Friday, March 12, 2010

Like My Blood

This week in Anatomy lab we did blood experiments. Having learned all about red blood cell antigens and plasma antibodies, producing blood types, we set out to see for ourselves. Blood cells have little "markers" on them, which we call A, B, AB, or O--O being the absence of any markers. If you put B blood in with A blood, it knows things don't quite match up, and something called agglutination happens. That's where the red blood cells all clump together, and you are left with a pool of what looks like water (which is really plasma) and clumps of red grainy lumps scattered throughout. (Did I make that understandable? I really tried.)

So, we did a lot of fingerpricking. My hands were freezing and we had been sitting for two hours of lecture prior to the lab, so my first prick didn't yield much of anything. I left the room and ran up and down a flight of stairs and came back to try again. Much better. We each had little blood typing dishes, which had three wells in them. Drops of blood were placed in each well. Then we took sera that contained Anti-A and Anti-B and Anti-D (to test Rh factor, otherwise known as whether you're positive or negative in your blood type...trying to keep this simple to make my point.) and mixed a drop or two into each well with the blood. Stirred it around. Watched. Reactions happen very quickly, and you could easily imagine how transfusing a person with the wrong blood would not bode so well. I watched my A friend's A blood react to the B serum. I watched my B friend's blood react to the A serum. I watched as every single person's blood reacted to the D serum, because they all were positive blood types.

My blood just sat there. Totally nonreactive.

My blood type is O negative. I have no antigens, or markers, on my blood cells, and I lack the "Rh factor". So my blood didn't do any agglutination. It just sat there, happily being red. (Which, by the way, is why O negative blood type is the true universal donor.)

I said to my lab partner, "Wow. I wish I could be like my blood and be so nonreactive in my life." Just kind of 'go with the flow,' if you will.

She's only known me since last semester, but she said, "Somehow I have a feeling you're not."


Lyndsay is embroiled in her first real high school Girl-Drama, if you know what I mean. (Can't high school girls just be the worst?) I know she's dealing with anxiety and even some fear as she has to face these girls in school each day, who have even threatened her, but she holds her head high. It's hard for me, as her mother and fiercest protector, to not react. I hate that Lyndsay hasn't even done anything wrong and has nothing to hide, but all because of some girl that started a rumor and riled up another girl, and then a third girl who wasn't loyal to her friendship with Lyndsay, Lyns has to deal with this ridiculous, hateful drama. The kind of drama where one girl keeps changing her Facebook status to all caps lock and saying threatening things to my daughter.

I want to get in there. I want to explain to these girls what they don't know. I want to say something. I want to do something!

But Lyndsay just changes her status to "Life is Good", and keeps on smiling. I give her all kinds of good ideas to set the record straight, to shut these girls down, but she just says, "I'm not going to feed their fire, Mom. I didn't do anything wrong, so I'm not going to act like I did. It will blow over. It's kind of funny that they have nothing better going on in life than to sit and think about me." Who is this girl? And man, why can't I be like that? I mean, a few days ago, I called up the grandmother of Aiden's friend and told her off! A grandmother! (But she seriously had it coming.)

So, I watch in wonder as my blood, and as my blood, just sit there not reacting to serious threats. Put whatever you want in the mix, and the two of them just keep on floating through life. Happy and calm.

A lesson.

(Although I'm still having Dylan walk her home from school. I can't change all in one day, you know.)


Luisa Perkins said...

Great analogy!

I'm so sorry that Lyns is having a scary, tough time. High school girls are worse than jackals.

Braden Bell said...

I am sorry to hear about the girl drama. Things were so much simpler when I went to high school--a few fistfights seem so tame and almost quaint now.

Love the blood type analogy! Sadly, I am the same way.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I went through that sort of thing a lot in high school, probably because of how reactive I am (I always put on a good show for my tormenters). God for Lyndsey and good for you!

Annette Lyon said...

I'm going to have to keep this in mind. A lot.

Abby said...

I will torture whoever is bothering my darling niece. Just give me a name. Highschool chicks are the *worst*! Jealous and insecure little things!

I'm O+ (as far as I know, anyway).

Anonymous said...

Jenna, lyndsay has always been one amazing girl. Proud of her. I hate being the mom watching all these types of things happen and I want to rescue and defend. Great lesson. I relate even more to it because I too am Onegative and have a child who reacts to injustices in much the same way. and Cooincidentally it is my oldest. Garrison. HMMMM. Birth order is an interesting thing.
Love ya, Lori Fawcett