Author Archives: Joe MacDonald

It’s a Chronic Illness, Not Your Sole Identity

A name is not mere letters on paper or a screen, but a way to proclaim our existence. What we call ourselves lets the world know who we are. My name, Joe Keith, comes from my great-uncle (my grandfather’s brother). I take a great deal of pride in carrying on…

Finding Routine in Chaos

Having a family member admitted to the hospital throws the entire family’s routine into absolute chaos. We lose our control of time, as well as our privacy. While it is great to see a friend or to hear good news from the medical staff, we are unable to dictate…

Preserving Our Family During Difficult Times

One of the best things about my relationship with my wife is our team approach to difficult circumstances stemming from hemophilia. I tend to remain calm at the beginning of a problem, while she is active toward the end. Our responses mostly happen automatically, like clockwork. We are grateful…

When He Leaves Home

My oldest son will be moving out of the house in a few weeks to rent an apartment with a good friend of his. My mind continues to bring light to the fact that he is 22 years old. It is time for him to spread his wings and leave…

Forgiveness Is Not a Dirty Word

Recently, I discussed an issue with several men with whom I meet on Monday mornings. We talk about various topics, and that morning’s conversation centered around the idea of forgiveness. For a healthier life, we must let go of resentments and embrace change. Only through surrendering our pain can…

We Still Carry Scars

A few years ago, “MacDonald the Younger,” his mom, and I went to his yearly checkup with the Hemophilia Treatment Center to review our road map (healthcare chart), report on activities, and make sure that he was taking the correct dose of product for his height and…

Be Careful What You Say and Do!

My wife and I learned early to be careful when discussing the struggles we share in caregiving. Sometimes we get tired and want to complain, but we must remember that our children hear and see us. If we say something in total frustration, our children might blame themselves…

Ready, Set … Off to the Hospital?!

So, we are in the car. Everyone is in their respective seats. We are all looking forward to our vacation. The car is filled with suitcases and excitement. Then, I hear the dreaded sentence from my youngest boy: “Daddy, my leg hurts.” My wife and I look at…

The Unique MacDonald Family Vocabulary

Every family speaks their own language. Mine certainly does. It is like a secret code that is unbreakable outside of our house, used to inform family members how we feel about an issue or event. It is done so subtly that no one else is aware of the information…