Friday, August 15, 2008
West Nile Virus story
OK, I am so bummed. They wouldn't take my blood this morning. My hemoglobin count is too low. It usually is, but after they spin it, it's usually OK enough for me to give. But not this time.
This is especially hard for me because it has been 3 years since I last gave blood. This morning was a big deal. I was so excited to finally start giving blood again.
Three years ago this Labor Day, I gave blood. It was a mobile unit at our local Mall. I vividly remember walking down the steps of the mobile unit and feeling kinda weird. In fact, I woke up that morning feeling kinda weird. But hey, it's 110 degrees, I just gave blood. What did I expect. So three days later the Blood people call to tell me that I have the West Nile virus. By then I was very sick. In fact, I started crying so hard that I couldn't talk, so I climbed out of bed and ran to hand the phone to Randy. I was convinced I was going to die. Cuz, you always hear of those few that die from West Nile... and being the drama girl that I am... then I too, was going to die.
Well, I didn't die. I was just very sick for a week and then too weak to get out of bed for another week. In the mean time, I am getting calls from several agencies that are asking me a million questions. They put me in a study where they take blood from me every month for a year. Best part, they pay me $30.00 each time I go in. The first couple months I go in every week. So that adds up to some well deserved compensation for this here drama girl.
So how did I get West Nile? I'm glad you asked. Interesting story.
Exactly two weeks before I got sick with West Nile, we are visiting friends, sitting in their back yard and something weird happens. Something that has not happened to me in many, many years... I was getting bit by mosquitoes! People, I don't get bit by mosquitoes! We don't have mosquitoes in Phoenix! We don't have bugs in Phoenix! In fact, I commented to our friends that the whole time I was in Wisconsin the month before, I had not gotten bit even once! Everyone else did... but not me!
Well, come to find out, next door to our friend's home was a slimy, green, infested swimming pool that was a breeding ground for West Nile.
Two weeks to the day, I start getting sick. I give blood. It's West Nile. I live.
Learn more about the West Nile virus HERE.
So why am I telling you this?
Maybe someone out there will give blood on my behalf this week. Maybe this little blog will cause someone to give blood for the first time... or remind someone they haven't given in awhile.
I'm telling you, it's the best feeling! Knowing that your blood may be saving a life. Or helping a life.
Do it for yourself. Or do it for me. Or do it for someone you love.
The United Blood Services website is HERE.
Make your appointment today. You will be glad you did.
And a big thanks from me.
Now excuse me while I gorge myself on red meat, beans and raisins.