Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The BooBoo in Perspective

I found out today that an old friend has cancer. This friend has one of those cancers that's pretty darned bad, but apparently not so bad that they won't try treating my friend.

I feel useless. All my education, and I can't do a thing to help. Even if I'd studied the right things, it sounds like there wouldn't be much I could do to help.

Except, maybe my friend needs donated blood? Or maybe someone else's friend needs donated blood.

See, that's perspective.

My booboo is just a bruise. It looks WAY more impressive than it ever felt painful, and way more impressive than it ever was dangerous, I'm pretty sure. I think part of the impressiveness may come from the fact that I iced my elbow that evening. In fact, the bruise is suspiciously almost exactly the size of the ice pack on my skin. So I'm guessing I had a little extra bleeding from the artery (not much, because it didn't swell up huge or anything), and that pooled where I was sitting with my elbow on the ice pack.

My legs are regularly sorer from riding my bike than my arm was that evening. And my arm hasn't been sore since. (And I rode the next day without problems.) I may not be the biggest whuss you've ever known, but I'm in the top ten. If it hurt, I'd be whining like crazy.

I don't see any point in going back and showing the nurses. For one thing, they'd feel a little bad. But they were plenty concerned for me that day. They took good care of me, and they don't need to feel bad about that. They iced my arm and made sure to go over what to do if I didn't feel well and so forth; they made sure to warn me not to do anything strenuous with the arm that day. (And remember, the stuff they make you read warns you that you may get a bruise. I could have asked them to stop at any point and I'm sure they would have, so it was my choice to get poked, and my choice to continue donating when they hit what they thought was an artery.)

For another thing, I think those nurses know way horrible things that can happen to people, and my booboo is not one of those things.

For a final thing, I've been giving blood off and on since I was 16 or 17 (with parental permission early on). I didn't give regularly all that time, but I've probably given regularly for nigh on 20 years. And every single time, I've been a pain in the rear to the nurse who has to find my vein. And just about every single time, whichever nurse had the needle has found my vein and I've donated without any problems.

This is the worst problem I've had, and it's a booboo.

But it's an impressive looking booboo, so I showed it off to my blog friends.

And in another 8 weeks, I'm planning to donate blood again. (And hoping they hit the vein in my right arm the first time!) My blood can't cure cancer (what a superpower THAT wouyld be!), but just maybe it makes someone's friend feel a little less crappy along the way.


  1. Am so sorry about your friend!

    (((((Bardiac's Friend)))))

  2. I'm so sorry, this is unbelievably sucky. Does s/he live close by?

    Feel free to email me to vent as needed.

    And you've inspired me to try to go donate blood again (I haven't in years due to the fainting issue.)

  3. Ditto Ink. /thinking of you

  4. I'm so sorry about your friend's cancer: you're right, it does put things in perspective, but it's very hard. My husband had cancer, and I'd say what you can do (aside from giving blood which in a karmic way helps) is stay connected, call, and see what your friend wants -- whether to talk about your bike rides or the cancer, it doesn't matter. Connection really helps. I'm assuming from the way you wrote this that your friend doesn't live close by, but if they do, transport, company, food are all great gifts.

    Good luck to you and your friend!

  5. susan's got some really excellent suggestions. (learned the hard way; i'm sorry, susan.)

    one of my friends also has cancer; had the surgery, and he will need chemo. he's not nearby, so i'm sending cards -- and secretly conspiring with other friends to make a "happy quilt" [no pattern] from the fabric donations of many. won't do a thing for the cancer, but we're hoping it will help in the dark times to be surrounded by an expression of love.

  6. Oh, Bardiac, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Terrible news.

  7. I, too, am sorry to hear about your friend's cancer. I certainly hope that treatments help! Sending good thoughts your friend's way (and yours).