What About Hemophilia?

What About Hemophilia?

Mr. Man started coughing on Friday and grew much worse by Saturday. My boy struggled with flu-like symptoms all weekend. We thought that by giving him allergy meds and cough suppressants, he would recover and be well for school on Monday. No such luck. The medicines wouldn’t work, and he still felt icky. Sunday evening came; we injected the product he takes for hemophilia, and that was the last mention of a bleeding disorder.

On Monday morning, I took my son to see his pediatrician so that she could rule out the basic stuff that goes around every school. She swabbed his throat and ruled out strep, before concluding that he had a viral something or other. Mr. Man needed more rest and rehabilitation, and God willing, he can go back to school on Wednesday. After shaking my hand and wishing Caeleb a speedy recovery, we could leave.

“What?” Something wasn’t right. Something was missing. Should I turn around and go back in? What about hemophilia? I didn’t know how to attend a doctor’s appointment without talking about bleeding issues, or product dosing. I missed that part of the conversation.

I stopped in my tracks and almost laughed at myself. How do I go to a routine exam without talking about hemophilia? It is almost like having post-traumatic stress disorder for caregivers. When stepping into an examination room, most of us tense up, sensing new information that may not be what we want to hear. We focus on the issue we don’t want to discuss. The reaction is so ingrained in us that our physical response to the familiar situation of a doctor’s clinic is with a tinge of fear.

After leaving the pediatrician’s office, my son and I went to the drugstore for something he could take to relieve his symptoms. As I looked through the appropriate over-the-counter medications, I realized that hemophilia does still play a role in our lives, even when we don’t say a word about a bleed. Thanks to so many years of dealing with bleeding disorders, I go to the products that are appropriate for my boys. Without realizing it, our home treatment is now a way of life. Tylenol rules!

“MacDonald the Younger” and I capped off our morning by eating at a great drive-in called Foxy, in Clovis, New Mexico. It is like an old-fashioned drive-in, where the burgers are great and the shakes are better. We sat in the car and discussed life and the issues that a 12-year-old mind can handle. For this moment, we didn’t talk about hemophilia, and we didn’t even talk about the pediatrician. Our conversation moved to school, living on the prairie, and our new home. For all of these things, both of us agree, we are truly grateful.

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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 Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.

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Joe is the father of two sons with hemophilia. He and his wife Cazandra are active member in the bleeding disorders community and often facilitate workshops both locally and nationally. Joe is a pastor in the United Methodist Church and writes a blog about spirituality and faith. You may follow his blog at www.joekmac.com.

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