The Tourniquet Tales

Tourniquet Tales…

…are stories from the road I’ve been traveling down the past fourteen years since my kidney transplant surgery. All the good stuff, the not so good stuff, and the stuff in-between. This is my attempt to chronicle my experiences and share them…in hopes that hearing my stories might be helpful and some kind of support to others going through the same or similar circumstances. Any serious illness is a rough road…knowing you’re not alone can make it all seem less lonely & less like life is targeting you for attack. Those of us facing disease(s) are out here. We are in our homes, behind our keyboards, sometimes managing a day out in public. We suffer our fate in silence each day…showing the world our shiny side so that no one has to feel bad for us…or even know we’re sick at all.

Why “Tourniquet Tales”?

I know it may seem a bit macabre…but I kinda have a thing for the dark & macabre.☠ I love Halloween & Dia de los Muertos….abandoned places (the creepier the better)….Edgar Allen Poe….I love ghosts and almost anything paranormal👻! My favorite stories are ones that are dark & strange…anything gothic! So that aspect of naming this series came naturally to me…but the meaning of the title is in reference to the thousands of times since I was diagnosed that I’ve had to have my blood drawn. Blood labs are how the docs keep track of my kidney function and check for rejection. Whenever I’m in the hospital, blood draws can be a often as every 6 hours. My entire existence as a person with an autoimmune illness has been marked by many, many blood draws…so much blood taken…SO many tourniquets.😖 The sting of the needle was the tough part at first. I had to look away every time or else I’d get dizzy and almost pass out. But it didn’t take too long to get used to it…now I don’t feel the needle sting at all. I’ve grown numb to it. And I’m able to watch the entire process with endless fascination: the cool swab of alcohol across the crook of my arm…the painless piercing of my skin as the needle plunges into my vein…the tiny fountain of blood gushing into the vial. Now it’s impossible for me to look away.😝 But the worst part of the whole ritual has become that damn tourniquet! Some nurses or phlebotomists have a gentle touch…truly angels on earth.😇 However, there are others…who are wonderful people, to be sure…but their tourniquet technique is barbaric!🙀 They pull the rubber strap SO tight I just want to S-C-R-E-A-M bloody murder!😫 It’s a feat to stay quiet as it feels like my arm is being squeezed off! No matter where the tourniquet tightness falls on the spectrum, it’s never a pleasant experience. It’s similar to the automatic blood pressure torture devices that squeeze SO hard then just hang there for a minute or two.😣 My journey has involved way too many of those! In fact, I could’ve taken the title for this series in that direction instead…but I didn’t think “Sphygmomanometer Tales” was quite as catchy.😉

So, when & where?

Next post I’ll be jumping in with my first Tourniquet Tales entry…checking in with where I am now, what’s happening with my kidney, and maybe a peek into how it all started. The post will go up sometime next week at its permanent location…to find it, just click the “Tourniquet Tales” tab on the menu underneath my header. Of course you can always find a quick intro to my whole health journey & life over the past thirty or so years under my BIO tab. It’s a paper for a college class that was written by my sister. It’s always interesting to see your own life through someone else’s eyes…someone who knows you.😃 I am so happy to have all of you along with me on this interesting ride.💗 I honestly hope you are able to gain something from what I’ve been through and what I have still yet to experience. As always, any questions you have for me, please ask…..and namaste.💗🙏🥰🌈


Published by ShannonTaylorHodnett 💜

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