If I had superpowers, would I take away my son’s chronic pain?

A mother looks to Wonder Woman for inspiration in facing challenges

Cazandra Campos-MacDonald avatar

by Cazandra Campos-MacDonald |

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is part of today’s culture. Its movies take theatergoers to places never imagined. Iron Man, Thor, and Doctor Strange are a few of the characters that it brings to life, and each seems incredibly realistic. When I watch these movies, I can’t help but think back to my favorite heroine, Wonder Woman, as played by Lynda Carter.

When I was a kid in the ’70s, the “Wonder Woman” show was a staple of weekly television. Carter played the title character in her guises as Diana Prince and the superhero, who captivated audiences young and old with her Lasso of Truth, golden belt, and superstrength. And let us not forget her invisible airplane. She defeated the bad guys without a hair on her head ever shifting out of place. Wonder Woman — in comics and on screen — empowered young girls by depicting a female figure who took charge.

Superpowers are an exciting thought. As a mother of two sons with severe hemophilia with inhibitors, I’ve often wished for superpowers. To date, though, I’ve yet to receive any magical abilities. What would it look like if I had a superpower?

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Using our struggles for good

If granted a superpower, I’d immediately want to help my youngest son, Caeleb, a senior in high school who’s living with chronic pain. Years of bleeding into his right knee and ankle caused irreparable damage to those joints. He’s in debilitating pain daily, to the point of being unable to get out of bed at least three to four days a week. Watching my son suffer is almost too much to bear. Having the superpower to release my son from pain would be life-changing.

Yet the more I dream of a superpower, the more I question that choice. Would taking away my son’s pain be beneficial? It sounds a bit ridiculous, but I recognize the numerous lessons I’ve learned about patience, acceptance, and humility in my own journey with pain. I can’t begin to imagine living without pain. What must it be like for Caeleb?

Constant pain drains a person’s physical and mental stamina. Focusing on school or work is often impossible. Caeleb is only 18, so I frequently wonder why it’s all happening to him. He’s preparing to graduate high school, but has little excitement about college. My husband and I are praying that Caeleb gets his diploma. Period. Pain has taken away the joy of the next stop on his journey into adulthood.

This belief may be controversial, but I trust that the pain Caeleb endures is meant to help him grow. It’s not easy for him to see this perspective right now, but as he gets older, he’ll hopefully see the wisdom he’s gained from years of struggling with hemophilia and an inhibitor.

Would life be better if my sons didn’t have a bleeding disorder? Perhaps. Yet the truth is that people only sometimes use their challenges to help the world. Many are too busy being angry. I hope my sons will use their experiences to help others know they’re not alone.

We don’t need Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth or magical bracelets to ward off the bad things in life. Instead, we take each struggle and use it for good. When my sons tell their stories, they redeem their experiences. The more they share, the more they heal.

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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