We Still Carry Scars

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

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Stress levels

In the Twinkling of An Eye

A few years ago, “MacDonald the Younger,” his mom, and I went to his yearly checkup with the Hemophilia Treatment Center to review our road map (healthcare chart), report on activities, and make sure that he was taking the correct dose of product for his height and weight. He had no sign of bleeding and continued to be in excellent health.

While speaking with the treatment team, I started to feel nauseated. Something didn’t feel right. I excused myself and ran to the restroom. I made it just in time to vomit into the toilet (forgive me for sharing such a graphic description). Once I finished, I felt fine. I did not experience nausea again for several years.

What was the cause of my distress? I think that my experience was a reaction to the trauma that my family suffered as a result of frequent hospitalizations and a child in constant pain from bleeds into the joints. Then there was the aftershock of my son’s limited mobility for a prolonged period. Perhaps my reaction was part of some response to traumatic stress spread over several years. Whatever the reason, it took me completely off guard and left me feeling unsure of myself. I wondered if this would be my new normal when visiting the hospital.

I am happy to write that I have never experienced nausea because of the hospital since then. My physical reaction seems to have allowed a spiritual cleansing. My body had stored the pain of the most challenging season in the life of my family until it could save no more. I needed to rid myself of the emotional toxins associated with the trauma my family had faced when dealing with horrific bleeds. My heart needed to relieve itself of the many times we sat helplessly in a hospital room as my son screamed and writhed in agony. I needed to release the fear of losing my son.

Maybe my body’s violent reaction needed to occur so that I could move forward in healing body, mind, and spirit.

We do not know why some things happen and others don’t. One may second-guess until the cows come home, but might never find the answers to life’s questions. The reality is that things happen and, in the blink of an eye, our world drastically changes. When we are knocked down, we must get up and continue to live our best lives. Yes, it might take time to let go of a painful past, but the end is worth every struggle.


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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