No Bad Bruising After a Nasty Fall
No, I didn’t fall down the stairs like the unfortunate man in the photo above – but I certainly did splat face down onto the floor in my own apartment a week ago. I was holding the phone in my left hand and running to answer the doorbell when I apparently tripped over the edge of a small carpet. I suspect my cat had flipped it over while she was racing around that morning and I didn’t notice it since my eyes were on the doorbell intercom screen. At any rate, I landed gracelessly and heavily on both knees, elbows, hands, upper chest, and chin – causing me to bite my upper lip in the bargain. But I didn’t let go of the phone so the poor woman on the other end heard me go down – and heard whatever utterances I made in the process. As I was lying there, the ad, “Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!’ flashed through my mind. It turned out I was able to push myself up to standing, tell the woman I’d call her back and answer the bell. Fortunately, my chiropractor had time to squeeze in an appointment a few hours later. She got my skeleton more or less back into alignment – not fun. Then the only way I was able to get off the chiropractic table, where she had me lying face down to work on my back, was to ooze slowly onto the floor and pull myself up from there. Definitely not fun. According to bone scans a few years ago, my osteopenia has become osteoporosis so a fall like this might have had serious consequences. In the past, whenever I’ve fallen or bumped myself, colorful bruises going from blue and red to yellow and green have always resulted. OK. That’s the background of why I’m writing this blog post. It’s what happened after the fall that has amazed me and will likely interest you.
WHY BRUISES FORM AND HOW THEY HEAL Reprinted from Bruises: Causes and Treatments by Sarah Winkler (1998-2014) Bruising appears when tiny blood vessel, or capillaries, break due to a blow to the skin. The appearance of a bruise changes over time, and you can tell how old a bruise is and where it is in the process of healing by observing its color. Generally, your skin should look normal again in about two to three weeks after an injury.
When a bruise is brand new, it will appear reddish due to the color of the blood that leaked from the capillaries under the skin.
At one to two days old, a bruise will take on a bluish or purple color. The swelling at the site of the bruise will cause oxygen to be cut off, and hemoglobin, the substance that carries iron in your blood, will turn blue.
At six days old, a bruise will turn a greenish color as the hemoglobin breaks down and the area begins to heal itself.
At eight to nine days old, a bruise will then turn yellow or brown. This is the final stage in the body’s re-absorption of the blood.
Arnica montana ARNICA After I’d scraped myself off the floor and dealt with the postman, I immediately started taking Boiron’s homeopathic Arnica montana pellets – five pellets dissolved under the tongue 3X/day.
I also started applying arnica externally to the bruises where the skin hadn’t been broken – sometimes my old favorite, Nelson’s Arnica Cream,
and other times MJ’s Herbals’ Arnica Salve.
Arnica montana, a European daisy-like mountain plant also known as leopard’s bane, wolf’s bane and mountain tobacco, has been used for centuries to heal bruises, sprains, sore muscles, muscle spasms, arthritis and joint pain. It comes in the form of homeopathic ointments, creams, gels and salves to be applied externally to areas with unbroken skin; homeopathic pellets to be taken internally; and tinctures to be used in compresses. (Weil, 2014) (Wikipedia, 2014) PROBIOTICS FROM SUPPLEMENTS AND FERMENTED FOODS
I’ve been taking probiotics and other high quality supplements for several years now to keep my gut microbiome – and everything else – healthy. Apparently I’ve been successful: My last thermography report showed only a slight amount of inflammation in my digestive tract and elsewhere, a huge improvement from where I started. Currently, I’m taking
Flora Synergy (Energenix) 5 2x/day before meals
Catalyst-C (Energenix) 1 3x/day before meals
Saccharomyces boulardii + MOS (Jarrow) 1-2 3x/day after meals
Transfer Factor Plus (4Life) 1-2 3x/day before meals
