When my daughter was little, she had the most amazing dance teacher, Jenna. Jenna was a mom of boys who loved the rough and tumble, but her dance studio was all about learning to move young bodies with grace and fluidity.
While we no longer head off to Jenna’s classes (we now live many states away), one of her enduring lessons has been on my mind since we entered the season of darkness. In her firm but subtle manner, Jenna taught her dancers this: When you’re coming out of a spin, you’ll feel dizzy, so clap, bring your right hand to your nose, and focus on your hand. This will make the world stop spinning.
How often in the world of bleeding disorders do we feel that the world is completely spinning? For many of us, it happens every single day. Whether it’s a surprise medical bill that upends us, a horrible phone call with our insurance company, a little one in tears over an infusion, or a family member who doesn’t understand the depth of depression that no sunlight can cure, our world is on a constant and often accelerating rotation.
Last weekend, we attended our Hemophilia Association chapter’s annual advocacy dinner, and like most events of this type, we had the chance to chat with friends we’ve made through the years. During dinner, one of our friends shared a story — not about hemophilia directly, but about the financial toll that often results from our current insurance climate. The story had me dabbing at my eyes.
At the end of her story, we all clapped and encouraged her and her family to keep sharing. That clapping centered us and reminded us that not only are we in this together for the bleeding, but also for all the other spinoff situations that come into play because of the bleeding.
I recently had the privilege of attending a listening session with Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, whose concerns over the future of healthcare give me hope and despair at the same time.
A diverse group of community leaders attended this meeting, and looking around the room, I was convinced that while we often feel cast about in the bleeding disorders storm, we are far from alone. We have the buoy of a cadre of like-minded advocates.
At several points, clapping erupted after particularly poignant or impactful parts of an attendee’s story. Again, those claps served to center us around our purpose.
Every day, we have the chance to stop our world from spinning, whether it’s clapping at our kiddo’s accomplishments, cheering on the hometown team, or after we clean the bathroom. Clapping lets others know we value them. And for a few moments, the world stops, and we are centered and focused on that home run, high note, or sparkling tub.
As we become immersed in myriad holiday activities and the darkness that prevails until March, find a few moments to stop the pirouettes with a simple clap.
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.