So, last week E had 7 needle sticks and one bag of blood and yesterday I had one needle stick and 4 bags of blood. Yup, FOUR. Let me tell ya, that's a LOT of blood. As I shared early on in my blog, I have thalassemia intermedia, a different but equally (sometimes more) complicated version of what our E has. My thalassemia renders me very anemic all of the time because I do not get transfusions like E does. As a result, illnesses can hit me very, very hard. On the plane ride home from China, I came down with an awful illness with nearly a 104 temp...I tried to slog through it because having just arrived home with our new baby, I couldn't exactly lay on the couch and drink tea all day. But it really knocked me down to the point that even taking a shower was exhausting. I wasn't getting better and then this week I was hit with another virus. Being so anemic was just not allowing my body to heal or fight anything off or get better. So, yesterday I landed in the ER getting massive amounts of IV antibiotics and then the huge transfusion.
It was an interesting role reversal, and despite the fact that I felt like I was on the brink of death, overall, it was actually a good experience for us as a family. E came to the ER and watched everything, had to see my IV, watch them take my BP and do an ECG. Once I was all settled, P took E home for some fun time with Baba, which went very well, so it was good bonding for them! When they came back later to see me, I was all hooked up getting my transfusion two rooms down from where E had hers last week. E came in to the room and immediately knew what was going on. She pointed to the blood, to my IV, to the BP monitor. I had the same nurses that E had last week, and she immediately recognized them. I think it was good for her to see me there and to be there herself but NOT be the one getting stuck for once.
When the nurse took out my IV at the end of my very very very long transfusion E grimaced at the tape coming off. That was her LEAST favorite part of her own transfusion last week. She motioned for the nurse to put on my bandaid, and like I have done for her 1000 times in the past week, she came over and touched the bandaid, and kissed my boo boo. She's kissed it about 50 times since we've been home. At dinner she put down her fork to roll up my sleeve and kiss the boo boo, during her bath she had to kiss the boo boo, and during our nightly cuddle time, she kissed it 10 times. She's still checking on my boo boo periodically and kissing it today.
It's odd to say that having thalassemia is a blessing, but it is. It's something that my daughter and I share. I can understand what it is like for her on a level that few others can. And, we can be there to kiss each other's boo boos forever.
ps-to those of you wondering, YES, I feel much better and I LOOK much pinker! Four bags of blood will do that to you...