Two pints in a quart, 4 quarts in a gallon. So 7 gallons would be 56 pints! So some of you know what I am talking about, while others are thinking “isn’t the metric system easier?” Or maybe just thinking “What the hell are you talking about???”
I am talking about donating blood! Yep, a pint at a time! As of today, I have donated 55 times to the Puget Sound Blood Center! It’s nice that the Mighty P, the company I work for, allows them to show up and drain us in a conference room right at work. It’s also nice that we don’t have to use personal time to do so. I just show up, laze around a while draining, eat a cookie, and head back to my desk!
Now I am an old pro at this. The morning of the blood-letting (as I like to call it) I down my normal daily water amount with in the first couple of hours. You drain MUCH faster if you are hydrated! I have raced people who say they can fill a donor bag fast, and rarely have I lost! (Yes I know, is it REALLY the place to be competitive???)
I wasn’t always so cavalier about it though. I remember my first time donating in college. I had not planned on doing so, but one night I met a cute girl (for some reasons my stories from college always start with 1) I was drinking one night when…. 2) I met this cute girl who…. or 3) I was drinking one night when I met this cute girl who….) who was a nursing student. She was recruiting people for a blood drive the next day. Well who was I to argue with a cute girl, plus she said there would be donuts!
Well i showed up with friends. I was suddenly not sure the donut or the girl was worth having a needle stuck in me! I was thinking about leaving when she came over to escort me to the table. As I walked away, one of my friends yelled “SUCK him dry!” OK I am out! But she had my arm and wasn’t letting go…
I made it to my table and was laying there, contemplating the whole thing, when I heard another girl talking and saying “We aren’t making our goal. Time to start taking blood out of both arms!” OH HELL NO!!! I was getting up to leave when they realized I had overheard and reassured me it was a joke!
Well I never did see the girl again, but the blood giving was easy AND the maple bar was completely worth it!
Ever since then, I have given whenever I had a chance. I am not much of a fund-raiser kind of guy, nor do I do much charity work. I am also a cheap SOB so I don’t donate much in terms of money. But I gladly give a pint of blood whenever I can! Summer time is the time of year that blood supplies run low. People are busy, or like me, have big events coming up and can’t give blood before a marathon or climbing a mountain. This made it just lucky they showed up AFTER my last century and over a week before the next one! Plenty of time to recover.
PLUS, every pint I give helps 3 people! They separate it into plasma, whole blood and platelets, passing it out as needed. Being blood type A+, I have the most common blood type, therefore its in high demand!
Of course, one thing I did forget about when I gave blood, I was bike commuting home last night!! Now ONCE, in college I gave blood (HEY no drinking or girls in this story!) then I went to aerobics (ok that was cuz of the girls in leotards in class) then I walked a mile home in 90 degree weather. Honestly almost passed out!
Well the bike commute is only 17 miles, its 60 degrees and I am not working near as hard as aerobics. So I decided to go for it! It was a great ride, the rain held off, an I didn’t even notice being a pint low! I did skip the big ugly hill though!
Like I said, being cold and callous there are very few things I do for others. Giving blood is one of them. Its easy, its saves lives, you get cookies, and even though there are needles involved, pain is minimal.
If you decide to go, bring a friend the first time, some people just don’t do well giving, and do NOT schedule a 17 mile bike ride for the same day! Remember I am NOT that smart! But its truly a way for each of us to save a life or 3 every time. I have helped 165 people just by eating a cookie after laying down for 10 minutes! Shoot anyone can do it!
By the way, I am not sure if people still think this, but there is NO way you can catch anything giving blood. They use a one time only needle, the only blood you get close to is your own, and everything is sterile! Shoot, they even put the think you squeeze in a rubber glove now!