I did something after work today that I try to, every 56 days.
I donated blood.
I started doing this years and years ago, but it all fell off the rails for some reason. Last Fall, I started it up again. Rather than rely on others to get me there, I took advantage of my new work location and drive there now. It is a very short distance from where I work nowadays.
I started back up in September 2011, the night of my interview with K8 from C100. I have been fastidious about giving blood every 56 days since then. Except for 2 weeks ago, when I was sick.
You can donate your blood or plasma in the name of a person you know. I have donated blood in the name of my mother, my boss, Patricia and the lady who drained the blood from me 2 months ago. Sandra? Was that her name? In any case, every person who's received one of those cards from me appreciated it very much.
Are you wondering what's involved in giving blood? Here goes:
You show up. You give them your name. They test your blood to see how good your iron level is. You fill out a form in which they ask you some general health questions. You sit down with a nurse who takes your temperature and measures your blood pressure and asks you even more questions. You are led to a waiting area where you are then led to a bed upon which you recline.
The fun starts now.
They find a vein in the arm that you offer them. They stick a needle in that vein. They draw the blood out. You rest for 5 minutes after the bloodletting is over and then amble over to the kitchen to get a snack of cookies and juice. You leave, and the nurses all check you out as you walk past them. Or, at least, I imagine that they do.
Is there pain? Yes. A little bit of pain when the needle goes in. It is a sharp sting that lasts for a very few seconds. After that, there is a tightness in your arm, probably from the thing they have around it that caused the vein to pop up. I mind that more than the needle going in, to be honest with you.
Some people are allergic to the swab they use to cleanse the area where the needle will go. I don't mind it a bit.
A very small percentage of Canadians donate blood, maybe 4%. Of the remaining 96% of so, there are quite a few people who are not allowed to give blood, for whatever good reason they have. I do not know what the remaining percentage is of Canadians who are perfectly able to give blood every 56 days and choose not to. I wouldn't be surprised if it were in the 50-60% range. That is millions and millions of Canadians who do not give blood.
Please, folks. People need blood transfusions if they've been in an accident or something. Without giving out too many details, my mother required several units of blood last year. I don't like to think about what might have happened had she not had those transfusions. I can only thank the good folks who decided to belly up to the bar, proffer an arm and spend some time with some attractive women who dutifully extracted blood and plasma from them, which then ended up in my mother. Thank you, folks.
If you are able to give blood, please consider doing so. It is perhaps an hour out of your day, every 56 days. Every contribution you make can save up to 3 lives.
Do it. Bevboy commands it.
See you tomorrow.