Moving away and Going to School
If you're moving with your family into a new house, that's a big change. If you're changing schools, moving out and getting a place of your own, or leaving home for college … then these are exciting times. You probably have a lot on your mind.
Leaving What You Know
You probably have a great group of friends who already know about — and accept — your hemophilia. Your teachers at school are used to it, and even understand about inhibitors. Now, you might be worried about starting all over again. About having to make new friends and having to tell everyone, all over, from scratch.
It's normal to be worried about these things. Talk with your parents and friends about it — don't keep it bottled up inside.
Just remember, there are a whole lot of people out there just waiting to meet you. They are your future friends.
A Fresh Start
The teachers at your new school will need to know about your condition immediately.
But, if you don't want to, you don't have to tell everyone about your condition. After all, it's not the most important thing about you. Hemophilia doesn't define you. Inhibitors don't define you. They are just one part of many things to know about you. So, if you'd rather wait until you get to know someone, and know are a friend you can trust before you tell him or her, that's perfectly fine.
By then they will know you — and like you for who you are. They probably won't be too bothered by your hemophilia. More likely, they'll just be curious.
When you move or go off to a new school, there are many things to plan. But, for you, there are some extra things to keep in mind. Don't forget to find a new doctor or hemophilia care team, if needed. Plan where you're going to store your infusion kit, where you'll get medicine from, and how you'll make time for infusions — both at home and at school.
Telling New Friends
When you do tell them, just be matter of fact about it. There's no reason to be dramatic … unless that's how you roll!
Sometimes it's easiest when it comes up in conversation. Then you can take it from there. If you don't treat it like a big deal, the person you are telling probably won't, either. So, don't be ashamed, there's no reason to be. Just be open and honest — and, of course, prepared to answer questions.
Before long, you'll have a new set of friends. You'll be so settled into your new school that you will wonder what you were worrying about.
And if you do continue to worry or have troubles adjusting, always remember, there are plenty of people to talk to.
It always helps to talk about things, even if you can't change the situation.
Serious (and Not So Serious) School Stuff
There are times when school or college gets pretty serious, but it's worth sticking it out. You're working towards achievements that will play an important part in your future.
But, going to classes isn't just about what you learn. It's also about seeing your friends, being part of the whole social scene, and dating, too.
So, anything that reduces the number of classes you might miss is going to benefit you — both educationally and socially.
And, you may not want to hear it, but part of that could mean making sure you take your treatment, as suggested by your doctor.
If you've had to take time off from school in the past due to a bleed, you'll know just how painful (and boring) it can be. There's nothing worse than having to sit at home — on the sidelines — while everyone else is getting on with life.
So, don't be silly. Don't fight against taking your treatment. It really is your ally. Treatment helps protect your health. It helps to keep you hanging out and doing the same stuff as everyone else, as much as possible.
Taking It to the Next Level
If continuing your education means going to a new university, it's a fantastic opportunity to make awesome new friends.
This can be exciting and scary at the same time. Everybody gets nervous about meeting new people. Just be yourself and everything will get easier.
If you start college with friends who have known you for a while, you've probably told them the basics about hemophilia already. If not, then it might be a good idea to give them (or one of your new friends) a crash course. That way they'll know what to do if you get a bleed. Just in case.
A Friend in Need …
Give a friend you trust the best phone numbers to reach someone in your family, in case of a serious bleed.
Also, give them the number for your hemophilia treatment center, too. That way, they can get advice, if needed.
Lastly, explain the importance of acting immediately if you show signs of a serious (life-threatening) bleed — the quicker it is dealt with, the less potential damage it can cause.
The way people react to things you tell them generally depends on how you tell them.
Try to stay relaxed and cool when you first talk to people about having hemophilia with inhibitors. If they see that you don't let it stop you with getting on with life, and that you don't feel embarrassed or down about it, then they'll probably take it in stride, too.