Coral Legend Plus (Premier Research Lab) 1 2x/day before meals
Phyto Cal-Mag Plus (Energetix) 3 @ lunch/3 after dinner
Allicidin (Premier Research Labs) 2 2x/day after meals
D3 5000iu (Metagenics) 1x/day
Ostera (Metagenics) 1x/day
Super Omega-3 Fish Oil Concentrate 12x/day 1,000mg soft gels (Carlson)
NOTE: This is the right combination of probiotics and other supplements for me. That doesn’t mean it’s what would be good for you. I’ve also been eating more cleanly – no gluten, more greens, more healthy saturated fats (from animal and other sources – such as coconuts), fewer unhealthy fats, less refined sugar, fewer processed foods, more organic foods, fewer GMO foods and products. And I’ve included fermented foods such as kefir and real sauerkraut in my diet and started taking a juice-based supplement called Jusuru Life Blend (more on it below). To read more about probiotics, see Prebiotics and Probiotics. To read more about the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, see here. To read about kefir, see Kefir. LIQUID BIOCELL LIFE (Jusuru, 2013) After the fall, I increased my daily dose of Liquid BioCell Life (formerly called Jusuru) from 2 ounces 1X/day to 2 ounces 2X/day to promote healing in my ribs, cartilage and the areas of soft tissue damage. Liquid BioCell Life is an innovative, well-researched and tested, juice-based neutraceutical that promotes joint, skin, cardiovascular and cellular health. Research on fruit-derived polyphenols has demonstrated their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, neutralizing the free radicals that cause cell damage. Jusuru, the company name, comes from the Japanese word meaning, ‘To live!’ Liquid BioCell Life contains:
BIOCELL COLLAGEN® BioCell Collagen contains Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid and Chondroitin Sulfate, ingredients that have been shown in clinical trails to:
Promote skin firmness, resilience and hydration
Promotes joint lubrication and improves joint mobility
Reduce stiffness and discomfort
Rebuild cartilage and connective tissue
Help retard the overall aging process
Improve eye health
Nourish the scalp for healthier hair
Improve gum health by strengthening gingival fibers that attach the teeth
The most abundant protein found in joint cartilage and the dermis of the skin
Provides the structural framework for connective tissues to keep skin firm and resilient, and joints active and fluid
The gel-like substance that holds cells together
A molecule that helps provide hydration to skin and lubrication to joints
Found anywhere there is moisture in the body
A naturally occurring protein
Gives cartilage its amazing shock-absorbing properties
Fills the ground substance in skin dermis
A potent antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes that makes red wine good for you
Each 2-ounce dose of Jusuru Life Blend contains the same amount of resveratrol as 4 bottles of red wine
“The French Paradox” explains why the French are heart-healthy and age gracefully
Antioxidant health benefits delivered via 13 superfruits – blueberry, mangosteen, açai berry, noni, red grapes, maqui, strawberry, apple, nopal, jujube, gogi, cranberry and pomegranate
Neutralizes free radicals to start the chain reaction toward improved health
I can attest that the juice is delicious tasting! It has also been most helpful in healing my colon from the nasty Clostridium difficile infection I battled in 2010. See the Jusuru Life Blend Product Fact Sheet for a list of research reports on the supplement. WOBENZYM® N
When I spoke with David Miller, MD, one of my trusted health advisers, six days after the fall, he approved of what I was doing and taking to recover from my injuries. He also suggested adding another supplement, Wobenzym® N – a combination of enzymes that’s especially good for promoting bone, tendon and muscle healing. It’s a German product that’s been around for 50 years. The dose Dr Miller recommended for me is five tablets 2-3 hours after dinner or 45 minutes before a meal. About WOBENZYM N (Douglas Laboratories Canada, 2008) (Garden of Life, 2014) Wobenzym N is a systemic enzyme formula containing a synergistic combination of plant-based enzymes, pancreatic enzymes and antioxidants. It was first introduced in Germany in the 1960’s. Its powerful yet delicate enzymes are contained in a vegetable-based enteric coating to ensure they reach the small intestine intact. The enzymes then get absorbed from the small intestine into the blood stream. Wobenzym N:
