17 September 2011

The Gift of Life

One of my goals in life was to be able to donate blood for the sake of others; with Anorexia that’s not possible because of decreased levels, malnutrition, dehydration, etc. As a way to celebrate my healthy body, I decided to donate my own blood at the blood drive at college; I NO longer have to be stabbed multiple times due to severe dehydration & shrunken veins!!! Recovery is BEAUTIFUL!!!
On Tuesday after college I headed over to the Campus Center where Lifeshare had around ten beds set up in front of the cafeteria- right in the OPEN!!!(intimidating!) While waiting for my turn in line to have my iron levels tested, I was reminded of the first time I’d ever given blood; it was NOT out of excitement but obligation. The first time I entered the Red Cross building, I was “shaking like a leaf”; I’d never had blood taken prior. I sat in the private testing room at 16 years old, holding in all anxiety and other foreign emotions; I tried to act like nothing fazed me. My mom as well as the phlebotomist tried to tell me not to watch, but I of course didn’t listen; well, to my horror, after watching her squeeze my blood into a tiny tube, I started getting sweaty, lightheaded, blurry eyed, white as snow; I could hear people talking to me but couldn’t see a thing & all of a sudden I lost consciousness. To my horror & embarrassment I was wheeled out of the room into the PUBLIC after a stupid finger prick; I was HORRIFIED & beyond humbled & sent home.
Several days later it was time for attempt #2; this time I didn’t look! This needle was “slightly” bigger than the one used for finger-pricking! Lol Well, all went “well”- giving blood isn’t exactly “fun” but it IS possible; I got up quickly & tried to get OUT of there & ran down the steps & to the car with my mom freaking out behind me- I don’t know why but I love taking chances & don’t exactly always follow the rules! ;) Normally to donate the second pint a minimum of 56 day wait is required; for me that was not possible due to the rapidly approaching surgery date. A week after my first pint donation, I was back in the chair for my second pint; I now know why the wait requirement is so long- giving that much blood in such a short amount of time takes a toll on the body; God once again got me through it! Once it was over, the short countdown to my surgery- the day that forever changed my life- rapidly approached.
Well, three years later I am a changed person; life is truly a gift and not my own. I am alive by God’s grace, so I thought it only right to follow HIS calling; I do not LIKE the  process of giving blood, however I am reminded that this life is not my own and I only have one life here on earth. Here are some statistics by the American Red Cross on the lack of blood donations; I want to save lives & hope you do the same! For me it’s a motivation to stay healthy- I’m NOT about to lose sight of this BEAUTIFUL life!!
  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. (2006).
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
  • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
  • Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

09 September 2011

OMG- Life, could you get any more beautiful?! I don’t know where to begin!! I’ll start with today & then back track.  Today I volunteered at the one & only ACH; I was just excited to be at one of my many temporary “homes” here on earth – I was oblivious to the excitement about to happen!! Well, a couple of weeks ago one of my fellow volunteers told me that Miss America was coming to the hospital; I did NOT believe him & thought he was just trying to “pull my leg”. It turns out he wasn’t lying- I got to shake her hand & talk to her!! I was privileged to be called “the sunshine of the hospital”- maybe it’s because I can’t stop smiling when I’m there! She even remembered my name when she was leaving & we chatted; once again God has shown me that we’re all the same in HIS eyes contradicting the world’s opinion!
That’s not all folks; guess who also came to visit the patients (& me!): the Akron Zips!! Let’s just say I was on “cloud 9”! lol These guys are HUGE; another fellow volunteer whom I LOVE to tease decided to put me on the spot. He told them I’m a Kent State fan; they booed at the name of their rival!! I said, “I am NOT a Kent State football fan, I just go there for my degree.” We joked for a little; I never told them I’m actually an Ohio State fan- they would’ve beat me up! ;) Ohio State totally demolished Akron last week!! Go Bucks!! How ironic is it, though, that Miss America & a pro sports team, my two former “dreams” for my life appeared to me on the same day. God, you are SO mysterious & crazy; He showed me that I would be NO better had I gone into one or both of those careers. Once again, my life is in the hands of God & I’m FREE!!
Well, I have started college- INSANITY! I love it; I’m just taking a lot at once! I’ve already made a bff- I love her to death & thank God every day for putting her into my life. On the first day of Chemistry the teacher told us most people flunk his class; way to motivate us! Lol It IS an intense class, but it’s NOT impossible with my God! I’m also taking Biological Structure & Function w/ a lab- I LOVE this class; I can’t tell you how thankful I am for past experiences because the knowledge I’ve gained through experience is irreplaceable & unforgettable! I never realized how sick I really was; severe dehydration, dangerously low potassium, irregular electrolytes & heartbeat can be fatal; God SPARED my life! From a medical standpoint, I’ve learned that health is a scary thing; something I should NOT mess around with- it’s like playing with death! I also find the bone section fascinating- especially the spine. I NOW understand what the terms on my records, x-rays, & doctor’s descriptions mean! We’re learning “Medical terms”, body parts, bones, cells, etc. I’ve also realized how fortunate I am that my spine now looks like the image on the left; it’s perfect! I went from 60 degrees to around 20!!! After all I’ve put my body through, I am one LUCKY girl; I thought I was “cool” or “strong” for testing, ignoring, overdoing/overworking my body, etc- I now realize I was STUPID & na├»ve! Oh how I take everything for granted!
Well, next week my best friend & I are going to give blood at college; it’s been over three years since I’ve done that & it WASN’T for voluntary reasons! Lol It was to save my OWN life! I’m so excited to be able to give back; I DON’T want my life to be about me! This “home” is only temporary- HEAVEN is my true home & I’m living for my KING- I am merely a servant but am the HAPPIEST I’ve ever been! Life is not about me!
Tomorrow we have a Selah reunion- I am literally going to jump out of my skin in anticipation & excitement! How can life get any more beautiful?! I believe it CAN- in fact I KNOW it can!