Debate, and discuss, just dont Bore me.
The Rush is on
Published on June 26, 2010 By Dr Guy In Blogging

It use to be that the local vampires would wait until the day after I became eligible.  Recently I have been giving at a church where the organizer would call me before I was eligible to schedule me for the blood drive, so I have been spared for the past year.  But I missed the last scheduled donation.  I went a week later and gave, but they have started to go every 8 weeks, so that means I was a week short this time.

And the vampires called at 8:30AM on the day I was eligible!  I had already decided to give on that day hoping that the church would go back to a nine week schedule, so this was my first call in awhile.  Still, I have to ask myself why they are so anxious for me to give.

I know I have the "sweet" blood type - O negative.  The universal donor.  They will not even let me give a double (take out 2 pints and put back 1 pint of plasma) as my blood type seems to be the one that they need the whole unit, not just part of it.

Still, I have given 114 pints (registered) to them, plus about another 20 they lost when they changed systems (they have changed twice as I have been giving over 30 years), and then the pints I donated in Ohio.  So I have given a lot.  My left arm (I always chose that one because of the restriction on "lifting" after giving) looks like a junkies delight.  So by now, nothing is "new".  Except why so few give.

I know so many cannot.  If you are gay (practicing) forget it.  That may be changing (hopefully).  But then there are so many other reasons that they reject you.  Lived in England?  Mad Cow (not the rachel type), so you are verbotten.  Been to Africa (AIDS rampant), forget it.  And on and on.  Hepatitis has gotten many and put them on the permanent no donate list.

But for all the restrictions, there are still many that can give.  And never do.  It is not the blood the government takes (and with disdain).  This is the ultimate gift of life.  You get nothing (well, sometimes I pick up a tee shirt for my wife), yet somewhere some poor soul will live because of it.  When I passed 100 pints, I was featured in a newsletter for centurions.  And the question was - why? 

In my case, my answer was dull - because I can.  No one that I know has ever needed it.  I just do because I can (although I REALLY hate needles!).  I use to think I was being so altruistic, in a conceited way.  I gave even though I do have needle-phobia (latin scholars, please let me know if there is a term for that).  Then one day, I was getting a bleeding when one guy came in to donate.  He warned the phlebotomists  that he regularly passed out when giving.

REGULARLY.  Which means he had given many times and passed out frequently.  Me?  I got woozy once (blogged about 5 years ago).  ONCE!  I felt like a schmuck!  My phobia of needles then seemed to be so pathetic.  And it was and is.  And so I continue. 

I do wish they were not so demanding.  Not because I think think they are mean.  But because I wish others who can would.  Especially men.  Women do have periodic problems.  The key word being the 4th one in the previous sentence.  That is a fact of nature.  But men?  We replenish our blood within 48 hours.  They make us wait 8 weeks out of a super conservative desire to not make us anemic (you get your iron back within a couple of weeks).

And MEN!  Hey!  You hate the doctor?  (So many studies say we do). Donate a pint!  You get a mini physical that can warn you of bad things!  I was warned early of a polyp on my colon (benign - but my grandfather died from colon cancer).  And I was warned early of hypertension (under control now - 112/66).  So you do get some benefit from it.  And so many others do as well.

I give now because I can. I do so because there are many (they say 3 people benefit from each pint you donate) that I have helped that I will never know.  I hope I never know any of the ones that do benefit (not because I do not want to know them, but because I hope no one I know needs my donations).  But many are alive today because I do.  I wish more would take that attitude.  Unfortunately, so few do.

114 officially with VBS and counting.  If you have ever gotten a pint of O negative in central Virginia, we are probably blood brothers (or siblings).


Comments (Page 1)
on Jun 26, 2010

That would be trypanophobia.

on Jun 26, 2010

DoomBringer90
That would be trypanophobia.

I knew there had to be a word for it.  Now I just have to learn how to pronounce it!

Thanks

on Jun 26, 2010

WTG, Doc! I gave at a blood drive at my church but I really should make it a regular thing not just something that is sporadic.   

on Jun 26, 2010

Locamama
WTG, Doc! I gave at a blood drive at my church but I really should make it a regular thing not just something that is sporadic.   

That is great!  The church I give at is not mine (it actually was mine when my parents first moved to this city), but it is closest.  SO it makes it convenient.  Hey!  If I gotta get stuck, I might as well make it convenient.

Besides, mine does not have a regular blood drive.

Thanks for your contributions.  We cannot do it alone, but all of us can do it together!

on Jun 27, 2010

I'm still on my holiday schedule, donating next weekend. It wasn't intentional on part, somehow I just end up giving on the 4th of July, Labor Day, etc.

You are right about the mini-physical part, that is how I found out about my high blood pressure. 

Donating blood is one of the many things that you and I have in common. Of course you probably give from your right arm, while I use my left.... Little donation political humor there.

on Jun 27, 2010

Good going Doc! There is something else we have in common, O-  blood type, but I thought AB was the universal type. I can't give blood though (Anthrax vaccine), but I believe it is a good cause. There is a place that will take my blood, in fact they will buy it, but it's a bit far away.

on Jun 27, 2010

AB is the universal reciever, but they can't donate to anyone but AB.

on Jun 27, 2010

Larry Kuperman
I'm still on my holiday schedule, donating next weekend. It wasn't intentional on part, somehow I just end up giving on the 4th of July, Labor Day, etc.

