Being an Adult with Hemophilia and Inhibitors
As an adult, you have full responsibility for your health. Of course, you will have your doctor, hemophilia care team, family, and friends to help you.
But, ultimately, as an adult you are the one who is responsible for your health — along with everything else in your life … like work, school, relationships, and of course, having fun.
Living It Up
You want to live life to the fullest. Cool. But how can you do that without risking new or further damage to your joints and mobility?
The best way to protect yourself — not just for today, but for the future, too — is to stick to your treatment plan. And as an adult, you know that. But, you don't mind being reminded again.
The other thing you can do is be realistic. The last thing anyone wants is for you to be scared of getting a bleed and then spend your life on the sidelines. Plus, the best way to manage your stress is by having a little fun.
You just need to weigh things out, make a few compromises, and choose your activities a bit more carefully than some of your more overly enthusiastic friends. For every sport you'd do best to avoid, there's another, equally enjoyable, lower impact alternative. There are plenty of options.
It's a bit like food, right? Most of us would love to eat chocolate and chips every day, but we substitute our favorite healthier alternatives, such as fruit and nuts, to take better care of ourselves.
So, while it may not be best for you to go flying off ramps on a skateboard, you can still enjoy riding around on a bicycle.
You should go out and have a good time. You're an adult, so no one should stop you.
Yet you alone are responsible for how far you want to push things. Most of us tend to live in the present. It's hard not to. But, if you moderate the risks you take now, the quality of life you could continue to enjoy for years to come might be priceless.
Exercise.Regular, but gentle, exercise is the best thing you can do to maintain joint health.3
Diet.It's worth thinking a little about your diet, too. Make sure you get plenty of protein through foods such as chicken, eggs, salmon, tuna, and cottage cheese. These are high in protein without being full of unhealthy fat.26
Calcium is important for bone strength. Yogurt drinks are a great source of calcium, as well as all types of cheese.26
Fats.Not every fat is a bad fat. In fact, studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids actually reduce inflammation. Foods such as salmon, mackerel, trout and oils, like olive and flaxseed oils, decrease the level of inflammation in joints.26,27
Weight.If you can keep within your ideal weight range, you will place less strain on your joints, too.3 This little bit of advice is something that many people without hemophilia and inhibitors should pay attention to.
You're in Charge
You're in charge now. So, you're responsible for what happens. How you choose to live your life is up to you.
You're responsible for your own appointments at your hemophilia center and you'll probably be in control of your own treatment.
You've already been through a lot. You've already learned a lot. Now that you are in charge, you might as well do so in the best way you can.
Make good choices.