Thursday, July 14, 2011

Be Nice to Me!

I promise I'm working on my race recap but to tide you over until then....

Be Nice to Me! I gave blood yesterday. A while ago (ok, at the beginning of the year), I pledged to donate 3 pints of blood to the American Red Cross this year. I've donated very randomly over the years but I thought doing their pledge would help me donate more regularly. Well, I suck because here we are in the middle of July and I hadn't donated yet. In my defense, it's challenging to donate blood while also training for an endurance event. You aren't supposed to engage in physical activity for several hours after donating. It's a lame excuse but it seemed like every time I remembered that I needed to donate was on a day that I had an evening workout scheduled.

So anyways, my triathlon is over and I saw a notice that there is a critical blood shortage in our area. I also had time to kill in between leaving work and going to a TNT recruitment meeting (let me know if you are interested in joining our fall teams!). I found a donation center just a couple miles from my office (that's good to know!) so off I went.

It only took me about 30 minutes and the bulk of that time was spent answering questions about my health and then eating a snack with a volunteer who was at least 90. She was a CUTE little thing but couldn't hear much so I just smiled extra big at her when I thanked her for the water and cookies. :) Some additional time was spent waiting for the charge nurse to come over. I always warn them right away that my veins don't like to cooperate and they usually hunt down their most experienced nurse to stick me. I've learned the hard way over the years that if someone fresh out of nursing school tries to draw blood or take a donation, they end up digging around in my arm and I leave looking like a strung-out heroin addict (or in less dramatic terms, like I've been stuck with a needle several times and the entire inside of my arm is bruised). So the charge nurse got me on the first stick and I was off and draining....5 minutes later they patched me up and I hung out with the volunteer in the canteen for a few minutes.

It was quick and relatively painless (1 second for the initial stick and 1 second when they take the needle out) and I potentially saved 3 lives. All that and I still made it to my TNT meeting on time. I actually wrote it on my calendar so I don't forget and put it off again. I can donated again after September 7. Don't let me forget! I should still be able to reach my 3 pint goal for the year. And I encourage all of you to donate also! Here are some facts from the Red Cross:

6 times a year you can donate blood.
5 percent of the eligible population that actually donates blood.

3 potential number of lives saved from just a single blood donation.

2 number of seconds that passes before someone in America needs blood.

1 number of people it takes to make a difference!

Did you know? People with type O blood make up 45% of the population? About 38% of the population has O-positive blood and only 7% has O-negative.

Guess who has O-negative? This girl! I always knew I was special...

O-negative is the universal red blood cell, mean it is the only type whose red blood cells can be given to any patient, regardless of their type. O-negative is also commonly used for premature infants and for trauma patients.

That sort of makes me feel like a schmuck for not donating sooner this year so I can max out my donations for the year. I can't save as many babies and trauma patients if I'm a loser and put my training before saving lives. That doesn't really go with TNT's mission now does it? But EVERY donation helps so I just donated and I plan to again after September 7. If you are eligible, you should donate too! Find a blood drive or stop by a donation center.

Stepping off soap box now....


  1. Good for you!! Donating is a quick thing to do that can help someone tremendously!!

  2. Amber....I give blood on a regular basis, every 8 weeks. Richard does too...he has a rare type (A-), so they really need/want his blood. Donating will make you feel healthier....think of it, your body creating new, fresh blood daily to cleanse your body.
    I have donated over 5 gallons in my 59 years of life. And, all that began 14 years ago. So, get on a schedule and donate! From your soon to be Aunt Vicki.