Monday, June 09, 2008

I Am The Walrus (no wait, The Signpost!)

Right before Memorial Day I tried donating blood again for little Hudson with the brain tumor. He’s having an extremely rough go of it, and I wanted to help. It’s highly amusing to me that I get so jazzed about the possibility of needles, considering my dread fear of them. It’s not as though I’d be sticking needles in my arm for no reason. I’d only do it if it could help somebody.

So I sent out the email to my circle of friends asking for iron enriched well wishes, ate as big of a lunch as my stomach could muster, even including PROCESSED SUGAR, which is something I’ve been skipping lately and toodled off to Children’s Hospital. “Oh, Hudson needs blood again?” The nurse asks me as she’s looking at my paperwork. “He always needs blood is my understanding.” I say.

And off I go to face down the Red Machine O’ Hemoglobin DOOM, confident that if little Hudson is in dire need, than God’s gonna PUMP (clap) me up full o’ iron so I can bleed for the little guy.

And the machine comes back at 10.6. 12.5 is passing. Sigh. “Can we do it again?” I ask the technician, explaining that normally, it’s better to stick my arm rather than my fingers, as last time, we discovered something happens in my veins between the elbow and the fingers that waters the blood down. I’d like to think the forearm veins are doing tequila shots 24/7, ho ho ho.

So the techie sticks my arm and runs it through. 9.9. We’re going DOWN? We’re going the wrong way! We’re going the wrong way at the wrong point on the arm! The fingers are the ones having the party! No fair!

The techie runs another sample through the other machine. Now it’s 9.6. “That can’t be right,” I say, “Wouldn’t I be dead with those numbers?”

No, apparently I can walk and talk and be bitter with those numbers, but I can’t give blood. Sigh. They still give me the cookies and the orange juice, despite my protests that I don’t deserve them. “But you tried!” they tell me, “And you really wanted to do it! We don’t see a lot of that here.”

It’s very rare that you get rewarded for trying AND failing. But Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles will give you a cookie. They will even give you two, but I only took one.

So I grumble my way home and send out an update to my circle saying I’m an iron loser, whatever.

And then I get an email from Nadine. Nadine thinks it’s really cool that I give specifically for someone. Nadine has that very desirable blood type of O negative, and she wants to give blood to Hudson, even though she’s never met him.

So a few weeks later, Nadine is off to Children’s Hospital, where not only does she beat the Red Machine O’ Hemoglobin DOOM with flying colors, she skips the bloodletting and goes directly to the apheresis machine and does the TWO HOUR platelets process! I’m so jealous! I’ve been working up the nerve to do that one, but I’m a chickenshit, and don’t think I could handle the needle being in my arm for two hours.

But Nadine is a rock star, and did platelets for Hudson, a little boy she doesn’t even know. She gives me all the credit for introducing her to the concept of direct donations, and to Hudson in particular. But I give her credit for doing all that for someone she doesn’t even know.

I haven’t understood why my body has decided to turn down this Iron Depleted Route, which it’s basically done since last year, when there’s an actual need for me to give. You could form the argument that maybe I wasn’t supposed to give, I was supposed to be the signpost for OTHER people to give. Sure, that sounds like something a good little Christian would say.

I’ve never liked being an example. I’ve never liked people looking at me like I was some kind of superstar whatever. Those of you who know me know I can’t stand compliments. At least, not to my face. You can email them to me all the time, ha ha ha.

I guess the reason why is that if everyone thinks you’re great, you’re just gonna disappoint them the next time you f up. Which for me is every other minute, HA!

If everyone thinks I’m great, then I don’t get to be cranky. Maybe that’s what it is. I LIVE by my crankiness, people. Don’t make me give it up.

Anyhow, Nadine, who I’ve never known to be cranky, is a rock star.


Lonnie said...

Okay, so here's a compliment that maybe you can handle a little better... all you have to do is replace "sign post" with "warning":

Anonymous said...

Maybe you're a SIGNPOST and maybe you're also supposed to read one....


*maybe* you're borderline anemic? *maybe* you should try taking iron supplements?

Just a thought. I ended up taking the things during my pregnancy --I had pregnancy anemia - but turns out I had borderline anemia all my life. (I too have walked away with "unearned" cookie(s)). Iron supplements. Ferrous sulfate, I believe, is the name. DRINK LOTS OF WATER with them.

But they're nifty. Nice not to be cold all the time!

Anonymous said...

whoops - forgot to sign above....