New Thoughts and Perspectives About Life Upon Turning 30
A columnist and her husband look to the future of life and hemophilia care
My husband and I have always found ourselves living in between places.
The first apartment we moved to was in a hub between three cities. Now we live on the border between two cities.
Just a few streets away from us is a sign that says, “Thank you for visiting.” Walking past this sign always gives me an eerie feeling. It’s as if I can be in two places at once.
But in reality, there is no perceivable difference between here and there. The houses look much the same.
I only start to grasp that I’m in a different place when I reach the downtown area. The structures built by the respective local governments have different branding.
I’m thinking it’s the same feeling as when we’re on the border of two decades. We don’t feel different, but we might not realize that we’ve started to think differently. Our perspectives are slowly changing. Whether we like it or not, each decade of our lives is arbitrarily considered a life era.
Adjusting life goals
We may not wish to define ourselves by the years or decades of our lives, but categorizing our lives in terms of set periods can be a useful metric to determine how much we’ve grown, and how much time we might have ahead of us to achieve our goals.
This is especially true when one has chronic illnesses. Recently, my husband, Jared, and I had a conversation about our goals in life and what we intend to achieve during our third and fourth decades. This is because Jared is officially 30!
Given the state of hemophilia treatment in the Philippines, where we live, my husband will likely get two more good decades before age-related conditions appear. We don’t know yet how his hemophilia will progress, as the fact that people are living longer due to improved treatments is a relatively new phenomenon. We’re thankful for this, but we also need to prepare for the challenges that may follow.
We don’t know what factor availability will look like here in coming years. It would be great if existing or investigational therapies such as Hemlibra (emicizumab-KXWH) or SerpinPC would be made available in this country. What a great help it would be to aging people with hemophilia! But we’re not counting on it anytime soon.
It’s not an easy thought to handle, but the reality is that bodies change as people age, no matter how well we try to take care of ourselves. And sometimes, even with the best care, some people become part of a rare statistic. (With his rare disease, my husband already is.)
So we might as well enjoy life to the extent that our bodies and wallets will allow. We should have as many experiences as we can. And we should build as many core memories for ourselves and our daughter as possible.
Because we are young parents, we might even get a few years of empty-nester fun in our 40s. Seeing our child spread her wings as a young adult would surely be a bittersweet experience, but it might also open us up to a different type of enjoyment.
For most of my 20s, I used to feel pressured when people would tell us to “play safe” all the time to protect ourselves, particularly regarding my husband’s health. I feared that people would see me as an uncaring wife when I’d support him in the calculated risks he wished to take.
But now, it doesn’t matter what others say. I’d rather we listened and responded to our own bodies. Instead of saying no from the start, we could prepare ourselves and carry on mindfully with things that we actually like to do, such as traveling and sports.
Staying safe is good in order to preserve oneself enough for the coming years. On the other hand, too much playing safe can keep one from truly living life.
Experiences are arguably the best investments one can make in life. No amount of money or material things can replace the joy and thrill of wonderful experiences, and the life lessons they can teach us. Experiences are what keep us alive and moving forward.
These are my thoughts as Jared turns 30, and as I stand on the cusp of my third decade of life. That said, happy belated 30th birthday, Jared!
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.