Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Perfectly Practical #136 - Share Life

30-Day Giving Challenge


"For the life of a creature is in the blood..."  - Leviticus 17:11
It's not always easy to give.  Giving is not for you to have a warm fuzzy feeling.  In fact, sometimes, it may give you a cold woozy feeling instead.  Which is what giving blood does to me.

My one experience with giving blood was in High School.  I only signed up to get out of 2nd period and to get cookies and juice.  (There are no bounds to what I will do for cookies.)  Little did I know that I would be excused from the day's worth of classes and miss lunch!

I have fairly low blood pressure and blood as thick as molasses apparently.  I reclined in the chair and everything was fine, I was calm and was sitting next to a girl I knew so we sat there chatting.  When it was time for her to get her cookies, I watched as she fainted when they told her she could leave.  Yikes!

I saw friends come and go in the chairs next to me and still, my donation pouch was not anywhere near full.  The person drawing my blood kept checking on me saying, "Nope.  Not there yet."

Finally after the bell rang for the next class, the guy said, "I guess this is all we're going to get" and withdrew the needle.  I still was fine because I wasn't thinking about blood (I so don't do bodily fluids) only cookies (I so do cookies).

And result!  He brought me cookies and juice and told me to lay there for a few minutes.  Score!  I was missing class in a totally excused-I'm-helping-my-fellow-man-and-get-cookies-for-it way.  Oh yeah, life was good....until it wasn't.

Every time one of the nurses walked past me, they asked if I was feeling okay.  I answered that I felt fine, because I did, even though I must not have looked it.  After the fourth or fifth person walked past me and asked if I felt okay and said that they thought I should just relax a few more minutes, I got a little concerned.

I missed almost the whole day's worth of classes because they wouldn't let me leave.  I should have been more worried than I was but they kept pumping me full of juice and cookies so I didn't even care that I missed lunch...or class.  No real care went into the process at all.  I wasn't thinking about how my donation would affect someone who was in desperate need of a transfusion.

Fast forward >ahem< a few years.  I had not considered blood donation since the first time because I was anxious I'd repeat the all day try-to-give-blood-a-thon.  But for some reason, this year I really feel led to tackle some things that make me uncomfortable and blood definitely makes me uncomfortable.

I bit the bullet and called my friend who runs the County Health Clinic to ask where I could give blood.  She gave me the name of the center and even whom to ask for while I was there.  It's good to know people in the know.

I made the appointment and went down to the blood bank all psyched to donate.  I answered the panel of screening questions and all was looking good until I got to the one about time spent in the UK.  I answered that I had been in the UK more than five years and apparently, the FDA frowns on that due to the possibility of exposure to Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease a.k.a. Mad Cow.  (SuperMom said that she always knew there was something strange about me, and now she knows what it is.  Thanks.)  

So even though I tried to give blood, I am now ineligible and on the "deferred indefinitely" list.  I have to say that I am bummed about this news.  I have a less common blood type, have great veins (if I do say so myself) and am in good health so I seem like a perfect candidate other than that pesky time abroad silliness.  Engineer is pleased though since he was not too keen on ever giving blood and now his choice is validated.  

Please consider becoming a blood donor.  Most likely, you will not have an experience like mine.  All of the people that I know who give blood have never had a problem.  As with most things about the inhabitants of The Little Pink House, it is an oddity.

You can donate through The Red Cross  or Carter Blood Care or by contacting your local hospital for information.  People (other than me) can donate every 8 weeks and it is actually good for the donor to give every six months to even out the blood's iron levels.

According to some statistics I came across, 65% of people can donate blood (just not the Moppins family).  A deposit of three pints per person per year, that's it for all of the nation's blood banks to stay in the black (or in this case, would it be the red?)  And from each pint of blood, you can help multiple people.  That's a pretty big return on investment as far as I'm concerned.

This is the second in this 30 Day Giving Challenge series.  Here is the first:

Give Life - Organ Donation

This is part of the 30 Day Giving Challenge and Works For Me Wednesday.

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