On Saturday morning, just before 3am, I had to get up to go to the loo. I gingerly and sleepily inched my way around my bed to get to the bedroom door in a feeble attempt to not wake my light-sleeper of a partner. Until THWACK! My open wardrobe door introduced itself to my forehead.
The swearing started instantly, coz dammit, that hurt! It also ruined any chance I had of not waking R. He switched on the light and checked on me, allowing me to see my way into my stash of meds and pads in the wardrobe and to the bathroom. He had a quick look at my head, and after that we were both too dazed and tired to do much more, so we went back to bed.
Not too long ago, say 6 months to a year, there is no way we would’ve gone back to sleep. For me, a period means high levels of blood loss and corresponding loss of clotting factor, making me even more susceptible to bleeds. I always (and even last week) will end up with at least one ‘spontaneous’ bruise somewhere on me when usually I now don’t get any (can I hear a woohoo for that?!). So on top of my genetically low factor levels, they’re lowered even further, and I smacked my head? Potentially quite scary. I would have previously woken myself up, spent at least an hour doing 15-20 minute ice-pack therapy to the site of the wound with 5 minute breaks, then checking the injury with an immediate shot of desmopressin acetate (I talked about that here), then after that potentially heading into the ER at my local public hospital for further treatment and inspection by a doctor. Head wounds and bleeding disorders are a bad mix!
This time? As I said, I went back to sleep, and not only was my sleep not disturbed by a throbbing pain despite the knock really hurting, but I managed to sleep relatively comfortably on the side I hit my head – my preferred sleeping side, of course. In the morning, there was some redness and light swelling on the site of the injury, and it was surrounded by some light green/yellow bruising – the lightest bruising, usually what I get right before it disappears. Today, on Thursday, all that is left is a light red mark which will be gone soon I’m sure.
To say this kind of healing is miraculous doesn’t really describe my feelings about it. Its normal – as in like I don’t have a genetic difficulty in producing factor! Normal healing for a bleeder! Normal healing for a bleeder whose factor levels are lower than her normal. I’m actually grinning about this while typing – another injury healed normally! No, I’m not cured, but it reinforces to me how much food, exercise, sleep, herbal medications and meditation help me in managing my condition. The difference between a body which is physically stressed by food, not moving in a productive way, fatigued, where the key organs are unsupported and the body is plagued by emotional and spiritual stress to one that is closer to peace, comfort and health is amazing. Mind blowing. Gives me the giggles.
If you have a chronic or congenital illness, I’m sure there are things out there that will do for you what my little collection of wellness tips does for me. As a patient with a congenital condition, I was never told any of these types of things can help, but I now know they can. When your condition is genetic and there’s no chance of getting rid of it or a cure, symptom management is all you’ve got. As far as I’m concerned, doing it naturally is always a better option than with drugs. Having the ability to manage symptoms by non-medical means is so liberating – you’re no longer stuck waiting until a doctor is free to get your issue sorted, or subject to side effects of a medication. Treating an issue with rest and food is perhaps still time consuming like a hospital visit, but for me I feel I’m actually doing the right thing for me.