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.

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.

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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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