Confession: I’m not a big Oreo fan. I’ll eat them, but usually the only time I have them is when I go to give blood, and that’s just because they make me before they’ll let me leave. As fun as it is watching everyone’s blood agitate back and forth, I have things to do. So I eat them.
Yes, I gave blood this morning. I haven’t donated since just before the holidays. I believe it was just after I got back on track after the constant-vacationing in November. I remember because I had a hard time getting my running back on track. They say to take it easy for a few days, but I couldn’t get back to 2 1/2 miles for almost two weeks after donating. So when the very nice people at Carter BloodCare called after the holidays, I told them that I had a race coming up and I was very sorry, but I couldn’t donate until afterward. I felt horribly guilty and selfish – people were having life-saving operations and medical traumas and I refused to give them my blood because I wanted to run a silly race? But I’m a selfish person, so I stamped those feelings back down and told the very nice person on the phone to call me at the beginning of March.
Either that technician is really efficient or else they must really, really like my blood because those nice people called me last week, right on schedule. Unfortunately, I had the girls last weekend, so they had to wait until today before they could suck me dry. I planned better this time: I ran last night after work instead of trying to run right after giving blood. It’s a good thing, too – last night it was a balmy 72 degrees outside. Today, it is windy with a high of 42. I wish I was kidding. So I didn’t mind one bit earning an excuse to stay inside and take it easy. In fact, I learned that the next time I donate, I can be even more lazy: apparently, only 6% of the population has pretty, shiny A- blood like me. The techs checked out the quality of my veins to see if I would be a candidate to donate platelets. That process takes about two hours to complete. I asked why I needed to have strong veins and she said it’s because they separate and scrub my platelets clean and then a machine forces my blood back into my veins. If my veins aren’t strong enough, they explode. Or maybe just a bunch of fluid collects under my skin and I get the mother of all bruises. Either way. I wonder if I get four Oreos for that, instead of just two.
I joke and kid because – hey, why not? But if you’re not donating blood, you should. It’s quick, easy, and (most importantly) pain free. If you’re in the DFW area, click here to find the closest Carter BloodCare donation center, or click here to visit the Red Cross’s Web page to find out where you can donate anywhere in the country.