I deal with mommy guilt every time Jackson has a bleed. When my son is having a bleed, he tells me before there is any visible signs off swelling. I never doubt when he tells me…he knows his body.
Two weeks ago, we got a dreaded call from the school health aide letting us know that Jackson had jammed his finger. He told her it was a bleed. We picked him up from school and administered a moderate dose of factor per his hematologist. Of course it was the finger of the hand he writes with, and although the finger looked fine, he wasn’t using it. We wrapped his hurt finger to its neighboring finger to keep it stabilized with some medical tape. He loved that! He smiled ear to ear and said, “Mom, this is what football players do!”
The next morning we woke him up to get ready for school and rechecked his finger. He said that it still hurt, but honestly, it looked fine to me.
This is where the mommy guilt hit. Do we keep him home? Do we send him to school? Many times my husband and I decide if he should he stay home depending on where the bleed is and the severity of the bleed. Sometimes the decision bites us, as he usually is running around like a mad man by mid-morning leaving us thinking, “Why didn’t we send him to school?!” Plus, don’t get me started on all the classwork and homework he has to make up for missing just one day of school! On this particular day we sent him to school, even as I fretted the entire time getting him ready and putting him on the bus. I kept my phone by my side waiting for the call to come pick him up. I even sent an email to his teacher to let her know he may need some assistance in writing that day. Mommy guilt and I were wrestling with one another all day.
Luckily, he made it through the entire day of school! We factored again that evening and re-taped his fingers. He complained a bit but was able to do his homework without a problem. Throughout the evening he kept whining about going to school the next day. He was laying it on thick and trying to play every angle to stay home.
I like to think my husband and I don’t baby Jackson. We don’t overreact or overindulge for bleeds. We act appropriately and move on. I tried not to show my anxiety, wondering if I made the right decision to send him to school, but he has somehow picked up how to play us…or at least try and play us.
It’s hard being the parent of a child with a bleeding disorder to acknowledge the bleed, treat it, and show empathy without babying them. I struggle with it every time my son has a bleed. My advice to other parents, as well as a reminder to myself, is to do what you think is right. Know that you will second guess your final decision on sending him to school or not and that it’s okay. It’s a balance that you need to find that works for you.
Jen lives in Ohio with her husband, Joe, and their three children: Evelyn (21), Nora (14), and Jackson (7).
*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.