bob and annie

Precious Love: You were my love, my life, my hopes, my dreams, my everything–and now you are gone. “And Life Happens.” As bad as losing a loved one may be, we still have our memories–our beautiful bitter sweet memories. No one can take them away from us, and I will continue to share mine with others until my memory fades. And that’s what love is all about.

A Precious Moment

On this day, 20 October 2010, Annie’s life was precariously hanging in the balance.  She was sitting on a fence and no one knew which way she was going to fall.  Those life sustaining platelets (one’s blood clotting mechanism) were failing her again, as they always had. But now came the dreaded complications.  She was starting to have a slow bleed internally that could not be stopped without more platelets. .  With her body recognizing her transfused platelets as being foreign, her white blood cells–her soldier’s that kill infections and germs, were killing all the vitally important life sustaining platelets too.  Annie was now on a slippery slope, and the transfusion she was having today had to work.  The orders were, if her platelets don’t come up, she is to be hospitalized.

I knew Annie’s days were numbered over a month ago, but we were living on hope, we only wanted one more day, then once again we’d hope for another.  It was a terrible place for Annie to be, but our only choice was to survive and make the best of each day as it came. What else could we do.

That day when the needle entered her arm and the platelets started flowing into her body, it became a heart pounding, sort of waiting game.  Do you understand what hope is?  Over the past two and one-half years she’d had many transfused platelets and the platelets had only ever worked once. She desperately needed this transfusion to work today and stop the bleeding.  So here we were, once again living on hope.   We never gave up hope.

After the transfused platelets were in her body, it was now truly all about the numbers. Normal platelets range from 150,000 to 450,000.  Anything below 50,000 is considered critical low platelets, and mild bleeding can occur.  When Annie enter the transfusion center her platelets were at 1,000, extremely critically low.  It took one hour for the results to come back.

When the results came in, her platelets were up to 7,000, still very critically low, but they actually went up. I held Annie in my arms and while she was laughing I was full of tears. Her sister Lesley was here from California and we had a little celebration right there in the infusion center with the happy nurses. It was an amazing moment.  We were still, laughing, loving, and living on hope…This picture of Annie and me was taken when we were leaving the infusion center, while I was helping her out of her wheelchair into the car. Look at the joy on her face.  So precious.

Note: Complications from low platelets can and do cause death. However, what was going on with Annie was a very rare condition, and platelets normally work and are life sustaining for most people.

Written by Bob Harrison
Bob Harrison was raised in the heart of the Redwoods in the far northwest comer of northern California. The little town of Crescent City, California was located near some of the world’s tallest trees, with the west shoreline being the Pacific Ocean. Bob spent most of his time fishing the two local rivers where some of the finest Steelhead and Salmon fishing is located. He was also well known up and down the north coast as an avid motorcycle racer, winning several hundred trophies, and one Oregon State title. Bob graduated from Del Norte High School with the class of 1966, then spent a one year stint at the College of the Redwoods, before having a strong sense of patriotism and joining the United States Air Force. After three years of service, Bob met Annie, the love of his life, and they got married in England in 1972. Bob’s love of country pushed him on to what turned out to be a very successful career, retiring in 1991. Bob’s last military assignment was Wichita, Kansas, a place he and Annie decided to call home. Together they developed and ran two very successful antique businesses until the stranger knocked on their door and changed their lives forever; “Because of Annie.”

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing another beautiful memory of your dear Annie. I am desperately trying to make precious memories with my dear sweet Mom. Just last week we went for a medical appt thinking maybe her pulmonary fibrosis was acting up only to find out it’s the aortic stenosis that is worsening. Just yesterday she thanked me for being so good to her to which I replied “that’s because of the kind of mother you were to me and now it’s my turn”. I enjoy every day I get to spend with her and I try not to think of what is yet to come.

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