By Emily Boyer
We were at the park on one of the few sunny days that seem to permeate a cloudy, dreary month of June in Minnesota when I heard a women commenting about the “watch” on my son’s arm. I looked down at Logan’s wrist, and felt comforted seeing his medical alert bracelet firmly in place, as well as a bit of annoyance at the other mom’s clueless comment.
When Logan was first born, I don’t remember much of the information that was provided, but I do remember the constant push to make my little one wear a medical alert bracelet. So much so, that one of our nurses filled out the paperwork and had him sized for a bracelet. I thought it was weird; I still think it was a little obsessive — but there was a reason for the madness. As hemo moms, we all know what that is: if they wear medical identification growing up, it will not be something new or a bother to them as they get older. At least that is the hope.
So, we diligently put the small, metal bracelet on his ankle. Logan was a chubby little guy – we are talking rolls where you never thought rolls would, or should, exist. And now I laugh at the panic attack I suffered when we couldn’t get the darn anklet off of him one day and the subsequent trip to the jewelry store to have it safely cut off. We have since learned that the clasp ones may appear more secure, but have opted to use the fabric strap-on ones with the metal medic alert information. As a toddler, there are some days that he notices the bracelet, sucks on it, tugs on it, or just throws a mini fit about its existence. On most days, he doesn’t seem to care.
Logan draws a certain level of interest out in public with the small, yet frequent, bruises that populate his arms and legs. However, when I heard the woman at the park that June afternoon not so quietly say how strange it was that a toddler needed to wear a watch, I was caught by surprise. The wry comment that followed, “It is not like he can tell time,” didn’t help.
This is true, my toddler cannot tell time. This was one of the first times I experienced how our little world looks to others, or at least, the first time that it made my heart ache. My initial thought was to give her a piece of my mind, and go into a “holier than thou” rant about my toddler’s life. But I didn’t.
Logan’s hemophilia means we have to be vigilant about safety and when we are out and about that means making sure that if – God forbid – something happened, medical personnel know this very important, and possibly life-saving, bit of information.
I wish that Logan didn’t have to wear a medical alert bracelet, or have bruises up and down his little body, or all the other bummers of hemophilia, but I am happy with the wonderful life that we have and the world hemophilia has brought to us. What I learned from this experience is that we are making his life as normal as possible, while taking all necessary precautions, and that his experiences in life may be different than most children. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t normal.
In the days that followed, what I really learned is that motherhood, and especially hemophilia motherhood, is about raising my son to be compassionate to those that are looking for a smile, regardless of their outward appearance. There is a purpose and a plan in all of this, and if that means that one mom or dad doesn’t feel judged because of the way their child may appear then hemophilia, for our family, will be worth it.
|HFA offers limited assistance to provide medical alert bracelets. For detailed information, please click here. Many local chapters and Hemophilia Treatment Centers may also offer assistance.|
Emily Boyer lives with her husband, Geoff, and 2 year old son, Logan, in Minnesota.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.