Thursday, February 21, 2008

Queasy Much?

It's a good day, a good day for a blood-letting! Let the blood-letting begin!

About a million years ago I earned my gallon pin from the Red Cross. Four times a year, like clockwork, they'd show up on my college campus and and I'd be first in line for Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies and orange juice. Did I say that out loud? I'd give 'em all the blood they'd take. I loved the way it looked and flowed. I loved the rich, deep color. I loved watching my little drop of blood from the finger prick slowly settle into the vial, proving I had enough iron to give. Then I grew up, got married, had three kids. Stopped giving blood.

About two years ago I drove past a Blood Mobile near Orlando. I'd considered giving off and on over the last 18 years, but had always
either had a kid in the car or needed to be somewhere. This time I was headed into the YMCA (kids had homeschool PE) and had time to kill (meaning I was at the Y and not working out), so I stepped up to give. I filled out the entire questionnaire and the last question was "Have you, in the last 12 months, come in contact with anyone else's blood?" Duh. I'm a mother to three. Two of them boys. They sent me away, still chock full of my own blood.

I have spent the last two years consciously not touching anyone else's blood. How many of you can say that? When my children would come to me with a cut, a gash above the eye, a split head, a ripped sternum, my response would be, "Patch it up yourself. Here are the peroxide, antibiotic creme and bandages. Knock yourself out." Sure, I'd stick around and make sure
no one passed out from loss of blood, giving instructions on self administered first aid. But touch it? Noooo.

Two weeks ago our church announced that they'd be having a blood drive last Sunday. First you must know that we go to church in a mall. Really. How many of you can say that? The worship center used to be the Sears or something. It's very cool, and probably the main reason we attend there. Not really, but it is cool. So they have the space - down at the Gap - to set up tables and recliners for an old fashioned blood-letting, complete with leeches. We handle snakes, too. Alright, not really. But I have handled snakes on a Christian university campus. Does that count? I enjoyed the faces of the tourists as they'd be asking directions to different buildings on campus and my little garter snake would come peeking out of my curls (he liked riding on my head, soaking up the sun). They'd slowly back away. But I digress.

I signed up immediately for a spot (they were swamped with people last time and I couldn't wait the two hours that day to give) and arrived early. To find it empty. The flu was making the rounds here and giving was down. But they let me give! Yay! And it turns out the Red Cross comes to church every quarter, so I can get back into the habit. It's supposed to be good for me, making all kinds of fresh new cells. Happy blood. And I just LOVE the color! See it? I really do love everything about giving
blood and am now kicking myself for having gotten out of the habit.

My biggest (only) disappointment was the Grandma cookies. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones in the 7-11 near the register. They are definitely NOT oatmeal creme pies. Horribly disappointed. Horribly. Otherwise it was great. I was even in and out of there in less then 45 minutes. I highly recommend it.

A huge thank you to Melissa over at Hope for the Hopeless and her tireless efforts to recruit donors, as she put the bee in my bonnet about this. Too bad I couldn't give before her contest ended though. Still fun to give!

Next steps? Y'all go out and find a Blood Mobile. Make your blood useful!

Until I write again ...



dlyn said...

Great post Flea - and we get to see you, which is a bonus! I am a terrible stick- meaning they have to grind around in there so much finding a vein that by the time they get done my blood is only good for plasma and scientific experiments. I am Oneg though, so I keep trying, though I have to admit it has been a year. Maybe it will be easier since I have lost weight? Anyway - you're a good doobie!

AutoSysGene said...

Do I get bonus points for not barfing over a few of these pictures? ;)

Thanks so much for donating. You just gave the gift of life. Pretty cool, huh?

Marguerite said...

O.o You like the look of blood? Were you a vampire in another life or something?

kay said...

i got oatmeal pies when i gave!! i was stoked! sorry you didn't get one. that's a bummer.

and as far as you going to church in a mall, they pick weird places to hold church in my town too. i have been to church in a movie theater (which was really pretty cool!) an indoor basketball court, a school and in an aerobics room. that goodness we are now in an actual building. setting up and taking all those chairs down was a pain!

sherrypg said...

I spent quality time in that mall when it was still a mall. An OUTLET mall, none the less.

Lori said...

OH I need to do this!!!!
I am an O neg and hence, the universal donor. But it is so hard to find a good time to go donate and figure out what to do with my kiddo! Gonna have to put it out there to a few friends and start getting a co-op of moms to help eachother out.

Mom Knows Everything said...

I haven't given blood since college. I really need to donate again. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

You are right we all need to give blood!!!
Thanks for your post about it!!
Pam 'Oh Da Woods

CanadianMama said...

You totally inspired me except that I then quickly remembered I can't give blood being knocked up and all.
I'm happy to live through you though!!

Victoria said...

I love giving blood. The church we go to the ladies make homemade cookies. YUM!

Wineplz said...

Good for you!!! Wish I could get hubby to give blood. Even tried the whole "you have the same blood type as one of your kids...give for him"...but he doesn't care. Unfortunately I can't give...too small and even when I lied about my weight, low iron. *sigh* So I guess I will give vicariously through you. :)
Does it help that I'm on the bone marrow donor registry?

Weezee said...

Good for you Flea. I am O Neg and I just got back in the habit of giving a year ago. They call me now for every one in my area. I don't mind though I really do feel cleansed after I give.
I didn't get any Oatmeal Pies though! Harumph! Oh well I guess I'll go back to see if I can score next time.

Jan Parrish said...

Great job Flea. I don't qualify due to my allergy medications. I'm glad you are able to give. What a blessing. The color is nice isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I got woozy just looking at that bag of blood.

I gave blood once and passed out. I got a shot once and passed out. I watched my friend get stitches once and passed out.

I'm a wimp. But you're a blood hero. Go Flea!

Mayberry Magpie