Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Iron Marrow

My bone marrow has had a rough seventh year of life, through no fault of her own. Because I received so many blood transfusions over the years, my organs accumulated iron. My ferritin level—a measure of the iron in my bloodstream—was over five times the upper limit of normal. Treatment consisted of getting my blood drained monthly.

Being the go-getter that I am, I requested my doctor to draw off more blood, and more frequently. After several months my harassment finally worked and I now get 400 milliliters of blood removed every three weeks—nearly enough to fill a bottle of water.

My bone marrow thinks that my request was intended to piss her off (keep this on the DL, but it is funny hearing how exhausted she gets when I exercise the day following my blood draws). She also makes heinous threats, like depriving my penis of blood. She feels entitled to the life of a normal, middle class bone marrow.

I try explaining that sometimes life throws shit your way that you must deal with—like cancer, a second cancer, or perhaps a bone marrow daughter when I was far too young to conceive one. And had I known it would be a female who refuses to toss the baseball around, I surely would have waited for a male-transplant. Ultimately, you just feed her candy tobacco and she’ll get over it—young bone marrows are resilient like that. Pegging her in the platelets with a baseball and crying, “Why a girl, God, why?” helps, too.

She’ll be better off with less iron, anyway. I think all that metal has gone to her stem cells and transformed her into a rager. She brags about how many chin-ups she can do and the size of her "lymphocyte pumps," whatever the hell that means. She already earned the Guinness record: Max Hemoglobin Press for a female bone marrow aged three to six.

Feel free to wish my sweet little bone marrow a wonderful birthday (she turns seven years old on Saturday). Hopefully I can convince my doctor to take 500 milliliters next time. She’d probably faint walking up a flight of stairs.


Clare said...

Happy birthday Bone Marrow!


Benjamin Rubenstein said...

She just finished 20 sets at the gym, and has a voracious appetite. In the middle of scarfing down some Cheetos she told me to tell you "Thanks."

Raine said...

Happy Birthday :)
I am now craving Cheetos!