As living with hemophilia can present many challenges and medical complications, both discussion participants consider the anecdotal value of Eric Mamos’ experience in this setting.
Doris V. Quon, MD: I met you during the first month I was at the Orthopedic Institute for Children, which was back in 2003, and you were actually having complications of complications.
Eric Mamos: That’s right.
Doris V. Quon, MD: Do you remember all the other comorbidities that you were diagnosed with?
Eric Mamos: Do I remember it?
Doris V. Quon, MD: When you were diagnosed with them.
Eric Mamos: Such as the ITP [idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura]?
Doris V. Quon, MD: Yes.
Eric Mamos: Yes, I remember the ITP. That was an interesting diagnosis. I was working at the time at City of Hope. I was sitting at my desk and my phone rang, I picked up the phone, and on the other line all I heard was someone telling me to hold for my other physician. I was thinking, “Wait, what?” There wasn’t even a hello. It was just, “Hold for the doctor.” I thought something was weird. He got on the phone and said “Eric, call an ambulance. You need to get to the hospital right away.” I was thinking to myself, “All right, he’s exaggerating.” I did end up driving myself to you, I think.
Doris V. Quon, MD: Yes.
Eric Mamos: I drove straight to orthopedic hospital.
Doris V. Quon, MD: I remember my first month of being at orthopedic hospital. Eric has severe hemophilia A, and he has a deficiency in factor VIII. His factor VIII level is less than 1%. He walked in and handed me results of laboratory work. His platelet count was 6000 and that made me sit up straight. That was my first meeting with Eric.
Eric Mamos: I asked you, “Well, what’s normal?”
Doris V. Quon, MD: 200,000.
Eric Mamos: I said, “Oh, sounds good.”
Doris V. Quon, MD: You had some complications in dealing with your hemophilia.
Eric Mamos: You wanted to hospitalize me, but I said no, didn’t I?
Doris V. Quon, MD: Yes, you did, but you went in anyway.
Eric Mamos: I did?
Doris V. Quon, MD: Yes, you did.
Eric Mamos: I guess I listened for once.
Doris V. Quon, MD: That was the only time you were actually in the hospital. Do you remember being in the hospital as a child?
Eric Mamos: Overnight, not really. I’ve had a few overnights, but just along the lines of removing my wisdom teeth. I was always in the hospital as a child, but not overnight or anything like that. Most of the time, it was long, long, long doctor appointments. These clinics would take 7 hours of the day, which was ridiculous, not like at the orthopedic hospital. Everything was good there.
Doris V. Quon, MD: But you were actually in the hospital for your head bleed for a few days, weren’t you? Do you remember that?
Eric Mamos: Yes, I was in the hospital. It was strange because that accident happened on September 2, and I started in a new school that year. I was going into 9th grade, and I was in a tiny, little private school up until then. I moved into 9th grade, which was in a public school. I had never been to public school before. Private school ended in 8th grade. I was going to be late because I was in the hospital for around 3 weeks. I remember my stay at the hospital. It was very traumatic, mostly because of other kids around me. They were of a different mentality, and I guess they were used to being sick. I think it was a very scary situation for some of the kids, so there was a lot of crying. One kid in particular would yell in Spanish in the middle of the night, and it was startling.
When I was finally discharged, I didn’t have any hair because they had to shave my head. I had to go to this new school in a baseball cap, which was not even allowed. Not only was I this total fish out of water, but I was in a school where I had never been. My graduating 8th grade class was 8 or 9 kids. I also had to wear a cap and be different than everybody else. That was probably the hardest part of that incident, readjusting back to this new school, new people, and new kids. I didn’t have any friends at this new school either. That was probably one of the toughest times in my life, but I met my wife shortly thereafter, so everything became good.
Doris V. Quon, MD: It sounded like there was a happy ending to a very traumatic experience that you had.
Eric Mamos: Yes. I met my wife, Lisa, in 9th grade. Because I came late to school, the only seat left in English class was the front row right next to the teacher’s desk. Lisa was sitting 2 rows behind me. I remember that the girl right behind me, her name sounded like “Jew.” I’m such a corny guy, especially back then, right? She introduced herself and I said, “Oh, I’m Jewish, too.” Lisa was the one who snickered behind her. We became fast friends, then a year later we started dating, and we’ve been together now for 27 years, or something like that.
Doris V. Quon, MD: Yes, and 3 kids later.
Eric Mamos: And 3 kids, yes.