When my first son was 6 months old, we experienced our initial reception into the world of hemophilia. Until that point, his bleeding disorder had not reared its ugly head. This was his first internal bleed into a joint (his ankle), and we prepared to find a vein to utilize so that we could medicate him.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. My wife and I felt utterly desperate. We attempted to infuse our son with the necessary clotting agent to help solve a bleed that seemed never to end. We tried to find a vein three times without success.
We called our home care company, hoping that they could send a nurse out to our house so that we did not have to go to the emergency room. Our past experiences had taught us that the quickest way to get help was to stay put and let the nurse come to us. Going to the emergency room often proved longer and took up precious time when treating a spontaneous bleed. We played with our son, hoping to distract him from the pain he felt.
After a short while, I looked out the window to discover a car in my driveway. I went outside to meet this angel of mercy, only to be taken aback by what I saw. A lady with big, blonde hair wearing short shorts and a T-shirt that read “I break for cowboy butts” came up to me and introduced herself. I thought, “Who in the world is this, and is she qualified to find a vein in my son?” I smiled and hesitatingly introduced her to my wife. We looked at each other, unsure whether this was the right person to infuse him.
We welcomed her into our home and took her to my son’s room. She washed her hands and then did something that reassured us that all would be well. As soon as we bent down to pick our boy up to meet this woman, she was on the floor talking to my little man. I was impressed because she could have instructed us to hold him at her level, infused him, and gone on her merry way. Her actions spoke volumes, and all the concerns we had soon vanished.
My son appeared mesmerized, intrigued by this new person who had come into his life. She played with him for a few minutes, checking arms and feet for good veins to infuse. My boy thought it was a game and relaxed and let her do her work. My wife and I stood there, overwhelmed by her ability to calm our mighty guy.
This nurse, whom we called a gift from God, found a good vein, and within a minute, infused our son with the much-needed factor to help treat the ravages of an internal bleed. She stayed for a few moments to speak with us, and asked about our state of mind. Again, something else that overwhelmed me. She took the time to care for our whole family, not just our child. She left, and we remained silent for a while, not knowing how to express the gratitude we felt for this angel that appeared to us in the strangest of ways.
Our next move was to call our home care company and ask them to note in our medical file that we requested this specific nurse to help us whenever we needed assistance. What we did not know at the time was that our wonderful angel would become a lifelong friend. Her devotion to nursing’s craft served as the gold standard in quality care that we use as a base for every call to medical professionals. Our main two criteria for optimum service include: “Do you care for my family?” and “Can you provide treatment in a way that empowers us?” When either of these answers is no, we seek out other alternatives regarding treatment.
Many years have passed since the nurse with the “I break for cowboy butts” shirt came into our lives. Each day I give thanks for her and the incredible mark she’s left on my family. I hope everyone is fortunate enough to have someone like her who loves children and has a ferocious respect for the whole family’s feelings. We never stop giving thanks for her and the mark she continues to leave on our hearts. May all of us discover our special angels and hold them close.
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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.