Bleeder — Chapter 1: Blood

Apr 30th, 2015
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Michigan State University
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I am Caucasian, five foot eleven, have sandy brown hair, blue eyes, and am a tender slip of bone. And I am at the hospital. I am here because I have hemophilia; because my blood fails to clot normally; because I was a boy who received a defective X chromosome from his mother. Of course, it is not her fault, for until I was born, she didn't know she carried the defect. In fact, I am the only proof of it.

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Bleeder Chapter 1: BloodCopyright 2013 by Shelby Smoak. Reprinted with thepermissionofMichigan State University Press.I am Caucasian, five foot eleven, have sandy brown hair, blue eyes, and am a tender slip of bone. And I am at the hospital.I am here because I have hemophilia; because my blood fails to clot normally; because I was a boy who received a defective X chromosome from his mother. Of course, it is not her fault, for until I was born, she didnt know she carried the defect. In fact, I am the only proof of it.In 1974 when I was two, an unusually large bruise developed across my back and refused to heal. My parents were confused. How can this be? This bruise isnt normal? What is wrong with our son? Necessarily, their concern carried them (and me) to the emergency rooma site that will become commonplace to me as I age. Three days later, a test returned positive for hemophilia and my problem was solved. I was treated with a plasma product; the bruise healed; but I went home a hemophiliac, a free-bleeder. And my life changed forever.Today, I am here for my six-month check up. Dr. Trum flips through my chart and jots notations as I wait. He is middle-aged, smart, and understands hemophilia from a very technical and scientific point of view. His face is broad and long, his nose large and bulbous and reddened along the snout, and he wears Buddy Holly glasses with black, pointed rims. They are his most noticeable characteristic and front a pale fa

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