Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rolling Up My Sleeves

Today I rolled up my sleeve for the first time since last September (I can't beleive it was that long ago!) and let Canadian Blood Services (CBS) have some of my O+ blood. As the blood donation coordinator for my workplace, it was nice to finally be boarding the Lifebus instead of just trying to rally the troops.

The whole eight or so months I was being tested prior to my kidney donation I was frequently called by CBS when they were short on donors. Most of the time I missed the calls but was amazed at how frequently they called me. Finally back near the end of June they called and actually got me and I let the lady know I was not able to donate until August. She asked if it was a tattoo/piercing thing (um no) and when I explained about the kidney thing I heard her shuffle papers, looking for the response to that in their script aids. She ended up putting me through to a nurse so I could get a note on my file and limit the calls for another month until I could donate. (For the record I was given the all clear anytime after July 7th by the living donor program but I personally wasn't ready yet as I was still tired and not 100%). Once the nurse was on the phone she too didn't really know how to handle a kidney donor but once I assured her August was fine she noted it on my file.

However I discover this morning she put the hold on for longer so I had attempt to override that this morning with the nurse at CBS. I had checked off the box about being under a doctor's care in the last 6 months, explained verbally what that was for. She got out this giant binder to I assume see what the rules were around donating after that kind of procedure. I was shocked (OK not really) that kidney donation was not in the book. She apologized and had to go ask someone-totally understandable. She came back and said I should be good to go based on my information about the program being okay with it. She did warn me that the next 2 times I give blood (assuming I come in 56 days apart) they might be equally confused about how to deal with my surgical history.

 I was taken to a bed and they started to set me up for the donation. The nurse told me she had to check one thing with one other person before they could start. I could see her reviewing my file with a lady in the back and after a few minutes she came and gave the go ahead to the "blood takers" (sorry-I have no idea what these people are called). 

A coworker was beside me and he announced to the "blood takers" around us that they all better be nice to me because I just donated a kidney. They all looked at me (blinking...hmmm...where has that happened before?!?) but other than one asking if I donated to family, there weren't many questions. It was kind of nice. There were lots of comments about how nice I was to do that and how they all knew someone who was waiting for a kidney or who had received one and how important it is. Thankfully at least the concept of non-directed donation wasn't foreign to them so I didn't have to get into that. One lady had lots of questions about what the surgery was like, my recovery and how that went-not a question I usually get. They have a TV showing blood recipient stories with pictures-she had met some of the people in the slide loop and told me about the,. She asked me if I would ever get to meet the recipient and seemed disappointed when I said no. I reassured her that "you never know"-it seemed to make us both feel better.

The donation itself was fine. I've never felt woozy or weak after a donation although this time I was more tired right away than I usually am. I did feel a bit light headed but not to the point I was in danger of fainting. I made sure to drink extra fluids this time around as that seems to prevent any post donation side effects.

There was something about this appointment that really made me feel like life is getting back into some kind of normal pattern and that I myself am become more of a "normal" person again instead of being "organ girl" as Charlie would say.

1 comment:

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