Giving it all you got!

Ok, I ampretty darn sure every one of y’all reading this has been sick a time or two over the years.  A cold, flu, chicken pox, strep throat or at least an ear ache once or twice.  In may cases, we benefit from the miracle of modern science, and years of research that have gone into the medications that we take to feel better and to be cured.

Some of you, including my wife Michelle have more serious and chronic issues.  Arthritis, auto immune issues, cancers, and many others that have a direct effect on the quality of your lives.  Though there are no cures yet for any of these, research goes on, and treatments are developed.  Someday, there will be cures.

So each of us benefits from science and research, but how many of us have the chance to participate in the cause and help move it along?  Well, on Wednesday, Michelle was able to just that!

While she was the honoree for the Jingle Bell run this year, she had the opportunity to speak in front of a group at a benefit breakfast about her misconnective tissue disorder.  After telling her story of trials and tabulations of getting the doctors to come up with a diagnosis for her, (More than one said it might just be in her head.) she was approached by a lady from Plasma Labs in Everett.

These folks take the plasma from people who have been diagnosed with autoimmune (and allergy) issues, and then distribute the plasma to medical research facilities across the country.  The plasma is used for diagnostic testing and research.

Michelle was intrigued, they tested her blood and they called her in to donate!

My gorgeous wife is a trooper, and can do anything, but she hates needles, and was a bit nervous.  So I tagged along!  She rocked it as I knew she would!

imageIt’s pretty cool to watch.  I donate whole blood, and that’s boring, you lay there, you lose a pint, you get up and you have a cookie.  Plasma is completely different!  The blood goes into this machine and is filtered

image

It is then spun, and the plasma (clear liquid) is separated out. (I really wanted to push buttons!)  See the bottle on the bottom right of the machine?  That’s what she filled, 825 ml!

The rest of the blood isn’t wasted though, this is what is so cool!  Unlike me, who has to rebuild the pint I lost, Michelle’s red blood cells were put back into her!  Then at the end, a bag of saline solution was added to replace the liquids that were lost.

Why is this good?  It takes days to be back to normal after giving whole blood (though I still ride home after doing so) and I can’t give again for 6 weeks.  Plasma?  After a day to make sure your arm with the  hole in it heals, you are free to do as you please, and then give again next week!

The machine is noisy and clunky, but the staff was amazing.  Everyone came in to check on her, called her by name, and treated her like the rock star she was.  I was so proud!  They offered to shut it down early, but she told them to “Fill it!”

Check the bottle in the lower right, she did!

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Her plasma will be sent to different facilities, and used to help others.  My wife is a giver, always has been, but this time, she has truly given of herself, and that has made her even more special in my eyes!

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