Early this Spring, I had total hip replacement surgery. It has been a resounding success -- after some glitches got worked out.
Among several things I had not expected was the necessity for six blood transfusions; four during the surgery and two more about two weeks afterwards. I remember signing papers giving my doctor permission to transfuse blood, but I never dreamed I would need any and certainly not that much.
The only time I was aware of getting donated blood was when my doctor put me back in the hospital after two weeks in a rehab center. It was a huge surprise and a moving experience watching someone else’s blood flowing through clear tubing into a vein in my hand. To think that people I will probably never know would donate their very lifeblood to a stranger made me feel so grateful.
When I worked for the local American Red Cross chapter, it was customary but not required to donate. Blood supplies run dangerously low during summertime and holidays when regular donors take vacations. Staff members knew this and made a point of donating during those times.
Even though I reacted (fainting, low blood pressure) every time I donated, I gave eight pints before the nurses told me not to give any more. Truthfully I was not totally broken-hearted because I hated those big ole needles. Still, I feel bad that I can’t help people who need my type A+ blood, especially now.
So . . .. on the off-chance that any of the donors who helped restore my health read this -- many, many thanks. We have a connection I will always cherish.