Provides clinically demonstrated relief from everyday aches, pains and muscle soreness due to everyday activity and injuries
Promotes increased flexibility and mobility
Supports joint and tendon health
Maintains and supports a balanced immune system
Promotes health blood circulation
Supports health aging
Works holistically — throughout the entire body
BENEFITS OF THE ENZYMES IN WOBENZYM N Enzymes are fascinating essential biological catalysts involved in almost every single process in the body. They initiate millions of chemical reactions every second in the human body. It is easy to see why supplementing with systemic enzymes can have far-reaching benefits to the human body. The enzyme blend in Wobenzym N contains the following, clinically studied enzymes: pancreatin, papain (papaya extract), bromelain (pineapple extract), trypsin and chymotrypsin (pancreatic enzymes). Each of these is a protease – meaning they break down proteins. The formula also contains the antioxidant flavonoid rutin. This supplement provides systematic enzyme support to assist the body’s various regulatory and communication systems, especially the immune system. As I’ve stressed throughout this site, a balanced immune system is necessary for good health. In order to make sure that the systemic effect of the enzyme support succeeds, active enzyme molecules must be available in the small intestine for absorption. WHY THE ENZYMES NEED TO BE TAKEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH Wobenzym N is best taken on an empty stomach – at least 30 minutes before a meal or at least two hours after the last meal of the day – to maximize its absorption from the small intestine into the blood stream. For the enzymes to function properly, the supplement should be taken with a glass of water at room temperature or below. If it’s taken with a warm to hot liquid such as coffee or tea, the enteric coating on the tablets may become compromised, interfering with the enzymes’ reaching the small intestine. Taking it with milk may disturb the absorption of the enzymes within the small intestine.
For more information on Wobenzym-N, see Douglas Laboratories – Canada’s Fact Sheet and Garden of Life. THE HEALING THAT HAS AMAZED ME During this past week since I fell, I’ve seen only a tiny, pale blue bruise on one leg – and that little one disappeared after a day. The tips of both elbows are bright red but have never turned any other color. I continue to be sore, swollen in the damaged places and stiff in the knees but the heavy bruising I was expecting never materialized. I figured this all was either a sign of something dreadful – or a very good sign. The second night after the fall, when the tissue swelling had gone down a little on the side of my chest that had taken the brunt of the fall, I realized there was also some sharp pain underneath so had chest X-rays the following day – which revealed small fractures in the 6th and 9th ribs on that side. Four X-rays of my injured left hand didn’t reveal any breakage. My health adviser, David Miller, MD, gave an interesting explanation for why I’ve had no visible bruises anyplace on my body from that major fall: He says it’s because all the probiotic and other supplements I take regularly, plus the Jusuru drink supplement I’ve been taking the last few months, have gotten my circulatory system into great shape, allowing the blood that escaped from the damaged capillaries to get quickly and efficiently re-absorbed by my body. The homeopathic Arnica montana I’ve been taken internally and the arnica salve and cream I’ve applied externally since the fall have helped too. He expects my ribs to heal quickly. (Miller, 2014) Given what’s happened already – and what’s not happened, I do too.
I’d rate the pain resulting from this fall as 3.5 at its highest and most of the time as around 2. Using Kristin Prevallet’s techniques as described in her book Visual Comfort: Pain Management and the Unconscious Mind, I’ve been able to get it to 0.5 much of the time – ie, I’m not much aware of it. For more on Kristin’s techniques, see Visualize Comfort.
