Giving Blood and assorted ramblings…

If you've been reading for long, you know that the day after we got back from Ukraine (March 25), we had to put our youngest son Eli in the hospital with a rare blood disorder called Transient Erythroblastopenia of Childhood (TEC).  The only treatment is a blood transfusion to sustain life until the body begins creating red blood cells again on its own.  Eli's count was down to a 3.5.  They were shocked that he was not in cardiac arrest and respiratory distress.  The only symptom he had was no coloring.  Literally, no coloring.  He was translucent, translucent tongue and lips.  We noticed it because we hadn't seen him for 6 weeks.  Most parents and caregivers don't notice it because the change is so gradual.  My mom didn't see it (she was keeping our kids), his teachers didn't see it, the teachers at church didn't see it.  So our trip to save Matthew and Micah also saved our son Eli.

But I digress.  🙂  The only thing that saved him (besides God of course) were the four blood transfusions he had.  Incidentally, his body began producing red blood cells again immediately at the hospital and he's been fine since and reoccurrence is VERY rare.  Typically it takes weeks, to months and longer to begin making cells again.  But God is a Healer!
Our church hosts blood drives every few months and one came up this past Sunday.  I woke up Sunday morning and knew that I must give blood.  I tried once in high school, but couldn't.  Since then, I haven't even considered doing it.  But someone gave their blood to save my child's physical life (four people, actually).  So I did it.  It was a simple process.  Almost anyone can give.  Yes, there are health things that disqualify you, but the vast majority of the population can give.
The process begins by answering some general questions about health (very general).  They take a sample of your blood to check the iron levels.  They take your blood pressure and pulse to make sure your heart is in a condition that it will be safe to give.  They have you answer a series of what I would consider very personal questions if I participated in any of the activities that they asked about.  For me it would have been better to have a big NO button that answered all of them at once.  🙂  And might I add…  EWWWWW!  By again, I digress…  Then they hand you a stack of bags that makes you wonder if they will leave anything in your body (they only fill one…I honestly don't know what happened to the other bags).  They put the needle in your arm (like giving a blood sample for the doctor) and then it just goes into the bag.  About half way through the procedure, I started to get really sleepy.  I didn't get light headed though some people do.  I didn't pass out or anything crazy like that.  That usually only happens when someone is underweight.  (I think the required weight is at least 110 pounds).
The whole process takes about 30-40 minutes at the most.  You can go to local blood drives or to a blood bank your area.  You can give every 56 days (whole blood).  There are other types of donations (red blood cells only, plasma, etc).  Let me encourage you to give blood.  It may be your child or mine who requires blood and it WILL save someone's life.  I'll give from now on.  No question.
Give blood.  Save a life.
And now for the other ramblings…
Blake and Hannah are in Colorado this week visiting Mary's sisters family in Fort Morgan.  They love going and I'm so glad that they will have the opportunity to visit there this week.  But it's hot there too.  Is there a cool place left on this earth?
Bethany and Seth are participating in a basketball camp here at church this week so they have been having very exciting days!
Matthew continues to surprise us with glimpses of his personality.  Today, I went home for lunch and sat down on the opposite end of the couch he was sitting on just to see what he would do.  He looked at me for a while and smiled at me and giggled.  He reached his hand out and I reached mine out to him and he couldn't reach me so he scooted over till our hands could touch and I pulled him over close to me.  He climbed up into my lap and gave me a kiss.  Wow.  What a beautiful surprise.  That's a first that he's initiated a kiss. It was a sweet moment.  Then he just sat with me and giggled at me.  
Micah continues to exert his will (which I'm not saying is a bad thing).  He's learning what it means to love and be loved.  It's precious to watch.  He seems to understand what happened…and he loves every minute of it.  Discipline continues to be a challenge, but we are being consistent.  
Eli is back in school and is doing so well.  He's eating again pretty regularly.  Sleeping the same way he always has when he's well (I can't say it's regular by any means…some nights, he only sleeps a couple of hours…but he stays in his bed when he's awake so that's a plus…for now).
Last week we were at Sam's (we go there for dinner sometimes because we can all eat for under 20 bucks.  And there are a few items that we buy from there.  Anyway…I was getting razors and shaving cream and saw a complete haircut kit.  All four of our young boys needed haircuts.  The cost of the kit was less than we were about to shell out for haircuts.  I was thinking on it, wondering if I could pull it off without ending up having to buzz them and let it grow back!  Mary walked over and said, hey…maybe we should get that…and that it would save us a lot of money in the long run.  So we got it.  When we got home, I did the 3 little guys successfully and I had pretty much decided not to do Seth's because I didn't want to mess his up because he's at the age now where it matters.  But he was all excited that I was going to cut his hair so I couldn't say no.  He wanted a new style that's short all around, and a little longer on top so he could spike it (like mine).  He's had a bowl cut his whole life.  It was pretty sad to cut it all off.  Our little boy is gone.  🙁  Anyway, they all turned out pretty good.  We saved some money immediately and will save even more.  So if you are a medical person to whom we owe money, we'll have more to give you.  🙂
I've got some pics (including hair cut pics) that I'll post soon.  They are all still on the cameras.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!