Sitting in a cubby and hooked up to an IV, a strangers’ blood is flowing through my veins.

I’m nearing the fourth hour in this chair; the second bag of blood is dripping down into the tube attached to my arm.
This, as much as anything else, convinces me that I am in fact a sick person. After all, only seriously ill people get blood transfusions. I will receive two this week. Four bags of donor blood will restore me over the course of the eight hours I spend in the transfusion room.

Bobby and I are now so deeply entrenched in this life of medical rottenness that it doesn't phase us for me to come here alone. While the seriousness of the scenario does resonate with me, practicality overrides emotions. We have a young son to look after and my husband has a job to maintain. With every appointment and procedure, I can't have a babysitter at home and a friend at my side.

My mother disagrees. With a long drive, she is there to sit through the next one with me.

Today, there is a small man in the IV chair next to me; he's in for his weekly dose of a bag of blood. For some reason this appalls me. I always envisioned blood banks collecting for car accident victims and emergency surgeries. I never thought about “regulars” appropriating the supply. That this man is sick enough to need a transfusion every week does not greatly impress upon me at this point in my life. Instead, I'm thinking more along the lines of, Hey man, you're hogging the stash. Clearly, I need some of this blood to get to my brain.

According the Red Cross, some 5 million patients receive blood in the U.S. in a year. Many sickle cell and chemotherapy patients require frequent transfusions.

On behalf of the regulars and the emergency 1-timers alike, thank you to anyone who has ever donated blood. Such a simple act saves lives.

To find a blood donation location near you, click here:

1 comment:

  1. um...i would just like to say i agree with your mom. you should have had someone at your side for every little thing. there are many who would have HAPPILY made any sort of drive.