During the winter of 1989, Tom Andrews slips and falls on the ice, breaking his ankle. For most, this is a serious but not fatal injury. However, Tom is a hemophiliac, and the lack of clotting factors in his blood instantly causes internal hemorrhaging, or a "bleed" as it is more commonly called. Codeine Diary is the story of this incident, and the treatment and hospital stay that was to follow. The story began as a journal written on a few scraps of paper during the hospital stay, and eventually became a book of observations about dealing with illness. As well as the description of a hemophiliac dealing with a "bleed," this book also contains memories of Tom’s brother John, who died of kidney disease. Tom’s atypical response to hemophilia as a child by participating in "high risk" activities such as motorcross racing, skateboarding, and clapping his hands for 14 hours to set a world’s record are also described.
This is an interesting look into the life of a hemophiliac, and what transpires when a "bleed" occurs. Tom’s "high risk" approach to living with hemophilia is courageous and uplifting.
Reviewed by pk, 5/98. Other reviews by pk.