I’ve never been a really huge fan of needles. I won’t say I’m afraid of them, as I’ve always been fine getting vaccinations or having blood drawn for physicals. No big deal. They’re just not my favorite things in the world. (Should that go without saying? Is there anyone who has “needles” between “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes” and “brown paper packages tied up with string” on their list of favorite things? Julie Andrews didn’t, I’ll tell you that much.)
Needles(s) to say, giving blood was never a great idea to me either. Until just a short time ago I had never given blood, for various reasons. (Each of those reasons was completely legitimate, of course.) It has become harder to resist doing so as I have grown older, however, because I belong to a couple organizations that hold regular blood drives. And just six months ago, it became impossible to resist.
My second daughter (she’s beautiful, eh?) was born in February of ’07 after a relatively short labor and a near-perfect delivery (which was quite the pleasant surprise to her mother, who suffered through 38 hours of labor the first time). About six hours after delivery, however, she began to feel intense abdominal pain. To make a really long, intense, terrifying story short (you can thank me later), the baby had ruptured a blood vessel inside my wife’s body upon exiting it. My wife was now bleeding heavily, creating a hematoma. She needed emergency surgery which, thanks to the skilled hands of an alarming number of doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists, was successful.
The point of me telling this story, however, comes the next day after some pretty nervous sleep. As exactly how much blood she lost became clearer, so did the fact that she was going to need a blood transfusion. Thanks to her strength, determination, and three units of the very best blood the American Red Cross has to offer, she’s fully recovered now.
After that, the most difficult experience of my life, there was no way I was going to be able to pass up the OTC employee blood drive. I answered the questions, squeezed the squishy ball, gave 3 units worth of myself, and still got cookies out of the deal! It was, quite literally, the least I could do to repay the Red Cross for helping to save my wife’s life. (While needles still aren’t on my list of favorite things, my wife, most certainly, is.)
So that’s my story. While it was the first of my blood-giving stories, it surely won’t be the last.