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.

How do you Talk about Your Illness?

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Feature image from DECLIEU

How do you talk about your illness? Which words do you use to talk about your illness? What is your tone when you speak about it? How do you stand while talking about your illness and what about your body language? How do you describe your illness to your doctor, friends or your family?

For me, there is nothing worse than someone who bangs on and on about their illness. It’s exhausting. Especially when there is nothing you can do to help them and it doesn’t seem to be going away.

There is only so much of this I can listen to before I want to back away and never ask them how they are ever again. It’s unnecessary to go on and on like this. It doesn’t help anything.

Everyone is fighting something. Everyone has something huge to deal with in their life.

As a chronically ill person, I choose to discuss my illness as little as possible. I don’t want it to leak into my life. I don’t want it to be all they see. I don’t want it to get me down.

The more I think about it, the more I can’t ignore the impact of my speech upon my attitude. How I talk about my illness directly impacts how I feel towards my illness.

So this is my New Years Resolution when I need to discuss my illness, I will speak positively about ITP for a whole year. Continue reading

I’ve Done Something Bad…

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Feature image SEANMUNDY

I’ve done something really bad.

But it is done, so I may as well tell you what I did.

It all started two weeks ago when I dropped my son off at daycare. I left him in the capable arms of a kind woman.This kind woman cares for my son every Wednesday, and every Wednesday when I go to pick him up, I’m reassured he had the happiest, most wonderful day ever.

But two weeks ago, when I picked him up from daycare, my son was sick.

In what could only be described as a Poonami (Thank you Mander!) I spent the next week cleaning sheets, changing nappies, wiping up vomit and holding him close as he struggled with a tummy bug. He was sad, a little clingy and lost weight.

What I didn’t do, however, was take any of my medication.

A whole week. I just forgot.

I’ve been taking it every day for more than 8 years, and then suddenly I forgot. My body is addicted to it. My doctors are petrified about what would happen if I were to stop suddenly.

And then I did.

When I realized what I’d done I rushed to my medication and grabbed a glass of water, ready to take the tablet. Then something stopped me. What if I didn’t take it? What if I went just a little longer?

I had come this far, what was the harm in pushing it out a little longer?

I felt ok, I hadn’t had any terrible bruising. I wasn’t bleeding. I didn’t seem to be in adrenal failure. I was doing ok. I held the little tablet in my hand and wondered…

I knew my body needed a break from the medication, everyone agreed with that. But everyone was concerned about what would happen. It was too risky, my doctors told me. I also knew pregnancy and hormonal changes can have a huge effect on autoimmune disorders.

I decided I would wait another week. I needed a blood test and a plan. I went to the blood test centre (What are they called? Collection place?) to check my platelets.

In two weeks, without taking anything, my platelets have fallen from 52 to 41. Not bad really…

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my doctor to confess what I’ve done and have another platelet count. I’ll let you know how it goes.

What is ITP in Pregnancy?

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Feature image from SARAWICKAM

ITP is the abbreviation of the blood disorder Immune Thrombocytopenia. Immune Thrombocytopenia is defined as a low platelet count in an otherwise healthy individual.

If a pregnant woman develops a low platelet count during her pregnancy she will either be diagnosed with ITP or Gestational Thrombocytopenia.

If she has not previously had a low platelet count, she is more commonly diagnosed with Gestational Thrombocytopenia. If the pregnant woman has a history of low platelets it is classified as ITP in Pregnancy.

If the platelet count corrects itself after the pregnancy then she simply had Gestational Thrombocytopenia. If the low platelet count persists, she may be diagnosed with Immune Thrombocytopenia.

Pregnancy is known to lower the platelet count of almost all pregnant women in some way. The normal range of platelets in nonpregnant women is 150 to 400 making the average platelet count 250.  During pregnancy the average decreases to 213,000. Continue reading

Covering a Bruise with Green Concealers, Reviews

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Feature image from ITPANDME

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Green concealers are used to correct and hide redness and red tones in the skin. Green concealers work to neutralise redness, making them a great way to cover up pimples, zits, skin conditions, bruises and sunburn.

