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There is no caste in blood - Edwin Arnold


image by: Thirteen Of Clubs

"I would say, for the most part my bleeding disorder has been a tremendous blessing in my life. I’ll be honest; I’ve had some close calls with injuries, some dance injuries that still hurt 12 years later, and some nosebleeds that looked like they could have been from the movie Carrie.

But now that I’m in grad school studying to become a genetic counselor, having a bleeding disorder has given me a perspective most people don’t have. I understand what some patients have been through to get to a diagnosis. I understand what it’s like to have people look at you or treat you differently because something is wrong with you. I understand what it’s like to explain a very personal part of yourself to friends or other times complete strangers.

While I don’t mind when people ask me questions, and I love talking about my bleeding disorder, most people don’t usually get asked about that time of the month as often as I do. When asked to join in on a sports game, I joke with people that I can’t play, but always having to give such a personal explanation as to why not will always be difficult for me. I have to tell all of my professors and clinic supervisors about my bleeding disorder because I just don’t know when a nosebleed will make me late to class or have to leave clinic early. I worry about telling people I feel this way, because there is just no way for them to truly understand.

But the times in life when I get to meet someone who has a similar condition, I get to look at them in a way I wish others would see me. I look at them just like any other person. A bleeding disorder does not dictate who someone is.

It will always be important for me to recognize I have a rare disease that affected my childhood, and still affects me today. There are things I couldn’t do growing up, and still can’t now. But that doesn’t mean that my experience of life has to be any different. Something my mom told me growing up, and something I still hold to today is that I should never let my bleeding disorder limit me. Because my bleeding disorder will always be a part of me, but it does not define who I am."

Source: Amanda Hodgkins, Excerpt from My Bleeding Disorder Doesn’t Limit Me, BleedFree.com