Looking Back at the Past 3 Years, What Will Next Year Bring?
A columnist hopes for fewer struggles and continued hemophilia management
With 2022 soon coming to a close, I can’t help but wonder what kind of year is going to take its place.
So much has happened in the past three years, since my daughter, Cittie, was born. Yet when I look at my pictures then, I don’t feel like I’m looking at a different person. I’m only reminded of the speed of time’s passage, and the fleeting nature of moments when I catch a glimpse of my daughter — now a bubbly and chatty preschooler — and realize how quickly she’s grown.
Just three years ago, my husband, Jared, and I were in a totally different stage of life. We were still a couple of young adults stumbling through the real world with a baby in our arms, unsure of our long-term plans. We were still very much dependent on others for our finances and healthcare for Jared, who has hemophilia and a seizure disorder. It was an easy life, but we also felt anxious and unsettled most of the time.
The year 2019 was complex for us. By and large, it was a good year for our then-business, and we lived in relative abundance. That same year also brought us a huge blessing in the form of Cittie, who was born in January. But it was also a year of multiple bleeding episodes — severe ones, at that. Jared endured a back bleed and two consecutive knee bleeds and was practically immobile for over a month. But he pushed through the pain, changing diapers and rocking our little girl to sleep.
The year 2020 saw the emergence of COVID-19. As the entire world shut down, we became confined to our then-residence. We tried to keep our business afloat, taking advantage of the small windows of time the nightly curfew permitted us here in the Philippines. Thankfully, we remained mostly sickness-free, except for the one time Jared came down with a mild case of the virus.
The year 2021 brought to light some important concerns that we badly needed to address — the major one being our ability to stand on our own.
Since then, we’ve moved a couple of times to new homes we could call our own. We braved the initial feelings of apprehension and uncertainty and simply did the best we could to learn how to live independently. Jared learned how to self-infuse, a skill that he continues to practice and master. We both learned how to decorate and maintain a house and to perform simple repairs.
On the darker side of things, we found out some depressing realities about life and the outside world. We decided it was time to learn new ways of dealing with people. And we worked on our own emotions in therapy.
Our biggest life challenge rolled around when we lost a huge amount of money to a scammer. This unfortunate event drove us deep in debt and caused us to put a halt to our business, which was by then losing money. For a moment, we felt disheartened. Thankfully, we had the help and support of some genuinely caring people, so we were able to carry on, one baby step at a time.
The year 2022 brought about career changes and efforts on our part to turn our situation around. We became full-time freelancers and worked several hours a day, improving our skill sets and learning to use new digital tools. The learning (and earning!) curve was steep, and it was not without its challenges. But we both found understanding bosses who allowed us to have flexibility with our time and didn’t discriminate against chronically ill employees. Jared had fewer bleeds this year, possibly owing to his improved self-management of hemophilia.
Now, we’re settled in a new house that we’re slowly fixing up to be our forever home. We’re making plans for five and 10 years ahead. Next year will be our daughter’s first year in big school, and we’re saving up vigorously for that.
I’m excited for what 2023 might bring, and hope this coming year will be a good one.
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.