When Hemophilia Bleeding Is an Opportunity to Learn and Adapt
How to approach hemophilia bleeding as a part of lifelong learning
My husband, Jared, had a knee bleed last week. The moment he felt the familiar twinge in his joint, he performed his usual treatment regimen: a factor infusion and bed rest. We thought we’d simply wait it out without doing anything special besides resting the injury and occasionally elevating his leg.
But upon checking with his hematologist, Jared realized he’d forgotten an important step: compressing the joint with an elastic bandage.
Jared has had a few knee bleeds in recent months, but I don’t remember him bandaging them. He told me he was apprehensive to do so, due to past bad experiences while bandaging an ankle joint. Sometimes it even made the injury worse, he said.
However, the hematologist explained that compression from a bandage would allow the clotted blood to leave the joint faster. It also would protect the joint from accumulating too much blood, which could damage the synovial fluid and result in limited mobility.
Alas, she was right! In just three days, Jared was feeling better. By the fifth day, he was back on his feet again, albeit walking short distances so as not to put stress on his knee.
Lifelong learning is beneficial
This new lesson from Jared’s hematologist made me realize that we never stop learning about hemophilia and hemophilia bleeding, even though he’s had the condition for all of his life. Now and then, a new experience or discovery will come along and make us realize that we can always do something better.
I first encountered the term “lifelong learning” while working for an education advocacy organization. We developed self-paced training materials for public school teachers. While the teachers were licensed professionals, and many of them had years of career experience, they still benefited from the training sessions they had organized.
Lifelong learning isn’t just for professional development, though. It can also help a person achieve personal fulfillment.
In Jared’s case, as a person with hemophilia, continuing to learn about his condition through his doctors and fellow patients helps him to be much more effective in managing his health. In effect, he reaps the benefits of improved well-being.
But it’s not just patients and carers who can benefit from a lifelong learner’s mindset. My latest full-time job involves working behind the scenes of an e-learning tool for doctors. In this line of work, I’ve realized that even our trusted healthcare professionals must continue to hone their skills to make sure their patients are safe. What we know about hemophilia and other health conditions is always evolving.
We’re forever students of life, and we’re blessed with the new bits and pieces of knowledge we pick up as we journey along.
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.