I am smiling from ear to ear. Fact is, I have been since 8:30am. Today is the first day in a LONG time that I have had true energy. I almost forgot what it felt like. I have become so used to only being able to do one “big” thing a day; i.e.: shower, vacuum, attend church, etc. Today was different. Today, God blessed me through blood.
Thank you all for praying for my transfusion, it went very well! Although we were at the hospital for about five hours yesterday, God had his hand on the whole thing. I’ve mentioned before that God has been sending down gifts along this journey, and yesterday He sent along quite a few. My attending nurse was a true angel, a grandmotherly type, and simply amazing. And, I loved her name. She was perfect for my visit in the hospital, and Matt and I both enjoyed her dearly. She was warm, welcoming, and attentive, and she continued to refer to me as “sweetheart,” “sweetie,” “honey,” and “beautiful.” This sweet nurse made our stay very comfortable and easy, and when receiving a transfusion for the first time, that’s exactly what you want your nurse to do. It was the best experience it could have possibly been. God weaved the whole thing together. I’m thankful that He has a tendency of doing that!
Because I’m sure many of you are wondering what the procedure for a transfusion is like, I’ll explain. It’s actually quite simple. Once I was led to an available room, I sat in a very comfortable recliner. Matt took a seat next to me, and my lovely nurse then accessed (aka: inserted the needle into) my port. She then went to retrieve the specific blood being donated to me. Once she returned, bag of wonderful red blood cells in hand, she announced that it came from Omaha, Nebraska. We weren’t even expecting to know anything about the donor of my blood, yet knowing where it came from eased some of my lingering fears. After my nurse connected me to the IV bags (both red blood cells and saline), she pushed a few buttons on an attached machine. This machine regulated how quickly the blood would be pushed through my body. I received two “units,” or simply IV bags, of red blood cells. When the first was complete, she attached the second, and it was as non-complicated as that. My job was fairly easy. Sit in the recliner and take it all in. Like I said, I was at the hospital for about five hours. Easy peasy.
Special note to the donor in Omaha: I sincerely thank you for volunteering and generously donating your blood. It helped me tremendously. And for other generous people who donate blood, thank you from those of us who so desperately need it.
Having energy is something you shouldn’t take for granted. And to be even more specific, having healthy and abundant blood cells is something to thank God for. Believe me, when your cells are low, it sucks. My reds were obviously extremely low, and the only way to improve them was to receive this transfusion. I’m extremely happy that I stopped being stubborn and just submitted to what my body was telling me. If you are ever in a position when a blood transfusion is an option or possible necessity, do it. It’s worth it. Today I got my life back. Albeit I’m not 100%, but my energy was noticeably increased. Before this transfusion, for the past couple months, I could walk up the stairs and would immediately need to sit down and rest because I was so out of breath. Red blood cells transport oxygen, and when they are lacking, so is your oxygen. Today, I woke up feeling great, so Matt and I took Scout to our favorite dog park. She about jumped out of the car in excitement over this trip… Poor thing, she hasn’t gotten out much since my energy has been so non-existent. I can proudly announce that we walked two miles while Scout played. Yes, you read that correctly… Two miles! And I survived! I haven’t walked that long since the very beginning of my treatment. And it’s definitely not for a lack of trying! I nearly cried when we were done. My energy has been confining me to our home, so being able to get out without being utterly exhausted was a huge feat. I’m so proud of myself.
We not only walked two miles, which was plenty for one day, we also went grocery shopping. I’m sure it sounds odd, but the amount of energy it takes to grocery shop is more than you’d think. And when just walking up the stairs wears you out, the last thing you want to do is walk around a grocery store for an hour. I can’t believe we did all that today. I can’t believe I did that! Needless to say, this blood transfusion helped me considerably, and if ever my red cells get low again, I’ll be opting for one a lot quicker!
I look forward to continuing up this hill and can’t wait to keep getting better and better. It’s so nice to know that I don’t have any more treatment! Praise God.
P.S.- “GO BIG RED” has a whole new (and much bigger) meaning now!
Malachi 4:2 (The Message)
“‘…The sun of righteousness will dawn on those who honor my name, healing radiating from its wings. You will be bursting with energy, like colts frisky and frolicking. And you’ll tromp on the wicked. They’ll be nothing but ashes under your feet on that Day.’ God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so.”