Broken, But Not Beaten


Winter weather has always raised my hemophilia mom radar. Icy sidewalks make me very nervous and I’ve yelled out, “Ice ahead,” many times over the last 15 years in warning to Thomas. But as we all know, we can’t be with our kids all day, every day and accidents are bound to happen.
Cue to a day earlier this spring. While the weather in Colorado is always unpredictable, this May was especially up and down. On this particular day, we had received a few inches of snow that morning. Thomas went to school as normal and I was going about my day, and in fact, walking into a doctor’s appointment of my own when a call from Thomas popped up on my cell phone.
Moms know immediately that something isn’t right. I knew before I even answered the call. Why would he be calling me at 2 PM? He was supposed to be in gym class at that time.
“Thomas, I’m walking into a doctor’s appointment. Can you call your dad?”
“I fell. It’s bad.”
“How bad?”
Luckily, I knew my doctor’s appointment was going to be relatively quick, so as I waited to be seen, I was texting with Thomas and my husband. I found out that as Thomas was changing classes, he had slipped on a wet tile floor and fell directly on his elbow. It was a bleed for sure, but just by the way Thomas was describing the pain, I felt certain it was broken.
I quickly raced to the school at the conclusion of my appointment and met Thomas and Nathan just as they were finishing up an infusion. Thomas and I headed off to urgent care for an x-ray, which confirmed a broken elbow. We ended up spending one night in the hospital just to be certain that the bleeding was under control. Unfortunately, a week later during a follow-up visit, it was determined that Thomas not only had broken his elbow but had also fractured his wrist in the fall.
Thankfully, neither break was significant enough to require surgery and healed quickly. But as people saw Thomas in a cast and sling they would ask what he was doing when he got hurt. And in true teenage form, Thomas would answer with brevity, “I was walking.” This usually elicited a chuckle from Thomas and whomever asked the question. Many people told Thomas he needed to come up with a better story.
But to me, that’s the lesson in this latest chapter in our hemophilia story. There’s no colorful story to how this injury occurred. Accidents happen even when you are doing the most mundane, low-risk activities. We’ve always said that living with a bleeding disorder isn’t dull and often have found ourselves dealing with some pretty absurd situations. But through those adventures Thomas has found resiliency, a sense of humor, and stories to last a lifetime.
Sonji lives with her husband, Nathan, and three children Nora (17), Thomas, (15), & Natalie (13), in Colorado.
*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.