Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Bloodless Tale

This week has been insanely busy. Meetings, exams, work, tutoring stuff, appointments, etc. Sometimes I'm not sure how I manage these long days when I usually wake up feeling like I don't even want to get out of bed. BUT I've actually been feeling a whole lot better lately (knock on wood...). And this seems silly but it's semi-monumental so don't laugh, but I haven't cried in like four or five days now. WHO AM I??

My school had a blood drive this week, and I really really wanted to donate. I'd only given blood once before - my freshman year of college, which was the last time I met the minimum weight requirement, and the last time my health was remotely stable enough. It ended up being quite an ordeal because I have itty bitty baby bird veins, and it takes people FOREVER to get needles in. I ended up getting stuck in both arms because they couldn't get enough blood out of one, and my vein kept collapsing. There were literally multiple Red Cross people taking turns trying to make my lil veins cooperate, and I ended up being there for a solid hour of bloodletting. Then when I stood up, I got super dizzy and stumbled around for a while until someone made me drink a bottle of water and eat a bag of pretzels.

But regardless, I loved giving blood. It made me feel amazing and useful and powerful, and I swore I'd give blood at our drives every three months. Then, of course, I started losing weight and that was the end of that.

So the other day, I was walking through our main dining hall on campus when I saw a sign for the blood drive, and I decided totally impulsively that I wanted to give blood again. I figured I might as well take advantage of one benefit from the Chub Drug - the fact that I now actually weigh enough to donate blood. In fact, I got really excited about it and was looking forward to feeling useful and powerful again. So I went upstairs to the room where the Red Cross had set up, signed in, and started filling out the paperwork.

And then it hit me that although my weight is higher than it has been for a while, nothing else about me could really be considered healthy. The pain, my eyes, the hormone issues, etc. Plus my vitals are always a little screwy, and having my blood drawn at the doctor's always makes me woozy. There are also multiple medications coursing through my veins - not sure if that precludes you from giving blood, but I definitely did not want to advertise my drug regimen to the Red Cross.

Honestly, the sight of all those people lying on stretchers with needles in their arms just freaked me out and made me sad. I am so freaking sick of anything to do with medicine or doctors or sickness etc., I suddenly just wanted to get out of there. I didn't feel useful or powerful at all; I felt weak and scared. So I tore up my paperwork and left.

It just sucks to be the patient all the time, you know? I really wanted to be able to give something back and be part of something bigger than myself. There will be other chances in the future, I guess, and I should probably take care of my own issues first.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really sorry this was a difficult situation for you. It sounds very overwhelming and tough, but I think you made a good decision in recognizing that your health is the top priority right now. It's so wonderful that you've got such a compassionate and caring heart! Maybe you can use this experience as a bit of motivation to keep pushing you towards health!