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.

Breastfeeding with ITP (Bleeding Nipples)

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Feature image from ITP&Me

Breastfeeding introduction – How it is hard and you need to feel confident and all that.  Strange new feeling like not everyone likes.

My story – I’ve been breastfeeding now (or not breastfeeding) for the last four months – what have I found.  How has the story gone…  What have I learnt and what problems have I faced?

When it gets hard…

Cracked and Bleeding Nipples?
What should I do with a low count?

Need to ask someone about this?

Lactation consultant.

What about women with bleeding disorders.

Taking care of your Nipples –

What could I do to prepare my nipples, take care of them while feeding?

Recipe from another blog about what to rub into your nipples – or perhaps just coconut oil…

So what Causes Blood in Breast Milk?

All of the breastfeeding problems listed below usually end quickly and are not considered serious…
– Cracked broken nipples and nipple blisters can cause blood in breast milk.
Read more on how to identify the cause of your cracked nipples.
– Vascular engorgement: Also called rusty pipe syndrome, due to the rusty color of the milk. This usually occurs immediately after giving birth, a first-time mommy may notice that her expressed milk is orange or pink in color. This is due to the increased blood flow to her breasts, which is needed during the development of the milk producing cells. The blood will usually disappear within a week or so after birth.

Look.  Here’s the thing.  I have breastfed a baby.  It’s a grueling if not some-what beautiful task.  I think there is a lot of romance surrounding breastfeeding to help encourage woman to continue to do it – but let me tell you it’s hard on your body, cuts into sleep time, can keep you awake for 23 hours at a stretch, saps your life and energy from your body, drains you of vitamins and minerals.

Breastfeeding is the important and special – but let’s be honest, it’s not 100% fun – not every single minute.

So when some crazy arsehole online is telling you to set aside time to soak your nipples in a saline solution – Then you’re probably going to tell them to go fuck them self.

Perhaps you might just end up doing nothing, and waiting for your nipples to heal on their own.

Please note: Although bleeding looks scary and blood may sometimes show up in your baby’s bowel motions or vomit, it is not harmful to your baby. It is quite safe for her to keep breastfeeding.

BREASTFEEDING ASSOCIATION AUSTRALIA

A Transverse Baby

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Feature image from SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATION

I know this is a little off the topic of ITP and Bleeding Disorders, but it was something I wanted to write about.  There isn’t much personal information onIine about transverse babies, and a few people keep asking me what it feels like to have a transverse baby, so I will do my best to describe it.

I’m currently at 36 weeks and our baby has been transverse for at least two months.

As this is my first experience with the third trimester, I have nothing to compare to, so for most of the day, everything just feels normal to me.  But I will try and break it down so it makes a little sense for people who are unfamiliar with the feeling of a transverse baby. Continue reading

John

Passenger plane above the clouds.

Feature image from HERE

A little bit about John…

Californian based international business consultant working in the Asia-Pacific region.

How were you diagnosed…

I was in Japan with my family on a business related trip in the Spring of 2015. Prior to our departure, I had bitten my check while sleeping and noticed that it continued to bleed. After checking into our flight to Tokyo, I noticed a large bruise forming on my left hand from where I had just been bumped by another traveler’s suitcase.

During the 9-hour plus flight, I began to feel tired and noticed I had what appeared to be a rash forming on my hands and lower arms. Upon arrival in Tokyo and after checking in to the hotel, I felt exhausted with a large headache (I travel extensively to Asia from the US, so this was unusual for me).

The next morning, after I woke up, I noticed I had what appeared to be blood blisters on my tongue as well as blood spots on the pillow case of the hotel pillow. As this was the weekend in Japan, my wife who is Japanese, suggested that we discuss this with a pharmacy (Note:  In Japan hospitals are only open for emergencies and not regular visits on the weekend).

This was done on a Saturday. The pharmacist stated that it didn’t look like an allergic reaction and I should see a regular physician. As the weekend progressed I continued to get more tired and the “rash” continued to spread on my arms and legs. My wife did some research on the internet and found information on ITP that seemed to cover my symptoms. Continue reading

Real Stories about ITP & Pregnancy

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Feature image from AGIRLSRIGHTTODREAM

Stories of Blood Disorder Pregnancies are scattered all over the web.  If you have the time and the resources to search for them all, there is some amazing information, but the real stories are often hidden behind hard to decipher medical journals and websites.  Here are a few that I found really helpful while I was looking for help online with my ITP Pregnancy.

HUGGIES FORUM – Pregnancy and ITP.  Here is a link to a forum where a number of women discuss their pregnancies with ITP.  They are all very positive stories about being monitored a lot, but not much else going wrong.

PLATELETS ON THE WEB – Christy shares her story of ITP for more than 20 years.  During that time, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.  The whole story is here.

BABY CENTER – The story of a scheduled C-Section for a breech ITP baby.

An ARTICLE ON NAIT, or Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia.  Here is a news article about the Jacob’s family who gave birth to two babies with Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia.   Continue reading

Skin Care During Pregnancy

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Feature image from GRACE & GUTS

At 5 Weeks pregnant…

If stretch marks are ‘in your genes’, then I am going to get them.  Stretch marks run in my family. My mother has them, my sister has them, and I already have them on my breasts and hips.

While pregnant I am still taking a small amount of PREDISONE which damages my skin further.  Prednisone drys out my skin, making it thin and fragile.  I see the effects of taking prednisone in my weak nails, thin limp hair and dry thin skin.

So what can I do?

I’ve done a little research.  The internet recommends exercising, taking vitamin C, rubbing myself with vitamin E, keeping my skin moisturised, drinking heaps of water and eating healthy fats.  Friends are telling me to do the same.

While I am a little skeptical that these measures will work, I have nothing to loose by trying to keep stretch marks at bay?

So lets begin…
Continue reading

Inductions, A More Natural Approach

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Feature image from GRACE&GLAMOUR

Ok, so this is not really a post about living with ITP, but it will concern a lot of people with ITP if they are going to have a baby.  From what I’ve read online, and from my own experience, most pregnant women with ITP will likely be encouraged to have an induction as a means of minimising risks.

There are many benefits and many problems with inductions.   The biggest problem is a failed induction… and then where can you go from there.  Inductions are not fool proof.  The often fail to induce the longer for labor and in many cases will end up in a caesarian.  You only need to watch a few episodes of ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE to see how frequently inductions end in surgery.

If you are pregnant with ITP, you do not have to have an induction, it is up to you.  When the time comes, it is up to you, to evaluate the risks and decide what is best for you.

However, if you are reading this post, you are already in the middle of the pregnancy / induction dilemma, so I will spare you the speech about natural birth.  I’m sure very little about your pregnancy could be classified as ‘natural’.  I will focus on the benefits. Continue reading