Removing the Medical Cabinet From Our Kitchen Inspires Hope

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

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I faced my old friend, the medical supplies boxes, still not believing the task ahead of me. I almost spoke to the six boxes stacked on top of one another. “I am sorry,” I wanted to say, “but we do not need you any longer. We must move on.”

Each box contained hemophilia treatment supplies my family required at some point. Not so long ago, removing the precious cargo seemed impossible. I remember when we needed to keep all of these containers close as possible. Sometimes, especially during bad internal bleeding episodes, there was little time to go searching for supplies. A quick response mandated that we know where each needle, tourniquet, syringe, and gauze pad lived. My sons’ treatment depended on how fast we could prevent any complications.

I began dismantling the boxes as the medical containers found a new home in our storage shed. A feeling of anxiety fell over me as I recalled when we gathered infusion supplies every day in my family’s life. Many times, we combined sterile water with factor VIII to treat my sons.

I thought about the many emotions we faced around large needles and how I panicked while hoping and wondering if I’d be successful at infusing clotting factor into the arms and legs of my stinky boys. Would my children remain still until their infusion finished?

My medical boxes witnessed the good, the bad, and the awful. My cabinets can testify to the reality that I am an imperfect person. Sometimes, in the most difficult of circumstances, the portable cabinet saw me at my absolute worst. Anxiety rushed over me as I let out an incoherent wall of sound. My frustration flooded the inner resources of my soul as I searched for the perfect vein to infuse. No matter how many times I missed a vein, the supply chest stood there, always providing me with what I needed to help my sons.

Now is the time for life to change. New treatments allow for medicines with much longer half-lives and opportunities to provide my sons with much-needed relief via subcutaneous injections, rather than using two-inch needles or a port-a-cath to access a vein. Technology continues to advance medical procedures, thus reducing the supplies needed for care. We say goodbye to the old ways and hello to new innovative treatments.

My old pal, the medicine bin, does not need to take up a ton of space in our home. It fulfilled its duties and now must find rest in our storage shelter. Gone are the days when hemophilia served as a constant reminder in my house. My pharmaceutical supplies served their purpose, and now I send them off with an acknowledgment of gratitude for their usefulness. I also breathe a sigh of relief as we move forward to bigger and brighter things.

I know that I am talking about boxes filled with medical supplies, but the significance of their presence lingered far too long in my home. Change comes in the form of hope, as my family looks forward to what lies ahead. For now, gratitude replaces anxiety, and saying goodbye to past treatments gives way to future possibilities. What comes next is anyone’s guess.

I take one long, last look at my medical supplies and realize that life continues to get better. I shut and lock the door, confident I packed away what used to help us embrace tomorrow. I wonder when I will look at the small amount of supplies we currently use and say, “We do not need you anymore. Something better is here.” Whatever happens, I will give thanks in all circumstances.


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.


Allison avatar


Feeling the same. Grateful, but the weird part is the sense of history and ownership that goes with those feelings. Not at all the same, but I sometimes feel - about the new products - how the older generation (the 3H generation) must have felt when the prophy generation overtook the on demand generation. Change is good though. :)


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