Saturday, November 3, 2012

Proofreading (or lack thereof) and Blood Donation

I probably should not admit this, but I really do try and proofread my entries before I post. I will re-read and spellcheck. Occasionally, will go back and re-read one and invariably catch something. I have never been good at proofreading. Chad and I will send each other documents at work sometimes to read and edit for the other and he invariably asks me, "did you read this before you sent it to me?"....usually the answer is yes. I like to think my mind goes faster than I can type. I am going to claim the "cancer girl" excuse now too.

Mary Kay, feel bad I got your name wrong in an earlier post. I totally remember you and was a loyal reader of your GWIC Gazette columns. I so appreciate you not knowing me but giving blood and supporting me in this journey.

I have had a few people lately mention to me they have never given blood before but they are willing to try but don't know what to expect. The links on the blog have donation centers and the Hoxworth website (see the link for donating blood/platelets in Cincinnati) has a detailed questionnaire to see if you are eligible, and a step by step of the process. In general, the process is to complete a questionnaire to confirm you are eligible to donate blood, they check your vitals (e.g., blood pressure, temperature) and do a finger prick of blood to check the amount of red blood cells (oxygen) in your whole blood, and then they stick you with a need to get the blood (takes about 10 minutes). Then they have you wait 10-15 minutes and have a snack before you go. You can do a "whole blood" donation, or just red blood cells, or platelets. You can become a regular donor and if you do whole blood donations you can give every 8 weeks (and you get a snazzy Hoxworth card and get to skip the questionnaire steps). At most locations you can walk in and donate but they prefer if you make an appointment, and am sure this probably makes the process a bit speedier as well.

I am blood type A+. If you are also, then you can direct your donation to me, but really think anyone giving in general will help someone and is such a gift. I am literally getting platelet transfusions every 2-3 days and blood transfusions about every 4-5 days (2 units), and will be for awhile. A lot of people have been asking how they can help and really this is the biggest way.

Last night was terrible. My counts dropped in the nightly labs so I needed platelets and red blood cells. It took literally all night for me to get them so lots of in and out of my room and very frequent vital sign checks to make sure I am not having an allergic reaction to the blood products. This morning was the normal revolving door so slept away the afternoon. My blood work for the night came back and my white blood cell count is down again to 0.3, and still showing signs of infection. The doctor's today, I think, tried to prepare me that I could be here another week. If we reach day 28 and still no upward trend in my white cell count they will do another bone marrow biopsy to see what is going on in there.

Whenever the doctors leave the room they ask if there is anything I need. My response has consistently been white blood cells. Please keep my in your thoughts and prayers. I am on Day 20 in the hospital and am mentally and emotionally more than ready to be home.... just need my body to catch up.


  1. Hi Beth,
    Missing you here in Guangzhou. The Halloween parties took place on Friday afternoon...and was hopeful you could fly in with Katherine and pretend you are still part of 3L! You definitely are an amazing parent and room mom extrodinaire.
    Take care. Your sense of humour in your blog comes through - Health care and recovery is a full time job with many challenges - visible and invisible.
    I re-emailed Katherine. The first time I sent to her I actually got her email name wrong as I left out an H. Hope it finally got to her.
    thinking of you - and a big hug to Katherine

  2. Beth, don't worry about getting my name right. Those kinds of things don't bother me, and you have way more important things to think about. I can't believe you remember reading my Gazette articles - seems like a lifetime ago! Hang in there though. It will get better. I've never been in the hospital as long as you but not getting decent rest was always the thing I hated most whenever I had to be there. I never understood why those blood draws and vital sign checks had to be done at such an ungodly hour! Come back at 9:00! If rest is as important for your overall health, as they say, then why is the hospital the worst place to get any?! Anyway, keeping you in my prayers. Sleep well!
    Mary Kay Smith