Before you cart me off to the loony bin, I enjoy opening bills because I get that nerdy high when I open them and write them in my day planner (in red ink - to show its money owed.) Then when I pay the bill I highlight it in green (the color of money) to show its paid.
Okay, I'm starting to get a nerdy high just talking about it, and I'm getting myself off track.
I love it.
I'm not sure why, but I love opening my mailbox to find something. Anything.
One of those random pieces of junk mail is a hemophilia newsletter. If you've read here very long you know my husband is a mutant. (No really - he has a genetic disease that no one else in his bloodline has. A mutation.)
Unfortunately, he's not a mutant in the variety of Wolverine.
Okay so the knives shooting out of his hands would be creepy in real life, but I'm talking about Wolverine's ability to regenerate. In fact, my husband's problem is just the opposite. As a hemophiliac, his blood lacks a clotting factor. The result? His body takes longer to heal than your average non-mutant. Sometimes to the point of requiring medication to help things along.
Back to the newsletter. Every month (or is it once a quarter) we're told of the different places we can go have a free meal if only we'll sit through a presentation from a pharmaceutical rep. (Believe it or not the cheapest couple in the world has never attended one of these.)
What I did find out? March is Hemophilia awareness month.
I don't claim to be an expert on the topic, but I know that loving someone with the blood disorder can sometimes be scary and painful. I know the basics about the disease. You and I probably clot in the 90-100% range, my husband clots in the 10-12% range. Even scarier is that he is a mild case, and that there are hemophiliacs who have a less than 1% clotting ability.
I'm thankful that his case is mild. I'm also thankful that since we've been together, he's only had one major injury. (You can read about it here and here.)
As a hemophiliac born in the same decade as Ryan White, I'm glad to say that my in-laws did whatever they had to do to ensure that Jay was never treated with human blood. Having said that I know there are some people where that's just not feasible. One treatment can cost thousands of dollars.
Because of that, I'm asking you to give blood. In my area, Medic is our local supplier when it comes to donating or receiving blood. I don't know if you have a similar organization in your area, but please do some research. Donating to Medic means your family is covered (for free) if the situation arises that you would need a transfusion. And thankfully, due to tragedies like Ryan White's, the blood is highly screened and safe.
One day I was playing around on Facebook and saw a "donate blood and run a 5K" challenge. You guys know how much I love a good race, so my first thought was "I should do that." I had just finished up my treatments for anemia, so it only took a second for me to remember what a bad idea that was.
My second thought? Maybe I could talk Jay into giving for me! Obviously the excitement about the race had clouded my judgment. His blood would be as useful to Medic as tits on a boar hog. (One of my dad's favorite sayings.)
Not one to give up quickly (unless it suits me), I talked my dad into giving. He's a Medic regular - gives on behalf of himself and my mom, on behalf of my family, and on behalf of my sister's family (they won't take BIL's blood because he's from the United Kingdom). I told him that he needed to wait to give until I could tag along and take pictures.
Thankfully, he's not one to shy away from the spotlight, and the Medic people didn't think I was too crazy.
Hi Daddy! I promised the Medic workers that I wouldn't get pictures of any one's faces except my father's. Medical confidentiality and all.
The process is really easy. After some paperwork and a quick finger prick (to make sure you're not anemic) you then get escorted to one of these lovely beds. The get you hooked up and off you go. I have tiny little stubborn veins. I've had nurses fight over who has to take my blood. Both times with Medic? They hit me first try with no problems.
Once you fill 'er up, you get cookies, soda, and a free t-shirt. All for giving the gift of life!
Yes, everything around here revolves around University of Tennessee football. *eye roll* but you can't blame Medic. Whatever works, right?
So please, give blood if you can. If not, try to encourage someone in your family who can to do so. Also? Please never take your good health for granted. I promise, for every time you participate in a contact sport, there is a mutant out there somewhere wishing that he could join you.