ITP does not discrimate when it strikes its next victim. It affects the young and old, rich and poor all over the world. Dealing with this blood disorder is no easy task. The fear and frustration of not knowing where the roller coaster will take us next can be daunting.

This blog is for ITPers to express thoughts, feelings and lessons learned during their ride. Send your post to greta799@yahoo.com. We want to hear from you.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Power of the Written Word



Hello.... anyone out there? 
Yes, I know, it's been ages since anything has been posted on this blog. But that's going to change - with your help....

Yesterday, I was inspired by reading Anthony Heard's ITP blog. Most of us know Anthony from all the wonderful work he has done with the ITP Support Association in promoting ITP awareness across the UK.

His blog, My Purple Patch, recounts his roller coaster ride with ITP. I've known Anthony for several years (virtually) but was not aware of his experiences fighting this dreadful disease. I highly recommend clicking the link above and spending some time reading his story. As the Brits say, it's absolutely brilliant!! In American terms, it's fantastic!!!

My Epiphany 
As most of you know, I'm a freelance writer. I've been working on an article for a caregiver's magazine and ran across an interesting study that showed how writing about traumatic events can help with healing.

Here's an excerpt from my article:
The study used patients with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma and had the experimental group write about the most stressful event(s) of their lives. The participants wrote for 20 minutes over three consecutive days. They were instructed not to worry about spelling or punctuation, just get their thoughts and feelings down on paper. The control group wrote about general topics, such as things I need to do today.

The participants from both groups received medical check-ups after two week, two month, and four month intervals.  After four months, the participants in the asthma experimental group showed improvements in lung function, and the ones in the RA experimental group showed improvements in overall disease activity. The control groups showed no changes at all. This study showed that writing about emotionally traumatic events (death of a loved one, family/relationship problems, major accident, etc) reduced the symptoms of the patients’ chronic illness. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Then today, a fellow author posted a link on Facebook to an article from bbc.com  asking the question: Can writing about pain help boost your immune system? A psychology professor conducted an informal study where he asked students to write about the biggest trauma of their lives. At the same time, a control group wrote about neutral topics. He followed both groups for six months, and found that during that time the students who wrote about the traumatic events made fewer trips to the doctor than the control group. Coincidence?

I started thinking (dangerous, I know)...When this blog was active and ITPers wrote guest posts, a number of them commented about how they felt so much better after writing about their ITP experiences. Did we proved the studies have merit??? 

Here's where the epiphany comes in...
Between Anthony's inspiration, the studies, and the comments from previous guests, I realized this platform can be beneficial to my fellow ITPers. Why not get ITP...In Our Words active again? 

Here's Where I Need Your Help
I need you guys to write about your experiences with ITP. If you are unfamiliar with this blog, we started it a few years ago as a place to vent. Having ITP can be frustrating, irritating, and confusing. Most of us are learning as we go along this path. The trial and error treatments work sometimes, other times not. What works for one person may not work for someone else. We are all unique and have a story to tell.

You may think I'm not a writer; I can't do this! or I don't have anything interesting to say or Who cares what I think! 

Answer:
You don't have to a writer - just sit in front of your computer and let your thoughts, feelings, worries, frustrations, etc. flow through your fingers. You'll be surprised with the results. Don't worry about grammar, punctuation, or misspelled words. You can make edits later. Just go with the flow.

Your journey dealing with ITP can help others who are on the same path, suffering the same side effects from meds, have the same questions, or cringe from similar fears. We are a family and need to support each other. Whatever you have to say will be appreciated. The power of the written word will make a difference in your life and in the lives of those who read your story.

Send your post to greta799@yahoo.com. Put 'ITP Post' in the subject line. We'll publish one per week.

Thanks everybody, and believe in the Power of the Written Word







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