V is for volunteering my veins

25 Apr

V“This is the American Red Cross calling to remind you of your commitment to donate blood. Please bring your bed [garbled]…Eat well and drink water before your donation. If you got any questions, please call us at 1 800 Red Cross. Thank you for your gift of life.” (This was the Google Voice transcription of an automated reminder phone call I missed while at work yesterday. Upon playing the audio recording, I was relieved to hear they didn’t actually want me to bring my bed, just my Red Cross donor card. And, for the grammar police out there, they didn’t really say “if you got any questions.”)

My first attempts to donate blood, while I was still in college, did not go well. The first time, I was sent away because my hemoglobin was too low. The next time, the needle clotted about halfway through the donation, and despite the technician’s attempts to free the blockage by rolling the needle a thousand different ways in my arm, I walked out again without leaving a pint. The third time I managed to successfully log a real donation, but I learned the hard way what happens if you don’t say, “Yes, I feel great!” when the tech asks if you feel okay midway through the process (it involves several panicky staff members jacking your feet in the air, dropping your head below your heart, and hovering nearby with smelling salts–quite embarrassing). With such a rocky beginning, it would have been easy to say, “Forget it, this ain’t for me.” But I just couldn’t ignore the fact that 45 minutes of my time had the potential to save three lives. So, every 56 days you’ll find me patiently squeezing a rubber ball and eyeballing the selection of post-donation snacks in the canteen while a pint of A+ collects in a little plastic bag beneath my chair.


In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2048 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910


Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Challenges, True Life



6 responses to “V is for volunteering my veins

  1. Liz A.

    April 26, 2014 at 2:58 AM

    I guess they can find a vein in your arm, then. Seems like there are blood drives everywhere lately. Thursday there was one at the school I was subbing at. And then there was one at the university this week as well.

    • dreaminofobx

      April 28, 2014 at 7:46 PM

      When I was in high school 20+ years ago, they didn’t do blood drives in high schools…no one weighed enough! Now, that doesn’t seem to be an issue, which is a sad commentary on the overall state of our health.

  2. Janet domino

    April 26, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    Love your perseverance! Sadly no one in my family can donate because we loved in England during the “mad cow” period. At first we were limited to 10 years before we could donate, then they raised it to 20 years, now it’s for life.

    • dreaminofobx

      April 28, 2014 at 7:44 PM

      Yes, JB is in the same boat…really bums him out. I normally donated 3 or 4 times a year…basically whenever I stumbled across a bloodmobile somewhere. Now I make appointments and go every 56 days (6 times a year) to make up for the blood he can’t donate.

  3. D.A.Cairns

    April 26, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    I used to give blood but it didn’t go well either. One time I nearly passed out. Another time my blood flow was so slow, I was there for ages. And every time, they took my blood pressure it was elevated. At that time I thought nothing of it at the time, but I have now been on hypertension medication for a few years.

    • dreaminofobx

      April 28, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      Hope the medication keeps your blood pressure well in check!


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