guilt and shame

April 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

The Chair of the department where I work has a young daughter who is being treated for leukemia.  No doubt, it’s a horrible thing to go through.  So the Chair comes into my office today and says that I have one more hour to go on campus and sign up to be a bone marrow donor and, of course it’s uncomfortable, but it’s nothing if it means saving a life, and people like her daughter need these donations and so on.  She makes a very good case and I agree that it’s very important, but also I know that my body does not handle things like that well at all.  I’m generally weak and defective all around.  I gave blood once and really enjoyed it (I like watching it get sucked through the tubes) but then I was anemic for a week afterwards and it was very unpleasant and I had to eat pounds of beef and dark vegetables to get back to normal.  That was when I was in college and young and strong, and I think my body would only be weaker now, and bone marrow donations are actually a surgical procedure where they stick a hollow tube into your pelvic bone and do what they need to do.  So she looked all judgey at me over the rim of her glasses, and I spurted “oh yes of course I’m going to go sign up right now!” but I didn’t.  I think she may have noticed I never left my office. 

I know I’m a horrible person and my discomfort is nothing compared with whether someone lives or dies.  I just don’t want to tempt the fates to play with my frailty!   Ohhhh the guilt and shame…. it’s heavy stuff.

So if anyone’s feeling particularly adventurous – donate bone marrow!  Save a life!  You’ll be more noble than I.


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