UPDATE A MONTH AFTER THE FALL July 8th: About two weeks after the fall, to further support healing, Dr Miller suggested I increase my dose of Wobenzym N for five days, from 5 tablets before bedtime to 10 tablets 45 minutes before breakfast + 10 tablets 45 minutes before dinner or at bedtime – and then return to 5 tablets before bedtime. July 11th: City MD, where I had the chest and hand X-rays a few days after the fall, made a follow-up appointment for me with a hand surgeon. She said she couldn’t tell what she needed to know from those four X-rays of my hand so did five more, looked at the area with ultrasound, and fit my hand with a splint to immobilize the possibly broken thumb. She also ordered two MRI’s so she could see if there was perhaps a bone chip or ligament damage around the thumb or in the wrist. The splint was a mixed blessing – it gave my thumb and wrist a rest but pressed right on the exquisitely painful area. July 16th: The MRI’s told the hand surgeon that there were no broken bones or bone chips, the tendons were unharmed, but there was considerable arthritis in that thumb (from an old repetitive strain injury) and a large fluid-filled cyst at the joint in my left thumb that was causing swelling, pain, and impeding usage – a result of the fall. She used an U/S machine to locate the cyst and give a cortisone shot right into it. Not fun – but the swelling and pain did recede and gave me back the use of that hand. She also cut the splint down and made it looser in the area of the cyst. I only wear the splint now when I’m in a situation (such as on the subway or in a crowd) where my hand might get bumped. July 23 This is the most interesting experience so far in my efforts to heal from the fall: I saw a chiropractor who works mostly with energy to heal the physical body and soothe the energy stored in the body from past traumas. These are the healing modalities he uses: Applied Kinesiology, Total Body Modification (TBM), Matrix Energetics + Garcia Innergetics (Quantum Physics-based energy work), Yuen Method (energy-based work), Eyelight Therapy, Natural Healing Systems, Graston (myofascial technique used by pro and college sports teams), Theta Healing (energy-based work focused on flipping belief systems), NET (Neuro-Emotional Technique), The Sedona Method, Sat Nam Rasayan (yogic healing), Cold Low Level Laser therapy, Activator, and other modalities + techniques he’s created on his own. He also draws upon his knowledge as a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor, certified Sedona Method coach, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, and Kabbalah Student. I had some quite vivid dreams that night – not nightmares. In the one I remember, my left leg from ankle to just above the knee was covered with vivid red and blue bruises. Supposedly they were an aftermath of the 6/25 fall but even in the dream I knew they weren’t really there. I felt very good the following day – barely aware of my fractured ribs, the residual swelling in my left thumb area was gone, and I generally felt lighter in my body and mind. There was also lots of peeing going on yesterday & today – releasing of toxins. While I’m certainly not glad to have fallen and incurred these injuries, I am glad for what I’ve learned during the healing process this past month.
REFERENCES Douglas Laboratories – Canada. (2008). Wobenzym-N. See: http://www.wobenzym.ca/facts.cfm Garden of Life. (2014). Wobenzym-N. See: http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/Immunity-Support/Wobenzym-N.aspx Hardin, J.R. (2013). Kefir. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/kefir/ Hardin, J.R. (2013). Prebiotics and Probiotics. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/prebiotics-and-probiotics/ Hardin, J.R. (2014). Saccharomyces boulardii. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/saccharomyces-boulardii/ Hardin, J.R. (2014). Visualize Comfort. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/06/30/visualizing-comfort/ Jusuru. (2013). Jusuru Life Blend™ Product Fact Sheet. See: http://www.jusururesources.com/Product%20Materials/Jusuru_ProductFactSheet_USA_v01_Sep2011.pdf Miller, D. (2014). Personal communication. Prevallet, K. (2014). Visualize Comfort: Pain Management and the Unconscious Mind (Book 3, v.1). Wide Reality Books: NYC. Weil, A. (2014). Herbal Remedies – Arnica. See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/REM00027/Arnica-Dr-Weil-Herbal-Remedies.html Wikipedia. (2014). Arnica montana. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnica_montana Winkler, S. (1998-2014. Bruises: Causes and Treatments. HowStuffWorks.com. See: http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/beauty/bruise1.htm © Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.