Sunday, March 29, 2015


Survivors get bruised. A lot.

And for the sake of this post, we will stick to just the physical bruises.

Little bruises. Big bruises. Layers of bruises. Different levels of healed bruises. Every imaginable type of bruise happens.

Blooming blossoms flowering along the skin in brilliant shades of black, purple, red, yellow, brown, and even a slightly sickly shade of green. An abstract Impressionist painting of trauma.

Whether from trauma or illness, needles or I.V.'s, blood thinners or infection, or a general weakened woozy state that makes your footing not so steady so you bump into things a bit more often- bruises are going to happen. Some bruises are super sensitive while others have a dull ache. Some linger for extended periods of time and most are rather unsightly.

(My current bruise blossom is looking rather unpleasant at a week old, and doesn't feel too great either.)

There is not a lot you can do about them for the duration. Usually a bruise is yours to keep for ten to fourteen days.

Treating a bruise is more an art then a science. But there are some tricks that sometimes help in controlling their severity, pain level, speed of fading, and length of stay. Try to find a trick that works for you.

In the first 24 hours:
Ice (even a pack of frozen peas wrapped in a towel or a wet wash cloth helps - no more than 15 minutes an hour)
Compression (ace bandages work well)
Elevation (keep the bruise propped above heart level to reduce blow flow to the area)
Antibiotic Cream (if there is broken skin)

After 24-48 hours:
Heating ( a heating pad, warm wash cloth, or hot water bottle helps. Just don't apply longer than an hour)
- always make sure there is a buffer between you and the heat, like a towel or cloth, to prevent burns
Healing Warmth (warmed water with vinegar compress or warmed herbal comfrey compress - but only if there is no broken skin at bruise site)

Natural Rubs:
Arnica Gel
St. John's Wart Oil
Crushed Parsley Leaves
Aloe Vera

Bromelain (a pineapple enzyme, reduces pain and inflammation)
Vitamin C (helps prevent and lessen the severity of bruising)
Flavinoids (found in carrots and citrus fruits, helps Vitamin C work better)
Vitamin K (green leafy veggies)
Bilberry Extract

For Pain:
but Avoid Aspirin and, some say, even Ibuprofen (as they may thin the blood and make bruising worse)
Bengay (a pharmacist recommended it to me and it sometimes helps)

Always consult a doctor if bruising occurs when you have no apparent source while ill, if bruising occurs while taking blood thinners, if bruising while severely anemic, the bruising is on the face or head, the bruising swells, doesn't heal or fade, and is accompanied by severe pain or a fever.

(Note: I am not a doctor, just passing on information I have learned from my own bruising and some tricks I haven't tried but others have said helped them. Always be sure to seek the recommendations of your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for more advanced medical advice.)

In the end, bruises are just a body's natural way of dealing with trauma, and if you are bruising, you are still surviving. Being alive, even if bruised, is a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share Your Story. Voice Your Support.