I’m starting to recover from my recent iliopsoas bleed. I’m irritated that my right hip isn’t as flexible as it used to be, but that’s a normal part of recovery. It’ll take me a while to regain the ability to move freely and easily.
I’m looking forward to the day that my wife, Cza, and I can get back to our regular gym sessions.
I recently had a funny, albeit awkward, conversation with our baby’s nanny. She complimented me for getting thin and looking good — or at least better than I used to look.
My initial reaction was, “People find me attractive. Cool!” My old clothes, from before I started going to the gym, will fit me again, which is great. But the weight loss wasn’t intentional or part of some newfangled diet. It was muscular atrophy, something I believe that people with hemophilia should watch out for and try to prevent.
I promised myself that once I got back to the gym, I would do whatever I could to counteract the atrophy. Experts say that the key to living harmoniously with hemophilia is prevention, and a huge part of that is protecting your joints and muscles through physical strength.
Growing up, I heard from caregivers and doctors that I needed to lose weight to prevent injuries. They believed that thinness would prevent joint strain. I can still hear the voices of concerned caregivers: “Magpapayat ka na! Para hindi ka na magka-bleed!” In Filipino, that translates to, “Get thin already! It’ll make you bleed less!”
In my opinion, a more effective form of bleed prevention is an active, healthy, and disciplined lifestyle. I’ve witnessed firsthand the benefits of a strong body. It pays off in the long run. I’ve experienced fewer bleeds. I have greater confidence in myself and am less afraid of taking risks.
Many would consider our nanny’s remark a compliment, but as someone with chronic illness, things like weight management are important to keep an eye on. They inform me when it’s time to readjust my lifestyle so that I can return to my normal, everyday rhythm and be the best possible version of myself.
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