Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm Out of Excuses

Last night after work, I donated blood to the Red Cross.  Ever since my friend, Becky, encouraged me to show up for a blood drive at her fiance's work place last year to give, the Red Cross has had me in their data bank. They call me about every six weeks and I say yes to an appointment and I'm ashamed to say that I have blown them off a couple of appointments over the last year. Here's my excuse ... if you care to hear it.

Sometime before Christmas, I went in for a blood draw and I had a horrible experience. The technician had a really tough time placing the needle in and once she finally got it going, I had a really bad dizzy spell and thought I was going to throw up. That experience had not left me until last night.

Last week I got a call from the donor center and the woman said, "please, please, please donate blood". I've never heard them ask please 3 times so I said yes.  I had gone in last month to donate but my iron was too low. When I arrived last night, I was hoping it would be too low again but I was committed that if it wasn't, I'd just grin and bear it.

THE REASON I was able to sit there and not have so much fear is that I kept a constant thought of all those folks in Japan who are suffering tremendous tragedies and here I am sitting in a nice, warm Red Cross building, with cookies & juice waiting for me after my donation.  What do I have to be afraid of?
The woman who took my blood last night had a green, Happy St. Patrick's Day hat on and a sparkly, green 3-leaf clover sticker on her cheek. She was the happiest person I saw all day. And, I felt I was in good hands.  She told me she had been drawing blood for over 20 years. I was so relieved.  Long story short, she told me to never have blood taken out of my left arm ever again ~ she couldn't find a good vein. My right arm was a perfect donor arm and I had no discomfort whatsoever. I did, however, get dizzy again but she quickly leaned my seat back and placed cold towels on my forehead and neck.  And then, the best part, I got cookies & juice!

I wish I had taken my camera with me. I would have a wonderful photo to show you of the angel of mercy who drew my blood. And, I could show you about a half-dozen really happy people who were thrilled to pieces that they overshot their goal of collecting 20 bags of plasma. They got 25 yesterday.  My observation was that even though they had put in a long day, they still had smiles on their faces and were joking and having a great time.
I'm extremely happy that my bad experience from before has been replaced with a much, much better experienced.  I will try to not blow them off the next time the Red Cross calls.  And, I'll continue to think of those folks in Japan who are and will be suffering for a long time in the aftermath of the horrible wreckage the earthquake and Tsunami have left behind.

There are so many ways we can donate. It does not always have to be monetary. There were high school kids at the Red Cross last night who were acting as the receptionists. How cool is that?
It just got me to thinking about the ways I can be more useful by donating time, blood, food, offering someone a ride, etc. I have no excuse for not being a better citizen .... or blowing off the Red Cross when they call for help.  No excuse whatsoever.

love, susan


  1. Sometimes great picture moments come our way when we don't have our cameras. That is why I am so glad my phone does. I never go anywhere without it... Those pictures you see regularly on my FB of sunsets or sunrises are taken with my phone. Can"t wait to see you in 2 months... I love reading your blogs. Wish I could write as well as you these are so much fun.

  2. OH darn ... I forgot about the camera on my phone!!! Doh! Just got a new phone not long ago and it has a great little camera in it. Darn. Thanks for reminding of it, though!

  3. I am proud of you!! As a member of the 150 units club, I can say that it is the person drawing that makes it work. Keep on Keeping on. Now that my BP is under control, I get to give again.

  4. Thank you, Anonymous, whoever you are! 150 units?!? That's a lifetime of blood donations right there. It gave me a great feeling (besides the dizziness) to give blood yesterday. All it cost me was a little time.

  5. I am still out of commission due to that darn plavix that I am on, but that is due to come off in July, and then I think it is some weeks after that you have to be off of the stuff.. can't remember if it is 4, 10, 14 weeks... one of those. Bad time to be on restriction about donations. Guess I will just have to make Susan some liver for dinner, to make sure that iron level is up.. or maybe something else with high iron, that she can actually keep down. At any rate will be happy to get back to donating again.


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