It started when Aunt Flow came to town. Then I was visited by a lady in a flowing red dress. I was riding a huge crimson wave. The problem was that Aunt Flow didn't leave (if you get my drift) and I ended up fainting in the middle of the night and being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance!
Really. Just like that one. One minute I was a healthy mom of two. The next, I was on an IV on a stretcher with paramedics careening to the hospital.
I was shaking as they raced me to an emergency room. They covered me with hot blankets and checked my blood. Apparently my body was going into shock. The next thing I knew I was agreeing to a BLOOD TRANSFUSION—for the next 10 hours, my head swam with terrifying scenarios as four units of strangers' blood dripped into my veins. Apparently I had lost more than half of all my body's blood.
Medicine was fed to me both intravenously and via pills to stop my internal bleeding. Eventually my body reacted and I was sent home with a prescription to take just in case it happened again. Three hours later I was losing blood at an extremely rapid rate and Before the pills could work, I passed out again!
This time, after my husband called 911, both paramedics and firefighters arrived to once again stick an IV in my veins and race me back to the ER.
This time no blood transfusion was needed, just an ongoing cycle of medicine tapped into my veins. I spent another day in the emergency room until I was finally admitted. The sound of beeping machines, screams of patients in pain and harried doctors and nurses faded as I spent the night in my hospital room being monitored. Once again, Aunt Flow had left the building so I was sent home.
And then...you guessed it...it happened again. Luckily, a friend of mine was visiting so she rushed me back to the hospital AGAIN!!! Seriously? Luckily this time I was still conscious. I was admitted to Emerg for the 3rd time in 4 days. Once again my hemoglobin and blood pressure were tested and the doctor ordered another blood transfusion—this time "only" two units of blood was required.
As I lay there watching the flow of blood go from the clear plastic bag hanging on a pole next to me I wondered whose blood was now a part of me. I hoped that a dancer had shared her blood, possibly filling me with a bit of her co-ordination and stamina. An organized individual's blood may help me start systemizing my life. And of course, the blood of a teenager would be awesome to make my hemoglobin younger.
Most importantly, people I don't know shared their gift of life so I could live. I've seen the ads to give blood—you know the ones that remind us "it's in you to give." Lying there, it really struck home how important it is to donate yours if you can.
I'm still in the hospital as I write this—a week long ordeal that is hopefully wrapping up for me and my family. But I'm not sure I would still be alive if not for the rescue from the paramedics, the amazing hard work of the nurses, the insight from the doctors—and all the people who rolled up their sleeves to donate blood.
Once I'm back to my old self again, I'm paying forward the kindness by donating my blood. It's the least I can do. I'd love it if you would too. You can even make it a Valentine's Day date for you and your significant other! Visit Canadian Blood Services to find out how and where you can donate. You can even book an appointment online.