As a type 3 von Willebrand, life is like a box of chocolates. One which has been sabotaged by an ex lover and is filled with poisoned soft centres and pebble filled truffles which will break your teeth.
Being a severe bleeder, activities which are undertaken without a second thought by a non bleeder, to me can be high risk activities. A high risk, that is, of causing bleeding or bruising.
This is my top
10 11 list of everyday, bleed inducing things:
1. Fruit – apple skin is one of the most efficient ways of getting a gum bleed. The safest way for me to eat an apple is to cut bite size chunks off with a very sharp knife… Don’t worry, I wear Teflon gloves. Bananas can have the same effect if they are a little unripe, which is, of course how I like them.
2. Puff pastry – the equivalent of eating razor blades, very dangerous to gums, tongue and inside cheeks. Ruins the enjoyment of a good pastry.
3. Muffins – surprisingly risky – had 18 hours of gum action following a particularly chippy bit of chocolate in a muffin the other day.
4. Sandwiches – a crusty roll has obvious dangers. Crusty bread equally so. However I have bled from an encounter with the softest fluffiest baps filled with only egg mayonnaise, perhaps it was the cucumber…
Personal Mean Hygiene:
5. Tooth brushing – most common cause for me of gum and tongue bleeding. I’ve been told many times by many dentists that brushing more frequently will reduce the overall bleeding tendency – I can tell you I’ve put this thoroughly to the test and it’s nonsense: more brushing = more bleeding – fact. I am still to try the Sonicare toothbrushes that have been recommended by a fellow bleeder – I will let you know how that goes…
6. Flossing – not something I relish as this is akin to running wire thro mozzarella.
7. Hair removal – waxing, plucking, epilating, even hair removal creams can cause anyone to bleed or bruise – with a type 3 von Willebrand this can be to very dramatic effect. Legs which turn purple upon waxing may be a little alarming for your beautician. My current preferred method of defuzzment – epilation – even post clotting factor treatment can leave my legs covered in petechiae. My first ever attempt to shave my legs as a naive teenager resulted in a blood soaked kitchen (I know, weird choice) and a cover story about dropping a knife and it impaling my shin – not sure that was ever actually believed!
Household Sore Chores:
8. Painting – an activity I used to enjoy is now more risky due to a spot of ceiling painting which caused a shoulder bleed. This has weakened my shoulder and it has a tendency to bleed if used to decorate. No really, it does.
9. Correspondance – writing letters, whilst now an old fashioned activity is also a hazardous one for me. Paper cuts from the writing paper is common and if you’ve had letters from me they may well have contained at least one of my bloody prints – I’m never gonna get away with murder, I’m far too forensically generous. Licking the envelope slices my tongue into strips. Stamps used to stick to my lips and rip them into bleeding. Owwee. Thank goodness for self adhesiving ones I say.
10. Plaster removal – luckily I’m not allergic to latex having such an aggressive plaster habit. However removing a plaster is in itself a dangerous job and whilst ripping it off in one smooth, swift motion is ideal from a pain point of view, it is a perfect way to cause post plaster bruising. Nice.
11. Medic alert – it is ironic that a medic alert bracelet, worn continuously in case of emergency because it just might save my life, causes bruises and burns. If I lean on my hand and the bracelet is in the wrong place it bruises me, this most commonly occurs when I’m injecting clotting factor into that arm. When stirring a hot pan of food the bracelet heats up so quickly I don’t notice until it’s branding me with “Von Willebrands Disease (Type 3)”. I suppose that’s one way to avoid having to wear it in future…