It was in me to give last night. Actually, it was in me to give four times this year. I’ve been giving, albeit not regularly until now, since I was 18. I’ve given over a gallon in the US. After 6 more donations in Canada I will have given a gallon here, too.
I’m not scared of needles. Yes they hurt. But not as much as cancer, or that car accident, or whatever is causing someone to need blood. Life, really. For what are you without blood?
Two or three drops of blood can contains about a billion red blood cells. Within the red blood cell is hemoglobin, which the nurses check for with a quick blood sample from a prick to your finger. These hemoglobin are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body and carrying carbon dioxide from the cells to your lungs to be expelled. They only live for about 120 days before being removed by your spleen. New blood every four months!*
The white cells fight off infections. Unfortunately, they don’t survive outside of the body any longer than 24 hours.*
The platelets are responsible for clotting. Without clotting we would bleed to death with the slightest cut. Platelets stop you from bleeding out.*
Plasma is the “river” that carries the cells and platelets to where they need to go.*
It’s all needed.
I almost forgot. They called me to ask me if I would be in. I was already 20 minutes late because we were having a late supper. I told them I was just finishing supper and then I’d be in.
I took Crash with me. He’s been several times now. He has a new MadLibs book that we’ve been having fun with, so we took that along to entertain us. Once Bang found out we were leaving, he wanted no part of being left behind. He’s never been.
But once he found out there would be cookies and juice at the end he turned up his angelic charm. They watched me get my finger prick. But I had to leave them momentarily to have my blood pressure checked and answer those questions about sex and drugs and monkeys.
Then it was on to give. They were fascinated by the oscillating machine that keeps the blood from clotting while being collected. Meanwhile, Crash and I filled out some MadLibs. Lightning bolts from their butts is a story for another post.
8 minutes later I was done. An hour after I walked into the clinic I was sitting at the juice and cookie table with my two best wingmen. They are currently both terrified of needles. But hopefully, one day they’ll be able to give, too. Hopefully, you’ll give, as well.
Plus, I often wonder while I’m donating, if something happens to me and I need blood, what are the chances I’ll get my own blood?