My youngest son, Caeleb, became best friends with a girl named Taylor in sixth grade. Then, our family moved away to Texas, but returned to New Mexico two years later. Caeleb and Taylor now live an hour apart. Despite it all, they have remained close.
It is remarkable for a friendship to last through four years of moving. I am grateful that technology allows for Caeleb to stay connected with his bestie. I recently took him to spend the day with Taylor and a group of their friends.
On the way to Taylor’s house, I asked him what Taylor knew about his medical condition. Caeleb told me she knew he needed a cane sometimes, but she did not know many details about hemophilia.
I impressed upon Caeleb how important it is to let his friends know about his condition in case something happens and I can’t get to him. He nodded his head in agreement, but the truth is that he does not want to even talk about hemophilia to his friends.
Caeleb and his friends explored the local park, laughed at silly jokes, and had sodas and pizza. It could not have been a more perfect day. When I picked him up, he was beaming with happiness. His soul needed to be with his friends, and for a few hours, he was one of the gang.
But as we traveled home, he became quiet.
Caeleb admitted that his excitement caused him to push himself physically by running and crawling through tunnels while exploring the park. His knee and ankle were hurting badly.
Once we arrived home, he took a shower, took some pain medication, and tried his best to rest. It was the beginning of a rough evening.
In these moments when my son wants to be part of the group, it is easy for him to overextend himself. He forgets to be careful and limit himself. I cannot blame him for being excited and jumping in with his friends. Like any 15-year-old boy, caution is not exactly the first thing on his mind.
It broke my heart to see him suffering in pain after having such a wonderful day. Unfortunately, living with pain is part of Caeleb’s life, and as much as I would like to do so, I cannot take his pain away.
I want nothing more than for my son to take the world by storm and go after his dreams. I know he can make his way in the world and discover opportunities that ignite his passions. I hope that hemophilia does not get in his way. The unrelenting pain Caeleb experiences is a constant reminder of years of trauma from his bleeding disorder.
As Caeleb’s mom, it is my duty and privilege to be his cheerleader. While I am not able to take away his pain, I will be a voice of encouragement. As long as I have breath, I will be the person who helps my son see past his bleeding disorder to dream and envision his future.
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.
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