Vampire Days

Transfusions. A variant on blood doping. They deliver a definite and immediate energy bump. A welcome burst of relative strength if you’re seriously and chronically anemic, as I’ve been. After a few transfusions, I’ve found myself thinking kindly — almost in a family way — about vampires. Maybe Dracula was on to something.

Thing is: you’re onboarding someone else’s blood. More accurately, a selection of donors’ blood, if you get more than one unit (one bag = one unit). Donors: if you are reading this, I send deep gratitude. You save peoples’ lives.

Donors, here’s a tip for you: if you might have been exposed to some common cold or everyday “bug,” please think twice before donating your blood. Or wait a week or two. The heavy stuff, like HIV, Hep C, etc., gets scrubbed out. But the itty bitty things your body might be fighting… well, they often get transferred along with your liquid gift of life. This invasion of teensy bits and white blood cells can cause reactions in immune-messed-up people like me. So, thanks for donating when you are sure you are not fighing a cold or virus.

Twenty-four hours after my last transfusion (a 2 bagger), I had an adverse reaction. Bone-shaking chills, spikey fever. Happily it all went baack to normal in a few hours. Thanks to my assembled team: husband Rob, daughter Julie, first-responder extraordinaire Nancy and dear pal who’s also a brilliant doc, Linda. I love each of you.

Back at the transfusion scene. I’m watching the maroon liquid drip slowly from the bag into my outstretched arm. I can’t help but imagine the dramatic old days, when desperados on Skid Row sold their blood so they could buy paper-bag wrapped hootch. I close my eyes and picture a grizzled guy getting a few bucks in exchange for his red blood cells and platelets that someone else desperately needs. My imagination fires up. OK, we are past the days when people sold their blood. But… WHOSE BLOOD IS THIS, ANYWAY?

fuzzy feet at the bar

Are vampires selective?

1 thought on “Vampire Days

  1. Hey, gal, great idea this blog. There is a writer on The Times (London) that begin writing a weekly story in the paper following her fall from a horse and becoming a quadrapeligic. Horrible situation, needless to say, but her no holds barred writing was gripping, funny, horrific, thought-provoking. If you want to check it out her name is Melanie Reid. I imagine you, Ms. Smartypants, can find a way to access it. Love you, Annie


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