December 21, 2012
About two years ago my husband had prostate surgery. He had had other types of surgery over the years, so our expectations after surgery were for him to have a few days in the hospital and come home to finish recuperating. It did not go as planned. My husband--the guy with high blood pressure that is barely controlled with medication--had extremely low blood pressure afterward. Nothing was helping. The surgeon came in and examined him and ordered a unit of blood. This helped some, then his blood pressure started getting lower again. Three units of blood later and an overnight stay in the critical care unit, he finally stabilized. The surgeon said he was bleeding internally, but it was a "seeping" blood loss that a return to surgery would not help. That experience changed me. How could I keep saying "I'm afraid donating blood will hurt" when I saw firsthand how vital the blood was in my husband's recovery. Working in a hospital, I have every advantage to participate in the quarterly blood drive sponsored by the Red Cross. To my surprise, I found out the paperwork process takes longer than the actual donation. Yes, the needle was a little painful. But the pain lasted less than 30 seconds. I sat in the donation chair for approximately 5-10 minutes and talked with my co-workers who were also donating. My plans are to donate every time I have a chance. You never know. It might be your spouse, your child, your parent, event you who needs that blood I donated.