Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Major Mis-Match

My right knee buckled while walking in the hall last night. I didn't fall but I felt it. My experience from St. Vincent during induction taught me that I need to listen to my body and appreciate the condition of my muscles as they decondition through hospitalization. I reported the incident. I'm now on "watch." Can't walk without a nurse or trained companion. This cramps my style because nurses don't always have time for a walk. I'll try to be persistent. It isn't easy with decreasing blood counts that wear me out. The labs are one indication. Another tip off is the increased heart rate. I came into hospital with a pulse at about 70. Through the chemo treatment I remained about 80 - 85. Now, I'm into the 95+ because the heart has to work harder with lowering counts. We have just started as we head for maximum bottom before transfusion. So, I wake up this afternoon. The nurse is at bedside taking vitals and I tell her what I am experiencing. "This is all to be expected," she explains. "Well, tell me more about what to expect," I encourage. "You told me it would be a busy day tomorrow," I continue. "What's on the agenda? Talk to me about Day 0."
"You will have your weekly chest x-ray and a change of dressing on your central line. You are really lucky that you have a perfect match with your sister. Only about 1 in 25% are matched and the related donor results are so much better than unrelated," she explained. "What do you do about me being O+ and Lyn is A+?" I ask. "That is a major mis-match," she explains.
"What do you mean a mis-match," I demand.
"It is just going in," she continues. "I've never done a major mis-match on blood type but other nurses have and the doctor's orders will be followed."
"Why didn't someone tell me? I thought I was a perfect match with my sister. This is the first I've heard major mis-match." I say.
"The mis-match is just going in. Every one is so different with what information they want. We forget because we do this all the time," she explains.
"Well, I'm not going to do this all the time," I say. "I've had blood transfusions with Tylenol and benedril before, what else?"
"Possibly hydrocordisone. The doctor will write the orders. I haven't seen the orders yet.
"I really want to know information -- put that on the chart."
People are praying for me and want to know what to pray for, how to pray. I want to pray and prepare myself to receive that which is not usual and potentially dangerous." My O+ is the universal donor but now my universal donor -- giving to others is being asked to receive the gift of life from another. I want to accept.

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