I changed last year and wondering at the changes that will come in 2016.

I was once someone very different, then I changed.  I was once someone without an autoimmune disorder and then something changed and I became someone with ITP.  Which makes me think I am capable of changing back.

We all change all the time.  It is natural.  It is what keeps life exciting.  We grow, age, learn, develop, interact and are changed by the world and people around us.  So with all this change going on, how can we be sure we are making the right changes.  If we don’t stop and take notice, we might end up changed for the worse.

We are going to change whether we like it or not – So why not make sure we like it?  And why not be happy about the Benefits of that change? Continue reading

Your January Detox

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There is something uplifting about the month of January.  For me, it’s full of new diaries, crisp calendars, goals, resolutions, new starts and second chances.  On Instagram, I read a great quote that said 2015 WAS JUST THE WARM UP.  Such a great attitude I think.

Now is the time to set the standard for a brand new year.  If you missed the 1st of January deadline, who cares?  Start today, or start tomorrow.  The important thing is that you start to make a few changes.

Detox from Alcohol.

It creeps in, even when you don’t mean to.  Firstly, and before you do anything else, do not beat yourself up about it.  Remember the pleasure before you beat yourself up about it.  Think about all the delicious treats you enjoyed over the holidays, savour it all and now move on.

I’m not drinking at the moment, for obvious reasons, but I definitely do love drinking a little too much (Whoops).  Lots of people in Australia like to schedule their Alcohol Detox for later in the year, during the middle of Winter when there is not much happening.  Dry July is a great way to spend a month without alcohol.  It can be really easy because lots of people are doing it with you.

If you don’t want to spend your fun Summer Holidays without an ice cold Apple Cider, then think about booking in Dry July now.  If you make the commitment now, it will be harder to back out later.

Detox from Social Media.

Friends on Pinterest with new boyfriends suddenly making Pinterest boards devoted to how much they love fresh cut flowers in vases in the middle of tables, trying to pretend they are not secretly planning their weddings, instead of just making the boards private.

And seeing quotes about how blessed and grateful all your friends are because it is a new year.  Forget about it all.  There are no pictures of them actually doing Yoga on a stand-up paddle board, it is the same image you have seen a thousand times before of one woman, doing it once.

What you might learn if you DO A SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX 

 

Detox from Complaining

What consumes your mind, will fill your life.  These are wise words to live by.  Complaining is not about being in a bad mood, it’s about focusing on the problem without bothering to think of a solution.  Complaining is when you dwell on problems without moving forward or bitching about things that cannot be changed.

If the holidays put you in a bit of a stress, or you simply don’t realise how much you complain, then what about a little detox from complaining (or being negative and whiny)

The 40 DAY COMPLAINING FAST

Detox from Buying Things

I spent way too much money over Christmas.  I don’t feel bad about it, I wanted to.  I love buying presents and giving them to people, it’s all part of the holiday fun for me.  But I make sure to balance my spending.  In January, I like to spend as little as possible to make up for my pre-Christmas splurge.  January is about exercising, eating healthy, catching up with friends and going slow over the summer holidays.

I normally buy a new pair of swimmers and a big bottle of sunscreen and that’s it for the month.

Take the SHOPPING DETOX for one month here.

 

 

A Healthy Change for the New Year

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Feature image from BALLOONTIME

It is almost time for the new year.  This is the time when my life is filled with two things, New Years Eve plans and New Years Resolutions.  While New Years Eve parties are a grand farewell to the year past, it is our New Years Resolutions that keep up looking forward with fresh eyes and renewed promise.  Making resolutions is one thing, keeping them is something else entirely.  So how can we make sure we keep our New Years Resolutions for 2016 and what is the best way to make them?

For me, New Years Eve parties have always felt like a happy but final sendoff to the year gone by.  They are a finish to everything that has come in the previous year, whether it be positive or challenging (or if you had a nasty year, a really great wake).  New Years Eve has always felt like a goodbye.

New Years Resolutions have always felt like a hello.  To me, they are a way of welcoming the new year and of planning ahead to ensure my future will be a little brighter.

1. Begin by looking back over the past year.  Making resolutions of all the thing I want to change can often leave me feeling like a bit of a failure.  The act of sitting down and writing all the things I should do better, haven’t done or aren’t very good at, can be pretty demoralising – so instead I begin my resolutions by looking back on everything I have already achieved.

I divide my year up into different categories – for example, Family, Work, Health, Adventures, Love, Me, Education… (whatever you like).  Then write down every great thing that happened in those categories.  This makes New Years Resolutions more of a process of filling in the gaps.  Now take a look at the year that has past.  Which categories did you ignore?  Where could you focus more attention?

2. See how far you have come.  It is important to see how far you have come in just one year.  This process will put you in a positive mind to write your new years’ resolutions.  It will help you to see just how much is possible in a year and what you are already able to achieve.

3. Plan your next year.  Now you are ready to write your resolutions for 2016.  This is a great time to simply plan your year, look at what is ahead and start to get prepared and excited.  Make sure you are writing a positive plan for the year to come, with plenty of rewards, adventures and joy.

What does this have to do with ITP?  Have you considered your autoimmune disorder in your New Years Resolutions?  This year I am making a special mention of ITP as I sit down to plan 2016.  These are the questions I am asking myself…

  • What have I been wanting to try, but keep putting off?
  • Which treatments have I attempted but never really committed to?
  • What treatments have you been sceptical about?  And how can I be more open minded?
  • How am I going to approach my ITP this year?

 

2016 is a long time, and there are plenty of months to try, stumble and try again before you sit down to plan 2017.  Is this the year you try meditation?  Is 2016 the year you commit to returning to exercise?  Is this the year you slowly begin to overhaul your diet?

What are your New Years Resolutions for 2016?  Sharing your resolutions can help you commit to them and motivate you to see them through.

Add them to the comments below.