My First Blood Transfusion – Part One

“If I get stuck with ONE MORE needle, I am going to SCREAM.” 

I wrote these words on Facebook just hours before I found out I was going to have to have my first blood transfusion. It had been a really hard week. I had been poked and prodded. I’d had a rectal exam, a colonoscopy, an x-ray and a stool sample as well as several blood tests. I think I had counted being stuck with a needle 9 times in 3 days when I wrote those words. I hate needles.

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I have never liked shots. The first time I can actually remember getting a shot I was 8 years old. I had strep throat that required a penicillin shot. I remember the nurses having to hold me down while I screamed and cried. After getting the shot, my whole leg went numb. I will never forget that feeling as long as I live.

I remember getting more shots later in life. Those were also not fun. After those, I distinctly remember not being able to lift my arms for a couple of days afterwards. And then of course, there was the time my mom took me and my sister in to check and see if we had thyroid issues because she’d just been diagnosed with thyroid issues.

The nurse was nice, but she dug around in my arm to find a vein and didn’t get enough blood so she had to stick the other arm. I was ready to cry. Afterwards I was left with a softball-sized bruise on my right arm for weeks. Is it any wonder why I hate needles???

Back to the moment I found out I needed a blood transfusion. I had gone back to the doctor after they called me that morning asking me to come in for more blood work. My doctor walked in with an awkward look on her face.

Your blood count has dropped 6 points in 5 days,” she informed me. “I’m going to have to schedule you for a blood transfusion ASAP.

My heart sunk down into the pit of my stomach. I was speechless. A blood transfusion? How long was that going to take?

You could really use two units of blood, but I’m only going to schedule you for one,” she said.

I can’t remember much about what happened after that. I was instructed to drive out to the hospital to have more blood work done so that they could do my transfusion the next day. When I walked out to my car, all I remember was feeling numb. This can’t be happening!

The first person I called was my boyfriend.

David, I have to have a blood transfusion,” I said choking back tears. Upon hearing myself utter these words I snapped. I began screaming and cursing. “I’m so sick of this! I don’t want to do this anymore!!

David waited until I finished screaming. “Amber, it’s going to be ok. I’m going with you. I’ll be there in a few hours.” He lived three hours away and had to wait until he got off of work.

After calling David, I called my employer and broke down in tears to explain what had happened and to tell them I wasn’t coming to work that day. Then I called my mother and asked her go to the hospital with me…

Read Part 2

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