How These Bruises Make for Better Conversation

These symptoms of hemophilia are less worrisome when they're named

Alliah Czarielle avatar

by Alliah Czarielle |

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My husband, Jared, gets a lot of bruises. Not because he gets into brawls a lot, and most certainly not because we fight (although we like to troll people with these possibilities just for fun — dark humor, we know). His quick bruising is because he has severe hemophilia B and a seizure disorder that results in occasional falls, which in turn cause minor injury.

For him, bruises are a normal part of life — definitely not something to worry about. (By now, I know that internal bleeds are far more serious.)

But for people seeing his bruises for the first time, reactions may range from shock to concern. They may even feel scared out of their wits. It’s quite understandable since most people who grew up with no experience of bleeding disorders tend to associate bruises with pain. It was the same for me growing up.

Jared’s bruises may appear rather large and deep red to purple in color. They might have no apparent cause. As a result, he doesn’t perceive them as painful at all — bothersome, but not debilitating. Pain is subjective, after all, and Jared has learned to have a high pain tolerance.

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Humans are geared to fear what they do not know. It’s a simple evolutionary mechanism that helps us survive. Giving names to things and emotions, however, helps diffuse our fear of them.

Jared does something interesting to keep things light around the subject of his hemophilia. He gives his bruises names!

Here are some of the hilarious names Jared has given them:

Bruise Lee: These are small bruises about the size of pennies and named after Bruce Lee, the martial arts legend. They look like they were made with a quick and nimble motion, much like the moves Lee makes.

Bruise Wayne: These bruises are larger, like the influence of Bruce Wayne, the billionaire industrialist with a secret superhero identity, Batman. Being much bigger than average, these bruises begin to scare most people.

Bruise Banner: These bruises are angry, like Bruce Banner (aka the Hulk). Jared gets these through accidental bumps or falls. They cover a large portion of his body and may have the appearance of a full-sleeve tattoo. They’re scary-looking, but not so painful.

Bruise Almighty: This is Jared’s name for his childhood head injury. Though it’s not technically an ongoing injury, it’s a souvenir in the form of scar tissue in his brain. He named it after a movie character played by Jim Carrey, an ordinary man who suddenly wakes up one day as God. Jared gave the injury this name because it’s dictated much of his fate. Because of this “almighty” injury, he has a seizure disorder.

By giving his bruises names, Jared effectively replaces fear with familiarity. Strangers who are told the names can then look at his injuries with less concern and even talk about them. Much as the American pop-rock band Train sings in one of its songs: “These bruises make for better conversation/ Loses the vibe that separates.”

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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