Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thankful

Today I'm thankful because my iron was high enough and I was able to donate platelets for Dan Gallagher. A few weeks ago when I tried, I was so sad to be turned away. So, I've been working hard to bring up my level, and today I was able to give successfully! Praise the Lord. I pray my platelets help Dan.

I have to say, giving platelets is a yukky experience. First of all, you should see the size of the needle they use! It has to be thick because platelets are donated in a very interesting way. The process removes your blood, separates out the platelets, then returns the blood to you all through the same needle at the same time. A milky-yellow bag of platelets is all that remains when you are done. An anti-coagulant is used in the process, which gives you an all-over weird body feeling and makes your lips and extremeties numb, cold, and tingly. By the end your arm hurts pretty good from keeping it still for 2 hours with a big thick needle in it! They ask you to squeeze a little stress reliever type ball every few seconds, and that just sends shooting pain up your arm. But, the amazing thing is, once you are done, you feel completely normal in about 15-30 minutes.

While it is a yukky experience, it is also a joyful one. Knowing that I am helping someone in this way makes my heart sing praise to God. I try to look at the process of a celebration of some sort. God has allowed me to be healthy enough to give platelets to someone else. So for me, it is a time of reflection on the goodness of God for the good health I am presently enjoying. How wonderful that I can have something to give that will literally sustain another human being. I don't mind the sacrifice one bit. And of course, when I think about what Dan is going through, I can certainly suffer through a couple hours!

Have you ever thought about giving blood or platelets regularly? Human blood and platelets cannot be fabricated. During Brady's battle with cancer, I was really enlightened to this need. My sister, Rich, and I have tried to be regular donors at the City of Hope since then. I know life is busy, so here's a wild idea for you - how about make donating a date with your spouse? Giving blood is really fast - the bag fills in about 5 mintues (of course there's processing time, which takes about an hour). I know City of Hope has extended hours on certain days, making an late afternoon donation possible, and I bet the Red Cross and other hospitals close to you might as well. Of course, they like you to eat a "hearty meal" after giving, so you two can have a lovely meal together afterwards.


Hebrews 10:24 ~ and let us consider how to motivate one another to love and good works...

3 comments:

Dodson Family said...
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Dodson Family said...

Karen - I am giving platelets for Dan on Monday...now I'm nervous - giving blood was easy!! ha ha - I have his blood type (O-) and gave blood for him last month but they called me today and asked to give platelets - not sure why they want those over the blood...but whatever. I am thankful to be able to do it as well. It has opened my eyes to this need that I have always been ignorant too. They told me they are ALWAYS looking for good blood....

Dodson Family said...

thanks karen- just got your comment on my blog...when i gave blood it didn't zap any energy from me - maybe that's a good sign!! They told me I was 1 of 15 donors - so yes - they must really need it. Thank you for the encouragement. It will be a tiny tiny tiny sacrifice for what their family is going through and I will praise God with you. I'll let you know how it goes. The City of Hope people were hilarious when they took my blood - they checked me over and over and they never talked to the platelet people....I was just fine (they offered me food and juice and I felt like a celebrity!) and those poor platelet people - I don't remmeber them talking with them at all! I did see them squeezing the ball - now I know why!