Bruising is a fact of life for women living on blood thinners.
Embarrassment about your bruises doesn’t have to be.
Women living on blood thinners are no strangers to bruising. A tight shoe, a light bump against a chair or an over zealous thigh slap while laughing can cause a nasty-looking mark that can be embarrassing -- to a woman and her family.
“I was constantly bruised, on my arms, legs, torso and face, even dark purple dark circles around my eyes and splotching on the skin of my face. I really looked bad. It was to the point where my husband didn't want to take me any place because he was compelled to say, “I don't beat her, it's the Coumadin®! It is really bad when your family feels they have to apologize for the way you look,” said Mellanie True Hills.
Kay Marie Kortas a kindergarten teacher who survived a heart attack at age 34 added, “You think twice about wearing shorts or skirts or sleeveless tops, because you don't want to go around feeling like someone has been beating you up or give off that impression by any means. It is a challenge on a daily basis.”
Simply running into something lightly can result in a huge bruise, so women on blood thinners have to be careful to avoid injury if they can. But, as Mellanie points out, bruising can sometimes be a clue of something else. “If your blood is too thin it can actually just leak out of your blood vessels. If you start seeing bruises coming up on your skin and you know you didn't bump into something, that is probably a clue that your blood is way to thin and you need to get it back under control quickly.”
Tips for bruising:
Ice it quickly:
Reduce the size and color of bruises by icing the area immediately. Keep the ice on the area for twenty minutes.
Cover it up:
Dermablend is a great product developed to cover birth marks. Use it on our face, arms and legs. The setting powder keeps it from rubbing or sweating off and it works great under pantyhose. Find it at www.dermablend.com
Keep it under control:
If you take Coumadin® or warfarin, be vigilant in keeping your monitoring appointments. Get your thinness level checked if you experience unusual or unexplained bruising.
Read more about the Patient's Perspective on Blood Thinners in the Patient's Perspective Magazine or download the Special Report on bruising. You may also listen to the discussion on bruising or the full conversation on blood thinners.
The Patient's Perspective is a monthly teleconference addressing the challenges faced by women living with heart disease. The teleconferences are hosted by Eliz Greene, Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative. Find out more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.org
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