They tell you not to exercise, to go home and take it easy, to eat more than your usual amount of food, and then they give you a donut, some other snack foods, a t-shirt, and send you on your way.
What's not to like about donating blood?
OK, yeah...some people don't like that moment when they insert a needle in your arm, but it's not all that bad and just think about the people that you may be saving by spending a few minutes giving up a pint of your blood.
This was my 26th time to donate blood through Bloodsource here in Davis, though I started donating blood regularly when we still lived in Oakland, some 35 years ago.
When we moved to Davis, donating blood involved traveling distances and I had small children, so I didn't give for several years. Then, when I started working for Sutter Medical Foundation, they would have a mobile unit that came and I was able to give blood that way.
Then Bloodsource opened an office just a mile from home. I don't remember what brought me there to donate the first time, but these guys are so organized that they make your follow-up donation appointment while you're sitting there bleeding into a bag. Their staff is extra friendly and make it a point to greet you by name whenever you walk in the door. And they were situated right next door to a donut shop, which means that they had fresh donuts in the snack area afterwards.
Could they possibly make it more appealing?
They also make it rewarding for reaching milestones. I don't need the gifts they give, but I now have a keychain, an acryllic star, and a couple of t-shirts. (The t-shirts were for times when they managed to squirt blood onto whatever I was wearing at the time)
It's always an adventure when I go to give blood, only because the iron in my blood is always iffy. They think it may take me longer than most people to rebuild it up after a donation. Usually they like to spread the appointments 8 weeks apart, but I frequently am rejected the first time and end up donating again two weeks later.
I was always intrigued by donating platelets, which you can do more frequently. It's a longer process, but you watch videos while they are removing the platelets. I always watch these people sitting in comfortable chairs, covered with blankets, watching TV and thought "Hey, I can do that!"
It's a two step process, which involves taking the blood out, running it through a centrifuge, removing the platelets, and putting the rest of it back. It's that "putting it back" part that is tricky because when you have a hole in your veins, the blood wants to go out so you're essentially trying to pump it upstream and encountering resistance from the blood coming downstream.
I thought there was nothing to it, but apparently it's quite complicated and my veins wouldn't handle it. After about 5 minutes, the blood wasn't going back into me through the vein that they were trying to use. They tried to find a good vein in the other arm, but were unsuccessful so we decided that my intentions were good, but that I should just stick to giving whole blood.
So now instead of relaxing in the chair at Bloodsource and watching movies, I donate blood (which I can do in 5 minutes), and then climb into my recliner and take a nap, with a puppy (which they don't let you bring into Bloodsource!).
Having a "senior moment"? You might want to check out this entry from Time Goes By by Ronni Bennett, who quotes some interesting research from The New York Times to explain those moments when the word/name we're search for eludes us.
Note to Olbermann and O'Reilly. Please get a room and settle this thing. Countdown is turning into the anti-Fox show most of the time, and O'Reilly fights back with anti-NBC rhetoric. Olbermann is so good think how much more hard news he could cover if he weren't so obsessed with O'Reilly and Rupert Murdock. Didn't realize until tonight that he once worked for Murdock, which may explain why the exhausting diatribes against Fox and O'Reilly. But, really, Keith--this is getting v-e-r-y old.