At first, I found green concealers terrible. I put way too much product on my skin, I did not know how to blend it, I hadn’t matched the colour well to my complexion and looked ridiculous. With practice, I have improved immensely. Now I am much better.

The problem with redness correcting green concealers is that there are SO many to choose from. Below is a guide to a few popular green concealers I’ve tried and how they worked. Hopefully, this guide will help you to achieve the most natural, bruise-free skin possible. Continue reading

Feeling Grateful

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Feature image from PLAYBUZZ

Giving thanks, or to put it another way, being nice first.

For a long time, I never realized just how important Thankfulness (is that a word?) and Gratefulness (that has got to be a word) is to Happiness (definitely a word).

For a long time, my default was to be in a bad mood, and then wait until things cheered me up. If I knew I had to get a blood test in the afternoon, I would waste an entire morning feeling sorry for myself in preparation for the afternoon.

I would head to the doctor too early, then waste too much time sitting around for no reason. Afterward, feeling sore and sorry for myself I would grumble all the way home, poor me… blah blah blah – my life sucks, needles are painful and intrusive and make me sad. Having ITP is shit… Blah blah blah…

There was no gain from being like this. I didn’t gain anything positive from acting like this. My blood count never changed on account of how much I worried about it, or grumbled about the doctor, or felt sad and sorry for myself. The tests never came less frequently the more I complained to my friends about how I was forced to waste my days off at the doctors.

It was so destructive to my happiness, worrying about the results and feeling anxious all morning. I was frustrated that I had to go to the doctor (again) and felt like I was wasting my life.

I was the one that was suffering, feeling flat and sad. And it was my own fault. I was doing nothing to help myself feel better. I was focusing on all the crap stuff.

Taking the time, every day to be grateful and thankful for the good things in your life instantly changes your mood. It makes you smile, it makes you think and it helps to put things into perspective. Just try and think of ten things right now that you can be thankful for today.

Here is my list.

  1. ITP being positive, tp, itp bruises, bruising easily, hide a bruise, Bruises, Bruise, itp, low platelet count,I am so grateful that Kate came to visit with cheese.
  2. I’m thankful for the cheap tray of mangos I bought a few days ago.
  3. I am thankful the weather is hot and nice.
  4. I am so luck to have a mothers group full of amazing, normal, positive and hilarious ladies…
  5. That the coffee shop at the end of my street is now open late.
  6. I am grateful that the dress I am wearing to a friend’s wedding will hide the bruises on the top of my knee.
  7. I’m so happy that my friend Susie has a beautiful new healthy baby boy!
  8. I’m grateful that my body responds to Prednisone.
  9. I feel so happy to have a doctor that cares about my health and is honest and kind with her advice.
  10. I am grateful to live in Australia and have access to a variety of treatment options.
  11. I am grateful that the bruise on my arm has only come up half the size I expected.

Ok, so that was 11! See how easy it is once you get on a roll…

This is nothing groundbreaking.  Gratitude has been always been seen as a way to get your mood back on track. This article is simply a reminder.  And I think we all need reminding every now and again.

It is easy to get carried away with the negative aspects of a Chronic illness.

This week, try and fight it – with a bit of love and thanks.

 

What Not to Say to Women with a High Risk Pregnancy

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Feature image from BARNESJEWISH

“Just relax OR If it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be OR The baby will decide when it’s ready to come.”

Telling someone to relax, not only does not help them relax, but it also trivialises their stress and worry. Instead of simply dismissing the stress of a high-risk pregnancy by distracting your friend or telling her to get over it. Instead, ask her if she would like to talk about it, tell her you understand how stressful it must be, and that she is justified to worry.

Tell her that you hear her concerns and think they are valid… Then try and help her relax by actually doing something relaxing with her, not just telling her to relax and then leaving.

“Oh, Yes, I know, pregnancy is such a worry.  I remember when we were having our last baby and we couldn’t get in to see the natural therapy hypnobirthing class for three months!  It was so stressful!”

Um, not the same thing… Continue reading