A Visit to the Dentist Reminds Me of How Far We’ve Come

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

Share this article:

Share article via email

Recently, I took my son to the dentist to have a couple of cavities filled. I knew that the dentist had reviewed my boy’s medical issues with our treatment center, so I felt assured about the procedure. He is an excellent doctor and if I had any doubts about his abilities, I would take “MacDonald the Younger” to another dentist. Those of us who deal with chronic illnesses must be fully confident in our medical practitioner’s proficiency.

Everything went well until I saw the needle in his hand. The dentist had used the traditional method to numb my son’s gums. I asked if he had given the shot right below the gum line because I wanted to prepare for any bleeding. He told me that wouldn’t be necessary as bleeding only occurs around larger veins or arteries. I wanted to say, “You’re wrong,” but I did not press things further because he had told me that our treatment center had given him the protocol to follow regarding fillings and other minor dental work.

The incident prompted a memory of the first meeting my wife and I had with her obstetrician after the birth of our first son. He gave us a three-paragraph article abstract about hemophilia from The New England Journal of Medicine. He said the abstract is usually what a doctor uses in medical school to learn about hemophilia. “You will be experts regarding your son’s bleeding disorder and teach many people in the medical field about hemophilia,” the doctor said. I laughed, thinking that there was no way I would ever know more than a doctor.

Years later, I realized the obstetrician had been right. Since then, my wife and I have learned everything we can about hemophilia. We’ve spoken with experts in the field. We’ve discussed the best medications, the most trustworthy home healthcare companies, and the ways we could give back to our community. Our journey began with that abstract’s three paragraphs. We started out crawling and ended up running.

Life can change our hearts, and sometimes it leaves us speechless at the dentist’s office. Whatever the situation is, we become fierce advocates for those we love. We will stop an orthodontist and remind him of our loved one’s special needs. We go to battle on behalf of our loved ones with insurance companies and against school policies and procedures. We started with three paragraphs, but our knowledge has increased a thousandfold.


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.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.