I’ve got to say that reaching day 360 is such an odd little thrill. Down to the last 20 items, finished all the degrees (not that I’m back where I started, but work with me), homing in on 1800. Wow.
But that might just be the light-headedness talking. Today I gave blood, again, and I want to talk it up one last time. See, it’s such a valuable commodity and it IS literally “in” us “to give.” You should go.
So here are the top 5 reasons to donate blood:
- You can find out how your iron is doing! The “prick” thing they use now is hardly noticeable. I remember, back in the dark ages when I was a teenager those testers were like a big, fat thumbtack that hurt more than the needle. And they used to roll a drop of blood into a test tube. I’ll admit it, that was more fun, watching to see if it sank or floated. In the dark ages, I never had iron trouble and it was great fun to watch my blood drop sink like a stone. Now that I’m an old lady, I am anemic. There are no sink or swim tests, just a fancy electronic device. I learned this about a year ago when I tried to give blood. It vastly improved my life, once I started taking iron supplements. It’s not just entertainment, it’s also able to transform your life!
- People thank you. Seriously – when you have to donate blood to the hospital for them to test (I think this is also called “bloodwork”) no one expressed gratitude. They take your blood because a doctor asked them to. You’re not doing them any favours.
- Also you can find out your blood type, if you don’t already know! Maybe you can be lauded and exclaimed over like me. I am the Universal Blood Donor. This entitles me to my own dusting with sprinkles when I go to donate blood. Sometimes, a crown. For your edification, all you O positives out there, the Universal Donor is O Negative. My blood is just smooth orbs that can slide into anyone’s body. You guys with your A’s, B’s, and Pluses, (or AB’s, if you’re like Mike) you’ve got prickly blood with grabby bits that interfere with other people’s blood. That’s the scientific explanation. You might also learn that you’re special because you’re rare. I’m only 8% of the population! Mike is 3%, our sons are 9% and Clara is 7%. We’re a whole special family.*
- You can have a competition with yourself. This is a really fun game I like to play called “how fast can I squeeze out my blood.”** The Phlebotomists might think you’re a little odd, but go ahead and ask them your time when your little electronic bell rings.*** See, there is a time limit to how long they’ll let you go (something to do with clotting or something). When I was a teen, I once took the entire 14 or so minutes and the bag was only half full. Now I know that I need to
drink lots of alcohol and smoke lots of cigarettesdrink lots of water to raise my blood pressure. Today I set a new Personal Best of 6 minutes and 30 seconds. I think I should get some kind of award. Maybe a flower that squirts blood? No?****
- It really is kind of the greatest thing you can do for your fellow humans. How often do you actually have a chance to actually save someone’s life? Like for real save. You can be a hero. I have to say, when I saw a police officer there tonight I kind of felt like he was overdoing it a little – he gets to save people’s life on a regular basis. It feels good, though, so I can see how it could get addictive.
5Downing your blood is a great way to spend an hour or so. Trust me. Plus, it never hurts as much as you think it is going to hurt – just a pinch and then nothing except relaxing and squeezing a stress ball. Sigh.
One thing does hurt, though: you should not go running within at least 6-7 hours of donating. That really hurts
Day 360 scorecard: 1800 down, 20 to go
* Mike is also the Universal Receiver which means he can
drink receive anyone’s blood! He is a very lucky guy.
** Tricks I have learned: staying very, very calm. Visualizing good blood flow (sounds totally lalaloopsy but it works). Being well hydrated. Squeezing that stress ball like you mean it.
*** Fun fact: Phlebotomist is the most fun word to say. Phlebotomists love to talk about blood, which is also really fun.
**** Christmas is coming, Mike, hint hint.