Thursday, September 18, 2008

On the Road Again

I've spent this week traveling for the job and am finally running again. A constant, nagging cough remains. I've slept a total of 10 hours the last three days, but I know too many people going through far worse to complain.

Instead, I'm taking delight that I ran three, six and four miles the last three days. My fitness is still ok, but I'm not all there yet. My new buddy, azithromycin, is doing his best to get me there.

OK, fellow runners. I dare you. Try to run slowly to "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins. Impossible. I think that's the only "old song" that the entire family loves. Kathryn even put it on her iPod. Trust me, that's a big deal, alongside Aly & AJ, the Jonas Brothers and Jordin Sparks. My new iPod Nano has been a lot of fun. It's much lighter and more versatile than my old iPod.

I promised to share a cord blood donation update from my friend, Paige, who's loving motherhood. Paige, as you may recall, attempted to be a cord blood donor but the blood weight was slightly under requirements. Here's her insight to this important process, which so few in Tennessee seem to be aware of or ready for, which is an awful shame because of the life-saving benefits:

[Chris, my husband] was a champ at managing our part of the process once we arrived at the hospital for delivery. It was disappointing to not be able to donate, ultimately, but I felt that it was made very clear to me in advance that a minimum amount of cord blood had to be collected in order to complete the donation. I think it was more frustrating for Chris, who took the "arranging for the donation" baton from me in the 11th hour, only to learn that it wasn't going to work, via multiple phone calls to the company that would have received the cord blood and multiple weighings of the blood sample - in the delivery room and then again he requested the nursery weigh it just to make sure it wasn't enough.

As I'm sure you know, if more people knew about cord blood donation and tried to donate, there would be a greater chance for successful donations. I would love to see this option offered by more hospitals. It would be great to have support in the hospital from an established program that would relieve patients and their families of some of the confusion, pre-admission paperwork and in-hospital management of the process. From beginning to end, from my OB and the office staff, to the hospital's registration desk, the delivery nurses and the postpartum nurses, every healthcare professional I encountered during this experience said it was the first time they had had a patient request cord blood donation. It would be fantastic to see cord blood donation become a regular practice in the Nashville area, considering its national rep as a healthcare center.

Well said, Paige, and thank you Chris and Paige for trying to save a life. It's important. Just ask PJ and her family in Rhode Island. I know I now have something on my list to ask the hospital professionals I know.

1 comment:

PJ said...

Okay, I'm going to date myself: I went to a Loggins & Messina concert in college, and we have one of their albums (yes, the round black flat thingies with grooves).

To Paige & Chris: congrats on the new baby & thanks for trying to donate the cord blood. The Rhode Island Blood Center has been advocating for a regional cord blood bank to be built in the area. There's a lot of educating to be done, starting with doctors. When I mentioned it to my doctor the other day, she seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. Keep telling your story.