Rants of a Weird Little Bird

Random stuff involving myself…and people around me. Hello, and goodbye. :-)

A Draining Experience – In Every Sense of the Word

with 3 comments

I looked wearily at the tube protruding out of my elbow, extending into the machine which kind of resembled a giant tape recorder. A niggling pain appeared intermittently, as the blood oozed in small spurts.

Beep, beep, beep.

The indicator light on the “giant tape recorder” blinked, and the “cassette tape” stopped for a while. The blood stopped flowing.

Groaning with irritation, I squeezed the stress ball which the nurse had given me, but it didn’t seem to help. All of a sudden, the machine started draining blood from my left arm again.

Start, stop, beep. Start, stop, beep.

A nurse came by my bed.

“Say, did you get the correct vein?” I ventured.

“Don’t worry, it’s like that for some people,” she replied. I scowled and focussed my attention on the book I had brought for today’s occasion.

“Why aren’t you collecting my blood?” I asked. Patience was not my virtue.

“We aren’t. It’s the platelets that we need. See?” the nurse pointed towards a collection bag, where some yellowish-like liquid was slowly accumulating. I groaned. The pain wasn’t bad, but it was irritating to lie there like an asparagus and wait for the machine to collect that yellow stuff.

It was almost an hour before the ordeal was over. I gratefully got up from my bed, as the nurse removed the tube from my left arm.

“Thanks,” I said.

“Thanks for coming down,” she replied. “Sorry you took so long.”

“How old is the recipient?”

“Twenty-four,” the nurse replied.

It was a while before I took it in. “So young,” I said. “I had my blood tested for suitability some years back, so why does she suddenly need my platelets?”

“She suffered a relapse while studying.”

“No, I mean, what would happen to her if she doesn’t get my platelets?”

“She has leukaemia, which means that she can’t produce her own platelets. If she cuts herself, there’ll be no platelets to help clot the blood flow and she will die of bleeding.”

Suddenly, the impatience which I had felt when I was sitting in the couch dwindled into unimportance. For some reason, I felt disgusted for even being irritated at the slow flow rate at which my blood platelets collected in the bag.

“Thank you for taking the trouble to come down here. Sorry for the machine taking so long,” the nurse said, as if reading my thoughts.

I took a long time to come up with an appropriate reply, but I didn’t know why.

“Well, it’s nothing compared to her suffering,” I replied.

I left the transfusion centre feeling somewhat disturbed, and guilty.


Written by aweirdlittlebird

March 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Why would you feel guilty? You did something noble… and beautiful too. :) Come to think of it, sometimes the noblest things we do are not those we think most highly of, but those that we feel most unworthy to do…

    Man, this post is beautiful. Keep on posting!


    March 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    • The guilt stems from my annoyance, irritation and impatience at the slow rate which the machine had been drawing blood, not to mention the gnawing discomfort in my left arm. Until the nurse told me, I didn’t appreciate how that the yellow fluid collecting in that bag would actually mean so much to someone whom I’ve never seen or talked to before.


      March 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      • :) thanks for sharing, man.

        “It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.” – Mother Teresa


        March 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm

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