Bleeding Out

Just so you know, the artist of this comic has no spleen.

See, a few years ago he started working out quite seriously.  Being of the age when vigor comes naturally, he was making some good gains and getting quite seriously built.  And then he got a flu that completely knocked him on his ass for nearly two weeks.

Well, being sick didn’t bother him as much as the fact that he couldn’t work out.  He could feel all those hard-won muscular gains deteriorating with each passing second that he was forced to lay in bed.  So the first day he started feeling even slightly better, he decided to make up for lost time.  Did a whole mess of pull-ups, set after set after set.  And then something inside him went “ploink!”

As it turns out, when you get the flu, or other viral infections, your spleen enlarges as it works to help fight off the disease.  And an enlarged spleen is susceptible to being damaged by physical strain, such as doing an unreasonable amount of pullups before you have completely recovered.

We didn’t even know his spleen had ruptured for a couple of days.  But he began to mention that his gut felt weirdly swollen.  And he was turning yellow.  And falling over in dead faints upon occasion.  Now, I’m not the most perceptive father in the whole world, but even I thought that this was maybe not a good thing, so I took him off to a doctor.  And about two seconds after the doctor laid eyes on him, they were rushing him into surgery.  Scary times.

Let this be a warning to us all that working out is dangerous, and that obviously nature has intended that we should sit on our asses all day eating Cheetos.  And reading webcomics, of course.

But the process of saving his life involved not only removing his spleen, but the transfusion of considerable amounts of blood, since he’d been leaking his internally for two straight days.

He’s fine now, of course.  But I was grateful for the people who had donated the blood he required, so for a couple of years after that, I tried to donate blood myself.

Problem is, I have what is technically known to frustrated Red Cross volunteers as “bad veins.”  That awesome vascularity you observe on more manly men, in which veins intertwine like knots of ivy over every square inch of their studly physiques — I don’t have that.  My veins are shy and invisible and hard to find, and flee at the approach of a needle.  Probably one of of the reasons why I never took up a career as a heroin addict.

But anyway, my attempts to donate blood were generally not successful.  The volunteer would stab, and stab, and stab, and stab; eventually achieving a trickle which would peter out after half a pint.  They would brusquely wrap it up and dismiss me angrily, and I’m sure they threw the bag away afterward.  In the meantime my inner elbows of both arms (they would always try both) looked like they had been beaten repeatedly with a porcupine.

So eventually, I gave up trying to donate blood myself. But the International Red Cross continues to help save lives.  I still have a son.  And you have a webcomic to read.  Possibly while eating Cheetos.

Enjoy.

Bob out.

Artist’s Notes:  Spleens are for the weak.  -Max