Bleeding Heart

The blood donor center at work has a love-hate relationship with me. They love my blood and even call me up sometimes to come down and donate, which I can't always do. I have a fairly rare blood type, so they often have little or no supply. There are also some other "special properties" in my blood, which I don't fully understand, but that make it possible for it to be used for people with certain conditions such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia. It also got me a "Donor Buddy" card.

So yeah, my blood is all special and whatnot, but apparently my veins are kind of small and they don't like giving up my blood. Keeping this in mind, I really make an effort to super hydrate myself before donating, but invariably the tech has to stay with me and basically "hold" the big ass needle in my arm and watch to make sure the blood is still flowing. This seems to annoy them, but they say it's worth it for my precious A-negative.

I was able to successfully give up a pint yesterday, which brings me to my first gallon over the past few years. I was exhausted and not feeling so great last night, but I feel like it's a small price to pay for being able to do something so important. Not only did I get a warm, fuzzy feeling, but I got a t-shirt and had a great excuse to eat cookies and red meat.


K. Marie said...

Do you know, can you donate blood when you're pregnant? I have no short supply of veinage. In very quiet moments, if you stand very, very still and very, very close to me, you can hear the blood pumping. And most certainly the subtle whine of my ribcage tearing apart ever so slowly ...

Jodi said...

Pregnancy is an exclusion criteria. I think you should hold on to all you can for the baby. : )

Anonymous said...

Do they still exclude for new tattoos?

Jodi said...

Re: Tattoos--according to the Red Cross: Acceptable if the tattoo was applied by a state-regulated entity using sterile technique. Only a few states currently regulate tattoo facilities, so most donors with tattoos must wait 12 months after tattoo application before donating blood.

SJ said...

I used to donate when I lived in Ireland. Since I moved to Aussie they won't let me, because they think we all have mad cow disease. Idiots.

girlzoot said...

I used to work for our local blood center here in Colorado, I was recruited to work for them when I was giving one time. I loved doing the work.

Never never never let them get annoyed with you, you are the super rare donor, and it isn't fair for them to get annoyed with you over their needle placement.

All that aside, Gratz on the gallon, I know that can be hard on someone with the tiny veins, and super Gratz for hanging in there!

I have super gushing veins so I have it very easy.

(as an aside for the pregnancy they usually suggest you not give while breastfeeding either, and when I was still part of the blood center six months ago it was still 12 months for both piercings and tattoos, and they were working on a way to test for mad cow so that everyone that had lived in europe during that time could donate again in the next few years)

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