Halloween 2018 became a nightmarish, blood-curdling horror story—a story I have yet to share publicly.
And I won’t share all of it publicly. But I will break the day down to a visit with a doctor and a complete collapse of my body during that visit which jetted me down a long hall to the Emergency Room, and an 11 day hospitalization that started with 5 days in secondary ICU.
All of the above was a complete shock and unexpected.
The attendant lifted me on to the ER cot, while the on duty doctor ordered a blood draw. Dressed in light blue scrubs, the hematologist wheeled her cart to the side of the cot, searched for a likely blood vein and said, “Sorry for the poke,” when I flinched as the needle pierced my arm. Shortly thereafter, the ER doctor announced, “Your hemoglobin is close to bankrupt.”
According to the Mayo Clinic: The normal range for hemoglobin is:
For men, 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter.
For women, 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter.
My hemoglobin measured .5. A life-saving transfusion began as quickly as possible.
And thus is the purpose of this blog. Thank you generous persons who donated the four units of blood required to get my red blood count out from the dark woods. My gratitude to those anonymous blood donors is endless.
Somehow I’ve breezed through life without a thought about needing blood or giving blood. Call me lucky and unaware. My mission now is to urge readers who can give blood, to volunteer to give blood in 2019. It’s an act of kindness that does save lives.
The Red Cross writes: Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.
It’s creepy to think about that needle going into you veins and pumping out your red blood. The poke in the vein is minor compared to any procedure a seriously ill person experiences to stay alive.Your donated blood may be just the ticket to keep that person on this side of the dirt. Find a blood drive or, better yet, host a blood drive through your church, club, business, or circle of friends.
When you show up to give blood and after a health consultation at the blood donation center, “you’ll be seated comfortably while a pint of blood is drawn. The actual donation only takes 8-10 minutes,” according to the Red Cross.
Last Halloween my family and I were handed a bag of tricks. Fortunately, we were saved by four bags of treats in the form of blood ready to bring me back to a smiling face.