There is LIFE in the blood. There is also DEATH. Leukemia is a blood cancer. I think about blood A LOT. White blood cells, hemoglobin, platelets, neutrophils and what levels are “normal” and what levels of each require a transfusion. When I am admitted to the hospital I get my “numbers” everyday when the doctors do their rounds. I wait in expectation and sometimes apprehension for the news of my status. When I am NOT in the hospital I go to the lab 3 days a week and again wait for my results. What they tell me determines what I can and can’t do until I get my numbers checked again and if I have to come back for transfusions. So, I have been pondering blood and how it affects my body since February 6th, when my blood went haywire. I have about 3 entries worth of thoughts on blood (so if you are queasy, man up!). Today I am only going to talk about one of them and it has been mulling around in my head since about Easter. I’ll do my best to help you be as excited about this BLOODY BLOG as I am :).
TRANSFUSIONS: here’s blood transfusion info for dummies (which I am); it’s serious stuff. How’s that? My blood type is AB+, a rare one, apparently. That’s neither here nor there, because it’s the same process for a boring ol’ blood type as well! I digress. SO… when I need a transfusion they do what is called a TYPE AND CROSS to get the right blood in my system. Very basic and pretty simple, at least the FIRST time around. But, when it comes to putting it IN my body, after it arrives in a little red cooler, it’s very serious stuff. There must be two nurses in the room, one to read off the info and one to verify what the other is reading. It also has to be UNLOCKED with combination lock that is on the blood bag using a 3 letter code that is on a pink wrist band on my arm. This ensures that they don’t kill me by putting the wrong blood type in me. Good system.
Here’s where it starts to get cool. EVERY time they have to give me another blood transfusion they have to TYPE AND CROSS again because after they mix my blood with someone else’s, it alters it a little and develops ANTI-BODIES. In essence, my blood is different as a result and they need a new code and all that jazz. Another cool fact is that EVERY TIME they have to type and cross it takes longer than it did the last time because there are more and different anti-bodies in my blood. Sometimes it can take a pathologist HOURS to determine the exact combo of blood needed for a transfusion. On a side note, this would be why it’s really important to go ahead and wear said wristband on your arm even though it’s ugly so you don’t have to send your mom home, twice, to retrieve it before you can get your transfusion. Just saying.
NOW, for the coolest thing about BLOOD. There is NO life without blood. Jesus shed his blood for ME and YOU so we can have life today and life forever. HE is the ultimate UNIVERSAL DONOR. HIS blood covers EVERY ANTI-BODY that our soul accumulates–every SIN and defect of character. NO MORE TYPE AND CROSS. You never have to worry about his blood not matching yours. And you don’t have to continue to get transfusions because ONCE IS ENOUGH. He died and bled for YOU; ONCE for ALL sin. ONCE for ALL time.
It was Easter weekend when I was pondering all this. As you may remember, I got out of the hospital on Easter but wasn’t able to attend Easter service. First time in about 30 years, I’d say.
But as I thought about Good Friday (this is probably too much information, but I was laying under water in the bath-tub), when Jesus BLOOD was shed for me, I sat bolt upright with a gasp when it hit me–He rose on the THIRD DAY and guess what? It just so happens (brace yourselves….) that my pretty pink bracelet expires and has to be TYPED and CROSSED again EVERY THREE DAYS!!! No human blood can do what Jesus’ blood did and does for us. ONCE for all of us. ONCE for all sin. ONCE for all time. No more wondering and fretting and worrying if we are IN. We can rest. It is finished.