Two Units of Blood

Waking up is hard and painful when your blood count drops to 6.9 (The average is 12.0-16.0) But with 7 kids, pain and all I gotta do it. After reporting the extremely rude nurse who refuse to give me a transfusion appointment with my Oncologist I got several calls from department administrators, my regular doctor, and a nurse all worried that I have yet to receive blood since I spoke to Kaiser over a week ago. Nope!! I haven’t received any transfusions since I got the call of my blood count ..OMG!! Let me get you an appointment immediately….we can handle the inappropriate behavior of the nurse later.

The next morning I was dressed and ready to go by 7am to see my younger 4 kids out the door. I sipped on coffee (Yes its bad for all sickle cell individuals) and I head down the freeway alone a hour drive away from my house. I arrived at the lab by 8:30am and I know my veins have all but disappeared by now and it was gonna take the technician several attempts to locate a good vain. One…two..wow she got it in two pokes!! Usually it takes about 5 tries just to get a small vile of blood. So now I’m off to the Chemo department to check in so I can get my new blood count from the lab downstairs and see how many units I am going to need. Either way I know once all is said and done I will be able to make all the way through Wal-Mart without chewing on 2 vicodine just to get half of our monthly groceries since It takes three trips to three different stores.

The doctor filling in for my regular Hematologist was real nice and friendly and most doctors (I’ve seen over 100) are cold, rude, standoffish, and look at you like just another drug addict. But not this one. She was concerned when my lab results came back and it showed my new blood count was 6.2. Yeah it must have dropped a little more walking my 13year old around orientation to her new school. That trip only took 1 and 1/2 vicodine to get through. Which is a good thing!!

So off to the cafeteria while they order my blood and get a chemo chair ready for me to sit in for the next 5 hours.

As I looked at the selection of food in the machines, since I was too early for the actual cafeteria to open I wanted a burrito, chocolate cookies, and chips real bad…smh but I opted for wheat thins, a fruit muffin and bottle water. And I got a yogurt to eat in the waiting area for them to call my name. As usual the back room was freezing!!! And since I was operating on very low blood it felt like a freezer. I was so happy when the volunteer came over and asked if I wanted a cup of hot chicken broth..wow that was so tasty and warm not to mention salty which my kidneys was not happy about.
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So here comes the nurse….very tall big lady with a warm smile. I could tell right away she was a good one. Most are very cold and rude as the doctors. I and the nurse told her I was a hard stick. ( The nurse that checked me in had a hard time starting my IV last time I was there for a transfusion) This nurse took her time, tied that rubber thing as tight as she could get it and kept rubbing my arm til she found a good one. Hurt like hell but she got it in!! So off to the blood bank she went to get my units of blood. The lady behind me had to be in her 70’s there for chemo treatment and the lady across from me in a bed …cancer in her lung and age 85. They both had a hard time believing I was 40 turning 41 and the single mother of 7kids. I kept them both company til their treatments was done and watched YouTube on my iphone until the last bag was done. 4:30 All done and ready to hit the road for my long drive home alone. Back in 1996 my husband use to take me on these quick or long hospital visits but he past away from a brain tumor in 2000. He’s the one that taught me how to drive that long one hour drive on the freeway….he would say Dee!!… You need to know how to get back to the valley and to the doctor on your own with no fear. Well here I am alone, no fear, and getting my blood transfusion so I can make it to the store and get groceries for the month!!
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