Living With Bleeding Disorders Means I’m Good at Cleaning Stains

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by Jennifer Lynne |

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As a person with multiple bleeding disorders, I’m an expert at removing blood from many materials, including carpet, clothing, and furniture. Sometimes the blood wins and will ruin a new shirt.

Although I’m in my 50s, a blood stain can still get the best of me, as happened last week. While washing dishes, my thumb punched a hole through the plastic lid of my Ninja Creami ice cream maker. Millimeters separated my thumb and the razor-sharp edge of the plastic.

“Thank goodness I didn’t cut myself,” I said aloud to no one in particular. Seconds later, I watched a knife blade slice into my finger in slow motion, just like in the movies.

I waited for the blood to gush, but it didn’t. Not bad!

I’ve certainly had worse cuts. I applied pressure and a Band-Aid and thought nothing more of it. Before bed, I changed the Band-Aid and ensured my finger had stopped bleeding.

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A Tempur-Pedic tantrum

My mattress is a top-end Tempur-Pedic that I hope to sell soon, as it’s time for a new bed. But in the morning, I noticed blood on my sheets. I looked at my finger. I had bled through the Band-Aid.

I slowly pulled back the sheet to inspect the mattress, afraid to look. I soon learned that a tiny finger cut had left bloodstains on my Tempur-Pedic mattress.

I was fuming mad. The resale value of my mattress had fallen before my very eyes. Who will want to buy a mattress with bloodstains? Does a person without bleeding disorders wake up to a ruined bed from a tiny cut? I randomly selected three people and asked them this question. Never, they said. Never.

OxiClean is my favorite product to remove bloodstains, but hydrogen peroxide also works well. I went to work on the mattress. I’d removed bloodstains from my sheets hundreds of times, but not since my menstruation days have I tried to remove them from a mattress. The OxiClean helped, but if you look closely, you can still see the stain. The blood had won.

The key to removing bloodstains is to act quickly, as once the blood has dried, it becomes harder to remove. Dabbing a stain with cold water works as a first line of defense. Hot water will set the stain. I carry a Tide stick in my purse, which is helpful for pretreating all sorts of stains.

Bleeding longer

Hemophilia type B and von Willebrand disease cause me to bleed longer, but not faster. I’ve never had a cut that required an infusion of clotting factor medicine. I apply pressure and ice and wait for the bleeding to stop. Sometimes the bleeding will start again later, so I use a Band-Aid.

The more problematic bleeding happens internally. For example, while on vacation, I bit my tongue hard. There was minimal bleeding, but my tongue turned blue and was swollen. Panic ensued. My tongue recovered, though, thanks to treatment, ice, and careful chewing for the next few days.

I’ve dealt with bleeding on things forever, so it surprised me that I had become enraged about bleeding on a mattress. It’s not my first material possession to be ruined by my bleeding disorders, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.


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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