Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I've harvested. No, not wheat, bone marrow!

I did it. I donated my bone marrow (aka product, harvest and other gross, clinical terms that the medics here use) to the little unknown troll. For those of you who don't know me well, "troll" is a term of endearment for any child under the age of my current age (i.e. 33).

The day of the harvest, John, Irma, my caseworker, Andie, my Chinese, male limo driver and I showed up at UCSF hospital at 5:30 a.m. I have enough luggage to put Shelley Long from Troop Beverly Hills to shame. By the way, if you don't know what I"m talking about, rent the movie. Still rocks my world.

What is up with all the cute doctors? Even the Asian doctors are cute. What is going on? And, no, I was not on any drugs at the time they were primping me for the OR so I had my faculties about me.

My anthesiologist, Andy (who is also a Chinese male) was very cute except that he 1. couldn't find a vein in either arm (he tried for 30 minutes) so he decided to go through my foot.


Then, to add insult to serious injury, he asked me what I weigh.

In front of people. Cute people. Cute, medical people.

Andy must die.

So, I told him that I would tell him but that he should be ashamed of himself and that he should not judge me becuase I'm not fat, I'm just fluffy.

Yes, I was on the beloved laughing gas at this point.

When I came to, I felt a bit like I'd been run over by a Mac truck (I don't even know what that is but it sounds dramatic so I'm going with it) and that I has been reincarnated as a dung beetle.

John, my steadfast roomie and mommy, walked me to and from the bathroom and watched me push my bladder to pee as my bladder was still sleeping from the anesthesia. I begged him to leave the bathroom but he told me to get over it and held my gown up for me. I hate him...okay, but I hate him in a loving way.

Apparently, I lost a lot of blood and my blood pressure is among the levels of corpses so Doc Marten (not making his name up) asked me to stick around versus get discharged. No problemo.

When I was finally released to the Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf in the care of Amberlyn, my sweet friend who is terribly excited to be my new best friend, she monitored my Vicodin intake, my other medications, my lower back for ice pack needs, my juice intake and refolded all my clothes while I slept.

Last note: thanks a pantload for all y'all's support, interest, good wishes, visits, etc. I'm truly touched and I would say I'm emotionally overwhelmed except that I can't feel anything. My bladder says "hi" as it is slowly waking up from its 40-hour nap.

As I was being helped to the bathroom last night at 3:30 a.m. by a nurse, she asked me if it was true that i didn't know the recipient of my product. I said it is true.

She told me she couldn't believe that anyone would do that (a bit disheartening to hear from a 3:30 a.m....killing my Morphine buzz). She then told me that her husband declined donating bone marrow and she supported his decision. I don't want to judge so all I'll say is this - i'm happy to help someone else and I"m sad that so many people are surprised that I would do it in the first place and do it for someone I don't know.

Gandhi said "Be the change you wish to see in people". This constipated, exhausted and fluffy gal is hoping that she's doing right by him.

xoxo, the harvester


  1. You're absolutely awesome! I have so much respect for you, it is incredible what you have done and the way you write about your experience is great.

  2. You are the true definition of a wonderful human being and there really needs to be more people like you in this world! I love you!

  3. Yay Nayna you did it! Thanks for sharing and keeping us entertained and inspired. Will you get to meet the lil' "troll?"

  4. Tell your bladder to get better soon! We all love you and are so proud of you, for doing something that will honestly change the life of another person, and yours.

    That nurse can go to hell, your actions probably rocked her world, in a good way :)

  5. While I am very impressed that you did this for someone you didn't know I can't say I'm surprised. Knowing you, it makes sense that you would agree to donate if you knew you were a match.

    Take care of yourself! Don't go trying to move heavy boxes just yet.

  6. You should be published. Less a bit or bone marrow or not, you're the exact same Nayna as always: Abso fab.

  7. You forgot to mention the amazing hamburger I made you eat and Hugo!!!

    You're my Hero =)

  8. way to go, Nayna! You're amazing. :) I hope your recovery goes smoothly. I bumped into Brooke yesterday and she said she'll be bringing you Three Twins one of these days. Perhaps I will join her. :) hugs!

  9. Nayna! Glad everything went so well ... I know it was a battle just to get them to accept your precious (and may I add SUPERIOR) marrow! May we all learn from your example. Hope the next few weeks of recovery and other life events goes smoothly for you.

  10. Glad you made it through and your ok!

  11. Except for the references to you suffering, this is my favorite post yet! (total bonus points for the "Troop Beverly Hills" reference - love that movie)

    You are a rock star and my hero. You did good.

  12. WOW! Nayna, this is great and you are not only a fabulous person for doing this amazing thing, but a fabulous writer! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

  13. I am glad that you, and altruism, are still alive and well. Thanks for saving a troll!

  14. Congrats, Nayna!

    Great blog. Making this crazy process entertaining certainly takes some skill. Shelley Long references definitely help too.

    Onward and upward...