We Struggle and We Move On

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

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Both of my sons packed and all three of us MacDonald guys were ready for what my youngest calls a “Daddy and Son Mad-capped Adventure.” My wife had an out-of-town speaking engagement, so that meant the youngest had to travel with my oldest and me. We were on our way to audition for a college. Hopefully, this one will do the trick and “MacDonald the Older” will finish his degree. Whatever the reason, we knew that the trip would be fun.

After traveling for about eight hours, we found a hotel and bunkered down for the night. I began to unpack and set up the next morning. Our drive was quite far, and we would travel another 10 hours before we reached our destination. As I unzipped the suitcase, I took out the medicine, the infusion supplies, and the 1-inch needle that I use to access my younger son’s port. Packing is not the same for my family as it is for most. My sons have a bleeding disorder and to treat the problem, we must access a vein with particular medication to redirect the clotting process. We must remember to pack all the medical supplies that are needed or we run the risk of having a severe bleeding episode.

I made sure that everything was set out and ready for the next morning. After checking, I turned my attention back to the guys and had an incredible pillow fight that must go down in the record books. While pillows flew, the sound of laughter drowned out any noises of struggle or complications from hemophilia. Medical needs surrendered themselves to moments of pure joy. The best medicine, at that moment, came in the form of connection. The same hands responsible for launching feather-laden torpedoes with precision hold each other when life becomes overwhelming and chronic-condition complications become almost unbearable.

My sons are living examples that things are not always what they seem, and that sometimes events occur far beyond our control. The incredible men that I call sons remind me every day that there is a joy during something long-lasting like a bleeding disorder. We can still live in happiness, even in the middle of a struggle. All we know are needles, and our home looks like a small pharmaceutical company.

Despite the medical issues, life moves on, and we must set goals so that we have something to conquer. My oldest son is finding his place in the world, and I am very proud of the tenacity with which he seeks his life’s goals. My younger son seems to take everything in stride and never meets a stranger. He makes me look like the biggest introvert on the planet. Throughout both of their journeys, they remind me to keep moving forward and never to let an obstacle stand in my way. I consider myself a very blessed man!


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.


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