Come give blood with me next Tuesday, ya wimps!

This is me giving once in 2011. I'd already been doing it for YEARS by then.

This is me giving once in 2011. I’d already been doing it for YEARS by then.

Today, they called me to ask for my blood again, on account of the fact that I’ll be eligible to do so again starting this Thursday.

I set my appointment for 5 p.m. next Tuesday, May 27 — double red cells, as usual, if my iron is good enough.

And as usual, they asked me that question that always sounds kind of odd — asking me if I could bring a friend.

But not really so odd, when you think of how much blood is needed in this part of the country. We almost never have enough, and have to import from other regions. So the more, the better.

So… for once, I’m asking well ahead of time: Would any of y’all join me in giving, either on Tuesday when I go, or at your convenience.

It’s important. It’s worth doing. Which is why I overcame my “Room 101”-level horror of having blood drawn from my body to become a regular giver, like clockwork.

So join me.

20 thoughts on “Come give blood with me next Tuesday, ya wimps!

  1. Barry

    No thanks.

    I use to – but once the lady drawing my blood said she had trouble- and that my arms had some scar tissue from previous times- and it was a problem.

    No idea why- but decided them I wouldn’t do it again.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      To give whole blood — the way you’d probably want to go if it’s a first time — can take half an hour to, at the outside, an hour.

      Most of that time would be spent in screening — reading various materials and having your BP and temp taken and your blood tested for sufficient iron and answering questions about how long it’s been since the last time you were paid money to have sex (like I’m gonna be able to remember that — “Let’s see; what’s today — Tuesday…?”). The actual blood donation takes much less time. It would take maybe 15 or 20 minutes. I’ve done it myself in just over 5 minutes, by compulsively flexing my fist and making it pump faster. But that’s unusual.

      I do the double-red-cells thing, which takes longer. They pump out blood, take out red cells, and pump it back in, with some saline as filler. You do several cycles of this, so it can take close to half an hour. Or at least it seems that long.

  2. Mark Stewart

    I prefer the old way; it was really odd feeling to have the chilly recirculation going on. But it does give more blood with less hassle (the whole front end process is a drag – maybe if they had a frequent giver bypass line…)

    All in all, giving blood is an easy way to help humanity.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      In a way, there IS a frequent-giver bypass, although it’s unofficial. The first time, I read the full folder of facts, warnings, instructions and explanations that you’re required to read. Since then, I just skim to see if there are any new pages, and turn it back in. I read so slowly, that saves a lot of time…

      It’s really kind of a redundant element, since you have to answer the litany of questions anyway. They let you do that on a computer, and it goes pretty quickly. The only thing to watch out for is not to get in TOO much of a rhythm clicking NO to all the questions, since on a couple of them (such as, Are you feeling well today?) the correct answer is YES.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    I would gladly give if they would take it. I mean, I am disqualified because I lived in England in 1980-1! Seriously, people are dying for lack of blood, and they are squeamish about my blood?

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Well, I used to give regularly in my twenties and early thirties, after I lived in England but before the Red Cross decided my blood was tainted, but often could not because my hemoglobin was too low. I think my blood must indeed be blue….

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Moi aussi, à mon grand regret…

          Sorry, that was my blue blood talking.

          I mean, I have the same problem if low hemoglobin is the same as low iron. Which I think it is.

          I supplement with pills. Which reminds me, I’d best go take one right now, since I’m to give in two hours…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Just took it. That should fool the test into thinking I’m not anemic.

            My Dad used to have the opposite problem — too much iron. The cure for which is to give blood…

          2. Kathryn Fenner

            Yup, it is. Iron pills are only somewhat effective, and gave me GI issues…..

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    Just got a thank-you from the Red Cross for my recent donation, along with a reminder why it’s important:

    Calendars fill up fast – especially in the summer with ball games, family vacations and other fun activities. Thank you for choosing your day and giving blood!

    Your donation is critically important, and gave someone hope this summer – someone like Hollie.

    Hollie, a Red Cross blood donor, found herself on the other side of the blood bag. After experiencing complications during the birth of her daughter, Bonnie, she required multiple pints of red blood cells. The donations she received were an exceptional gift at the most physically and emotionally vulnerable time of her life, and she is thankful for donors like you!

    It’s good to have the encouragement, because I think I’ve been feeling some side effects from my donation.

    I’ve been wondering all week why I’ve been tired all day, and why it’s been hard to push myself through my nightly workouts on the elliptical. It just hit me this morning — my blood is somewhat depleted of red cells. That could be it.

    Maybe I should have eaten some of that liver and onions that was on the buffet at the Cap City Club this morning…

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      Absolutely, if you can stomach liver and onions at breakfast….liver has the more bio-available form of iron.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Urp. For breakfast?
          I am a fan of liver dumplings with Ketchup, or liver and bacon.

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