I bruise easily!

Just for reference, this isn’t about Natasha Bedingfield. It’s actual bruises (and a healed surgery wound). If you’re squeamish, you may not want to look. Also fair warning, most of the bruises are caused by needles, so if you’re not good with those either, run away. (For what it’s worth, I’m pathetic when it comes to needles.)

Excessive bruising on slight contact is a characteristic of HMS. It isn’t apparent in every patient, but it definitely does for me! I’m not sure why it happens, but it’s probably to do with the fact that our blood vessels aren’t as strong as most, so they damage easier. I’m often covered in coffee table bruises, door handle bruises, and I-have-no-idea-where-that-is-from bruises!

Generally I cover these bruises up, people feel uncomfortable when they see them and ask awkward questions. (Ranging from “What did you do this time?” to “So, your partner… is he an angry man?”- don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for the awareness on the part of people in cases of potential domestic violence, but it’s not the case here!)

So, why do I bother sharing these unglamorous photos? Because I feel pressured to cover up my bruises because people stare, because of the questions. I’m always covered in bruises or scrapes, all over my arms and legs so I wear long sleeves /trousers to cover them up. I also won’t wear vest tops (unless I’m with very good friends) because I have eczema and dermatitis scars on my upper arms. I have stretch marks all over my back, stomach and legs so I cover those too.

I’m tired of being covered up. It’s uncomfortable and unpleasant, and I don’t want to do it anymore. I’ve spoken to lots of people about it, and I’m going to be brave. No more covering myself up. Nobody’s perfect!

I’m going to try to be okay with the way I am.

Love from your battered & bruised,
but hopeful little Hypermobile Hobbit.

I’ve always bruised quite badly, but I will share some beauties from post-surgery now. (For reference, the Surgery was the 30th June.)


2 days post-surgery:

Blood sample bruises 2nd July

Blood sample bruises 2nd July

Cannula Bruises! 2nd July

Cannula Bruises! 2nd July

3 days post-surgery:

Blood sample bruises 3rd July

Blood sample bruises 3rd July

4 days post surgery: At this point my fingers also swelled like crazy!

Cannula bruises 4th July  (Happy Independence America!)

Cannula bruises 4th July
(Happy Independence America!)

Seriously swelled up fingers! 4th July

Seriously swelled up fingers! 4th July

Blood sample bruise 4th July.

Blood sample bruise 4th July.

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Nerve block injection site bruising – lots of holes!!!

1 week post-surgery: The blood sample bruise was really painful by now, affecting how I could rest my “good arm”.

Blood sample bruises 7th July.

Blood sample bruises 7th July.

Blood sample bruising (wrapping around my wrist!) 7th July.

Blood sample bruising (wrapping around my wrist!) 7th July.

Cannula bruises 7th July - almost all better!

Cannula bruises 7th July – almost all better!

The stitches were removed on the 7th, one week after surgery. It wasn’t fun, but I may blog about that later. I was a bit surprised the incisions were so tiny! They had healed up nicely, and I was finally allowed to have a shower!!!

9 days post-surgery: There was surprisingly little bruising around the incisions, a lot of swelling though! The vertical line in each case was the incision, and the horizontals were stitches.

The front scar - 9th July

The front scar – 9th July

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The back scar.

Two weeks post-surgery: By now the blood sample bruise is yellowing, so is harder to get photos of, but extends from my thumb to my elbow, and wraps half my wrist. It took about 3 weeks to fade, but photo’ing your own arm when you only have one functional arm is tough, so I stopped.

Blood sample bruise. 14th July.

Blood sample bruise. 14th July.

18 days post-surgery: I started to get bruises on the backs of my legs, just below my knees. This was because I wasn’t able to lift myself out of chairs or up from sitting on the bed easily, so my knees were hyper-extending to compensate and pushing the furniture.

Calf bruise  16th July

Calf bruise 16th July

20 days post-surgery: The problem is, if you keep hitting the same area, the bruises get worse…

Calf bruise 20th July.  What a beauty, right?

Calf bruise 20th July.
What a beauty, right?

On the plus side, the horizontal scars have faded pretty quickly.

Scar 20th July

Scar 20th July

3 weeks & 1 day post-surgery: The bruises on my legs were fading, mainly because I was being super-careful.

Calf bruise 24th July

Calf bruise 24th July

So, that’s some epic bruises on me! The calf ones are literally just repeated pressure, so it’s easy to see how huge bruises can be created from repeat small pressure on people who bruise easily. They took about 2 weeks to clear up, because I kept repeatedly catching my legs (lightly) when balancing myself.

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Useful Out of Hours care?

I have had enough of the pain and difficulty. I have reached the end of my tether, and after all, my GP said “If it gets worse, go to A+E”. It is definitely worse. 

I called the 111 service, was asked a lot of odd questions and was told I’d get a call from my out of hours care provider. 

I got that call and was told, and I quote “We won’t deal with you as you’re not an emergency, and the walk in clinic won’t as it’s not a minor illness or injury.”

Useful, eh?

I didn’t go into A+E when I first did it, I waited to go to my GP as it wasn’t a severe enough injury. She told me to go to A+E if it gets worse. I call the advice line and they say that I have to go back to my GP. I already know she’ll tell me to go to A+E. 

Either there needs to be a fast-track referral for severe injuries that interfere with day to day life, or the emergency staff need to broaden their remit a little and realise that accidents can have longer term repercussions.

I am absolutely livid that they weren’t more helpful, and I’m going to A+E tomorrow anyway because I NEED treatment. I am in so much pain and the pain relief doesn’t work. Being on crutches is doing more damage than good – my hands are injured, my back is injured, my other leg is starting to struggle with the strain.

For the love of God, will someone please treat me!?!!!!

Edit… Called up 111 again, they put me through to a paramedic, and she put me through to a NEMS nurse. She was useful and I am now waiting on organised transport to the out of hours emergency GP.

Wish me luck!