The most exciting part of the holidays isn’t necessarily receiving or giving presents. Rather, the holiday season gives us an opportunity to sit back, appreciate our loved ones, be thankful for what we have, and it provides us an opportunity for a metaphorical rebirth with a new year. I’ve always loved making New Year’s resolutions. Of course I haven’t always stuck with them, but trying to improve your life, in whatever way possible, is never a bad thing. When I began writing the early drafts of this post, and reflected on the past resolutions I’ve made, I realized that most of them had to do with my hemophilia. I found that to be particularly interesting, and hopefully relatable, so I thought I would share.
New Year’s resolutions are often difficult to stick to, but they can be incredibly rewarding. When I was younger, I found it easier to choose a resolution that was a single accomplishment. I know that sounds underwhelming, but it can make the resolution feel more attainable. Other years I set myself up for failure, as I pledged to do something I knew I would probably never be able to see through. The most memorable New Year’s Resolution for me, particularly as a hemophiliac, was the year I resolved to finally infuse myself. This is one of the most significant moments in any hemophilia patient’s life, and it actually came to me because of a seemingly simple New Year’s Resolution.
In recent years, I’ve made more long-term goals with my New Year’s Resolutions. I always try to pick something to better my health, and recently that’s been committing to exercise more. This is also a resolution that I keep in mind even before the New Year. I know every hemophiliac has heard this before, but exercise improves our quality of life significantly. It lubricates the joints, releases endorphins, and contributes to a peace of mind that’s particularly important around this time of year. For me, it was also about building a little muscle around my joints, as I was also a little too skinny growing up. I’ve also had years, however, when resolving to exercise wasn’t something I could do. Whether it was because I had just had a surgery, or simply because I was having a lot of bleeds, some years it was just more realistic if I made a resolution to really stick to my treatment.
Treatment can be a resolution, but like I said, it’s also just an important thing to keep in mind during the holiday season. For me, it always seems like every important event has an accompanying bleed. As a hemophiliac, the thing I keep in my mind when the holidays are approaching is the fact that I need to treat as much as possible. I’m not on prophylaxis treatment, which makes it a little more difficult, but I do my best to treat as soon as I feel a potential bleed coming, because I know one wants to creep up on me for Christmas. For those patients who do prophylactic treatment, don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays distract you. The most important thing is that you stay healthy so you can celebrate the season with your friends and family.
This year I’m hoping to continue the resolutions I’ve made in previous years, while expanding on them in different ways. It’s a goal of mine to improve my diet, keeping myself healthy while making it easier to exercise. I also want to continue my advocacy work as much as possible throughout this year. By allowing me to post my poems and illustrations, HF Healthcare has already provided me with a wonderful platform for advocacy, and I hope to continue that through this blog and any other means possible. As the New Year approaches, I think we should all take some time to relax, reflect on our lives, appreciate our friends and family, and think about how we can better our lives over the next year.
What are some of your New Year’s resolutions?