You are right about the mini-physical part, that is how I found out about my high blood pressure. 

Donating blood is one of the many things that you and I have in common. Of course you probably give from your right arm, while I use my left.... Little donation political humor there.

Yea, we do get into patterns.  I liked the church donation because they were so regular.  And that got me off the holiday schedule.  SO I hope they move it a week.

Great news on the HBP!  I am guessing yours is under control as well.  At the rate I am going, I am going to die from nothing.

As for blood, it is non-political.  After all, I may be saving Nancy Pelosi's life.  I do not know.  So I make sure they get the "right" blood.

on Jun 27, 2010

Nitro Cruiser
Good going Doc! There is something else we have in common, O-  blood type, but I thought AB was the universal type. I can't give blood though (Anthrax vaccine), but I believe it is a good cause. There is a place that will take my blood, in fact they will buy it, but it's a bit far away.

No, AB is the rarest. And they are the universal recipients.  Which means they can get just about any blood type (except negatives cannot get positives).

And the bummer is, us O- can only get O-.  Fortunately it is not too rare (about 7% of the population)/  While AB is 3% (positive) and 1% (negative).

So for us, the rule is never have an accident! While we do not have the rarest blood, we can only get O- and it is the hottest commodity on the vampire scale!

As for your status, yea, there are so many rules.  I know it is to make it safe, but then sometimes there is a false positive (I was a coordinator about 15 years ago).  And even when shown to be a false positive for some of the disqualifying factors, it is almost impossible for the person to donate again (I worked with one who was a false positive but the blood service would never take his blood regardless).

One of the questions is "Have you been outside the US or Canada in the last 18 months".  So one time I answered it honestly.  I had been to Los Algodones Mexico.  So I told them so.  It took them 20 minutes to find out where that was and figure out I was ok!

on Jun 27, 2010

DoomBringer90
AB is the universal reciever, but they can't donate to anyone but AB.

I should read all comments before commenting.  Sorry for my duplication of your answer.

on Jun 28, 2010

AB is the universal reciever, but they can't donate to anyone but AB.

 

on Jun 28, 2010

As for your status, yea, there are so many rules. I know it is to make it safe, but then sometimes there is a false positive (I was a coordinator about 15 years ago).

I could donate, but it doesn't make much sense if they just throw it away. I think they take it just so nobody will say "hey they refused me", which is probably the best they can do. I just don't want to waste their time.

Thanks for the in depth blood explanation.

on Jun 28, 2010

I could donate, but it doesn't make much sense if they just throw it away. I think they take it just so nobody will say "hey they refused me", which is probably the best they can do. I just don't want to waste their time.

That is so stupid. Why would anyone donate if they knew it was going to be thrown away?  They always tell you that when you donate (if you do not want us to use your blood, call within X hours).  So many people DO NOT donate that can, I really do not see a stigma attached to just saying no.

But yes, technically I guess you can.  So you get a loss of a pint (in mid-evil Europe, bleeding was supposed to clean your body. ), a hole in your arm, and maybe a can of OJ.  Just so they can starve a mosquito?

on Jul 01, 2010

You touched on one of the reasons that I got frustrated with donating blood at Red Cross drives.  They used to bug the bejeezus out of me to come back again, and again, and again....  much as they do with giving them a cash donation, they seem to spend all of that money and much more trying to get me to give them even more as soon as they possibly can and that tends to ruin the good feeling that I might otherwise get as I think about trying to have done a good thing.

There's a host of reasons why I've not been able to give over the last decade (a trip to England among those reasons), but I might be able to do so now.  I'm not universal donor, but it doesn't stop them from wanting to take a pint from me when they can.

I may yet pick back up the habit, but if I do, I will say it will be on my own schedule just as I do with cash donations to the causes I support.

on Jul 01, 2010

I'm not universal donor, but it doesn't stop them from wanting to take a pint from me when they can.

They love any type of blood, but I guess they love us more? (Bill Cosby would have a field day with that one. ).  I encourage those I know, work with or are related to, to give whenever I can.  It really is one of the truly selfless things some can do.  And given the restrictions, there are not a lot that can apparently.

I may yet pick back up the habit, but if I do, I will say it will be on my own schedule just as I do with cash donations to the causes I support.

I totally understand that.  I guess I just succumbed to their phone calls (as I said, they start the morning of my eligibility where they use to wait a day or two).  But when the local Church started doing it that made it very convenient.  it was on a Sunday Morning (so even football was not a problem).  I regularly have given at least 4 pints per year (a group they call Friends-4-life), but with the convenience, it was 6 a year. 

As for the money part (the local group is strictly blood - they are not the Red Cross), I rarely give under my name.  That way they do not heckle me.  I did make the mistake one day of promising a door to door canvasser I would donate to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (the root of the group's cause I do believe in), and I am on their mailing list now.  But at least they have not started branching out to whales and other causes.  Strictly clean up the bay.