give blood

one of my oldest friends, wah, has moved back into the area from scenic wisconsin (motto: hey look — another cow!) i am so thrilled beyond belief that she’s in chevy chase (even though i’m not.) today, we were going to try an exercise class together — something called nia, a sort of meditation, stretching, and dancing kind of experience which my friend adores, especially since it relieves some of the agony and pain she has from a condition. i’m all about that earthy-crunchy old fashioned spirituality stuff, so i’ve always wanted to join her. and we were going to go this morning but alas! wah had a flare up and the poor girl was in serious pain. another day. (feel better, wah!)

so back i went to the community center to do my BFL workout. as i walked in, i noticed that there’s a red cross blood drive going on. i looked at the woman at the sign-in table. she looked at me. i continued to look. she continued to look back at me. i finally snapped myself out of it and walked over to the locker room. damn, i thought, one more thing i can no longer do.

see, BS and i used to give blood all the time, so much so that you’d think we were deeply concerned about the vampire community. i gave at my workplace, he gave at his, it was just something we did. something easy that really helped people. i always loved talking to the people i’d meet when i went at work. once, while i worked at ED (motto: education is a state and local policy area, but somehow, here we are!), i ended up giving blood and chatting with Senator Rockefeller’s daughter, Valerie, in the cot beside me.

we gave blood on our anniversary. (i figured we were happy and this was one way to share it with someone who needed a little happy in his life.) the funny thing about giving blood with your spouse is that you pretty much are forced to have a conversation. it’s hard to hold a magazine (though believe me, BS tried), and you can’t exactly walk away while it’s happening, so it’s actually a perversely solid bunch of uninterrupted couple time. and you get to toast each other afterwards with oreos.

i even remember when we had a day off, the day after hurricane katrina. we were going to go to six flags, but OOPS – it was closed. so we figured, what the hell — we’ll donate (cos they’ll probably need more blood thanks to the hurricane) and then go out to lunch. there we were at PF Changs afterwards. the server noticed that we had bandaged arms. he asked us if we had just donated because of katrina. we said yes. he excused himself, then came back a few minutes later. my manager and i would like to thank you for your public spirit by giving you a free appetizer. well, woowee! that’s better than the free cookies and juice the red cross gives out!

but now, i can’t do it anymore.

see, i had a transfusion when my platelets decided to run off to brazil. without that blood, i might not be here, annoying you with my blather. (no one say yay about that. i’m lifting weights now, and i’m strong enough to smack you silly.) and now, i get IVIG infusions for CVID, which are ::drum roll please:: gammaglobulin, a blood product. so no one wants my blood anymore. it bums me out, because this is one of the easiest public service things anyone (over 110 pounds!) can do.

so think about it today. (not you, dee. you’re about to drop two puppies.) and hell, find a blood drive here, at your workplace, or through your local hospital. you’ll be doing a good deed. and maybe your blood won’t be the blood that saves my life, but you can damn well be sure it will save someone else’s. i’ll never know who gave the blood that saved me from total brain bleed-down. but i’ll always be eternally grateful.

and maybe i’ll have to find a new way to contribute… maybe organizing something like this.


7 Responses to “give blood”

  1. Up until early last year, I gave every time I was eligible. Wracked up tons of blood bank points. With my o- blood I feel obligated to give. Then my iron count took a nosedive. Not horrendously – just low enough to rate my not eligible to donate. 4 attempts last year all thwarted. At that point it gets irritating to go through the process of finding a place, getting there, filling in all the paperwork and then having to stop. So, I am taking a break from trying for a few months to see if I can get my iron counts to re-stabilize. A co-worker went through a similar low count issue at the same age and now she back to donating again. I hate not being able to donate either! I really hope I can get back to it this summer at least.

    Hey, I love blue jeans for healthy genes!

  2. oh, the joys of low iron. i remember when i had to take mega horsepills of iron when my iron took a nosedive. i absolutely feel for you in the biggest way possible, as those horsepills didn’t help me, digestively-speaking (and i promise not to go into too much detail there.) and it is a pain to go through the registration process each time (i remember thinking, hehehe, i’ll eff with them and say i had sex with someone from africa in 1976. that would place me at about age 11. not effing likely (for me, anyway). but hell, even taking a trip to effing england and france in 1995 and 1996 made them look at me cross-eyed. don’t even go there when it comes to jamaica and other “third world” places. so i understand.

    give it time, get yourself strong, and go for it again 🙂

    and i have to figure out how to organize the jeans for genes thing, but considering genetic issues (like mine) are not exactly hot, it will be an uphill battle. but hell, i have to do sumpin.


  3. It was right around 9/11 that I learned my blood was not worthy of the general population. Apparently, some of the medications I’m on make me a “less than favorable” volunteer.

    I get your frustration. I was my Dad’s blood type and could not even give to him when he needed daily transfusions. Futher mukers and their medications!!!

    I feel you!

  4. omg, that would make me crazy if i couldn’t give to a family member. at this point, though, i think my siblings and i have either had transfusions, IVIG, or both, so none of us technically would be eligible to give to each other! but, if push came to shove and somehow they needed blood from one of us for the other, i would not even hesitate. not one second.

  5. notdancingqueen Says:

    Bummer – you know how much I love your Crack Whore look. 😉


    you will win the all-time prize for best supporting friend in a hospital situation. just for that prize comment.

    i only wish i had taken a picture of myself successfully that week. i just couldn’t hold the freaking camera steady, what with all the effing tubes sticking out of me.

  7. I’ve been unable to donate the last 3 times I tried, too, because of low iron. So now I’m taking my vitamins when I remember them, which isn’t too frequently. I do hereby solemnly swear to try to remember every day, so I’ll be able to give blood next time.

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