This morning, at 8:15, I reported in for my blood donation appointment. At 9:45 I staggered out after one of my more painful experiences involving IVs, phlebotomists in training and the nerve that lies directly beneath the vein in pit of my right elbow. They finally got my pint out of the left arm, so I left with two ace bandages holding down gauze pads as I staggered out.
But I still say Give Blood. As often as you can. Spread the word. Only 5% of eligible Americans give blood, and only 30% of those will do it more than once. This is a resource we have in abundance, and can save lives. Every donation can save three lives.
I was on the receiving end of two pints of Type A- blood over fifteen years ago, when our oldest son fought his way into the world, leaving grapefruit sized blood clots to hold his womb while he was gone. We thought the blood pressure machine was on the fritz. The nurse thought the blood pressure machine was on the fritz. There was no sign of clotting, but I turned white, lost hearing and almost fainted just a couple hours after he was born, before the third MD shoved down on my pelvic area with a two arm shove and pushed out the blood clots. Ah... so that's the problem...
That was before the blood testing system was so good. It was hard to talk us into a transfusion. The nurses were huddled around the station that night, decrying the doctor's decision to wait awhile and see how things went. Dire predictions were made while we gazed enraptured at our newborn while I was white as a sheet.
Five days later and two units of blood, we went home with our bouncing baby boy. Thank you, whoever spent the time, the hour and a half, so that I could have those two units.
You only have to be sixteen with parental consent, seventeen without, to give blood. You can make an appointment, walk in, and gentle volunteers will guide you through the procedure.