"I thought everybody bled like that": a patient's experience with von Willebrand disease.

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Date: Aug. 29, 2022
From: CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal(Vol. 194, Issue 33)
Publisher: CMA Impact Inc.
Document Type: Personal account
Length: 658 words
Lexile Measure: 910L

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As a kid, I had frequent nosebleeds and bruising. Sometimes, I'd have nosebleeds daily and need to apply pressure for 20-30 minutes. That's what I was known for. As I got older, I'd get bruises on my legs or arms. I always had a bruise somewhere.

When I had my periods, there would be clotting and gushing. If I was sitting and went to stand, I worried I would leak through my clothes. I'd be terrified sometimes because I wouldn't know if what I had on would handle the transition to the bathroom. I recall once wearing a dress and leaking all over the floor. I missed work and school occasionally, but it's not possible to miss days that frequently. Instead, I'd figure out what to wear, how to double up and where the nearest bathroom was.

I did not ask my doctor about my periods or about my bruising. I thought everybody bled like that. My normal was my normal.

I was diagnosed...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A715388502