27 November 2009

I visited your house again . . .

My maternal grandfather was born on the 10th of August, 1874. I know nothing about his ancestors except for the names of his parents, but he was, as it turned out, a bleeder. I don't know if his family used the term 'hemophiliac,' or if they even knew the term, but by the time my mother was born in 1919 he had been diagnosed as having hemophilia.

There is a family story that when he was about five or so he was kicked by a horse or a mule. Like so many family legends it will often get bogged down at this point while various aunts argue the finer points of the animal's species. Horse or mule, the upshot of the episode was that the kick dislocated his hip. The treatment for this kind of injury was, I have been told, fairly basic. A couple of burly men take firm hold of the patient's torso while another pulls on the leg until the joint slips back together. Not an altogether pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

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09 November 2009

All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth . . .

Until I was about ten or eleven it seems that every hemorrhage I had was either my knee, usually the left, or something to do with my face. On one trip to the doctor after using my nose and mouth to break a particularly hard fall he asked me, "Have you got something against your face, son?" When I was a toddler all my pictures for about an eighteen month period show a large, bruised lump in the middle of my forehead.

Cutting teeth always seems to be a very worrisome time for the parents of guys with hemophilia. (For the record, I detest the word hemophiliac—I know it just means a person who has hemophilia, but I hate the way it sounds) Anyway, in my family, and for many others I've talked to it has always been almost disappointingly uneventful. My younger brother and I seeped a tiny bit around a couple teeth for a couple days and that was about it. At last report my grandson did the same.

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07 November 2009

They call the wind . . .

In a past post I mentioned I had two Hallowe'en stories I wanted to tell. Since Hallowe'en is over, and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I think I should probably get around to the second story. As for Hallowe'en here, it came and went with nary a 'boo.' We have had our fifth straight year (as opposed to all those sexually deviant ones, I guess) without a Trick or Treater, which is a good thing since I haven't bothered to buy candy for the last three. And before I move on, what is the correct spelling for one who goes Trick or Treating? Does it end with '-or' like actor, creator, and facilitator; or does it end with '-er' like singer, engineer, and teacher? Microsoft's dictionary detests both (which is enough to make me want to use both), and I don't find the term in my American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed) although it does list the past tense, or perhaps the passive voiced, 'trick or treated.'

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