Some internet surfing has led me to reading about bone marrow donation.
Because I really never intend to do that. It would be nice and could save someone’s life, but I just cannot. Having had a bone marrow test in my lifetime, I’m not eager to repeat the experience.
But then, I wondered if they do the same procedure I had when you donate, so I read up on the bone marrow donation process.
This is one of the very, very few things in life that actually, truly give me the willies. I am constantly amazed at how whole-body my reaction is when I start thinking about bone marrow. I have a hard time breathing, my heart starts beating, I start sweating, I get fidgetey. My right hip hurts where they stuck the needle into my bone – into my bone – to get the marrow. (Interestingly, the only other thing that inspires this reaction in me is thinking about epidurals.) And just as interestingly, it’s making my milk let down.
But the website (marrow.org) says that they give either a regional or general anesthesia for the marrow extraction process, which seems to be the very same process I had. 75% of donors use general. Know what I had? Something in a needle that numbed up a very small area of skin. But DAMN they didn’t numb everything, and they said there was no good way to do so. I would imagine the only way you really could would be with a spinal or an epidural or something. (and further reading at the website confirms this)
A major difference, though, seems to be the time involved. For Bone Marrow tests, it’s over fairly quickly. I mean, my memories indicate the process took 10 minutes of excruciating pain, but in reality, it could not have been all that long. Then again, I passed out and had a seizure during the process, so what do I know? But the donation process takes well over an hour, sometimes 3 hours. That’s a LONG time to be in serious pain.
I also was chuckling a bit over the downplaying of the side effects at marrow.org. You might have some soreness at the donation site. Ha. Some soreness. Imagine someone stabbed you through your hipbone. Dang. I had trouble walking for well over a week and couldn’t do stairs for much longer. You should have seen the bruise. (Though, thinking back, my platelet count was probably really low, which is why I was in the hospital in the first place, so that’s probably the reason for the giant bruise. Should’ve taken a picture of that baby. It was impressive.)
Turns out, the ITP and the MTHFR, not to mention my diagnosis with Fibromyalgia, all rule me out of donating, anyway. Frankly, it’s nice to know that and I don’t have to feel like such a pansy for not wanting to donate my bone marrow. Apparently, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. (Same with donating blood, though I would donate blood if I could. Unfortunately, the years I spent as a hooker rule me out. Just kidding. I do not, generally speaking, weigh enough to donate blood.)