When you have ITP, something as simple as opening a package can have serious consequences if you cut yourself in the process. But you can’t stop living your life just because you have ITP. And luckily, you don’t have to: Treatment options can help keep your platelet counts in a healthier range, and using the easy tricks below can help lower your risk for injuries.
De-bump your space. Random piles of clothing on the floor, stacks of books and magazines, chairs that make hallways hard to navigate—obstacles like these can bring on bumps and bruises and even cause you to trip and fall. So make an effort to clear the clutter.
Pick the perfect tool. Don’t use a screwdriver to open a stubbornly taped box, or cut into a big loaf of bread with a small paring knife. Using the utensil that’s right for the task is an easy way to prevent injury.
Create skid-proof zones. Avoid area rugs that can slide around, and make sure stair railings are secure.
Sharpen your knives and scissors. It might sound counterintuitive, yet keeping blades sharpened makes cutting and dicing easier. And wear gloves when using any sharp instrument to protect yourself in case of injury.
Shave smarter. Men should use an electric razor, and women can use cream depilatories to remove unwanted hair.
Slip-proof your shower. Place rubber mats in your shower or bath to prevent falls.
Be aware of “innocent” habits that can be harmful. Some behaviors, such as nail biting, chewing on ice and even eating tortilla chips, can cause your gums to bleed. So before you put anything in your mouth, think about its impact on your gums.
Try a gentle alternative to flossing. Medical experts say some dental rinses are nearly as effective as flossing for removing and preventing the buildup of tartar and bacteria. And unlike flossing, swishing the solution won’t cause your gums to bleed. Tip: Keep your dentist in the loop. You’ll receive better care if your dentist and doctor communicate about your condition before an invasive dental procedure, like a tooth extraction. Even before a routine cleaning, ask if you need a medication to prevent gum bleeding.
Look straight ahead when walking. And not down at your text messages. That way, you won’t accidentally miss a curb or trip over an uneven sidewalk.
Buckle up. In case of a fender bender, a seat belt will help prevent serious bumps and scratches.
Use a strong and stable ladder. Avoid climbing old or rickety ladders to prevent potential falls. And ask a friend to “spot” you for good measure.
See your way clear. When carrying bags or boxes, make sure you can see over the top to prevent tripping.
Light the way. Ensure walkways and stairs leading to your home are well lit to prevent falls or injuries.
Wear protective shoes. When mowing the lawn or doing other yardwork, don’t wear sandals or lightweight shoes.
Gear up. Consider using knee, wrist and elbow pads for cycling and other activities when appropriate.
Focus on the task at hand. If you’re doing an activity that involves a sharp or heavy object, give it your full attention. Eliminating distraction helps you do the task safely.
Sit still. Avoid tilting your chair when sitting on it. And immediately repair damaged chairs and other furniture to avoid accidents.
Batteries, cellphones, your drugstore makeup…all come in sharp plastic clamshells that are dangerous if you have ITP and are trying to avoid getting cuts. Follow these tips to help you avoid injury:
Don't: Pull apart a plastic clamshell package with your hands. Manhandling can cause a serious cut and bleeding.
Instead: Put on a pair of thick gardening or work gloves. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut into the package and slice around the outer edge of the item. Be sure to cut away from the body. Pull the plastic apart and immediately throw away sharp pieces.