This entry goes back to Saturday the 22nd. I dropped my mom off at the Burbank airport – giving her and us a break from living together – she goes off to my sister’s in Alameda and we go on vacation to Carlsbad. After the airport, I drove over to the Krispy Kreme donut shop in Burbank to get a dozen for the boys (my excuse). As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed the blood drive truck. It was kinda hard to miss – a large trailer with big Providence Holy Cross graphics on the outside, a canopy, and chairs lined up.
As I got the donuts and my coffee (wow, they sell Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf now!), and I felt a twinge of guilt for even being at the donut place, what with this food plan I am following and all, I had the thought:
“Hey! Maybe this is the reason I am really here – I’m on vacation and have time – I can donate blood today!”
So I did. I had not done it for at least 4 years, and out of the 4 or 5 times I have, I have nearly fainted twice afterwards. This is not because I think its icky, or that the idea makes me faint. In fact, the first time it happened, I was totally shocked. I think it is just some bodily thing that happens if I get up too fast, after losing a pint of blood. It does come out of me pretty fast (a fact that makes me never want to be bleeding after a car crash or anything). Anyhow – they made me drink some juice and eat a donut first (smile), and lay there for a bit afterwards, and I had no dizziness at all. Ironically, for doing my healthy duty, I got coupons for a free pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream, and for a free dozen Krispy Kreme donuts (too bad I already bought one). Too bad they can’t reward us with a Whole Foods certificate, or some other healthy thing instead of sugary treats.
Another interesting experiencewas when I was filling out the pre-donation questionnaire. This thing is pretty extensive these days – no donations if you have obvious things like AIDS or have been exposed, but also not if you have visited certain countries recently (Malaria risk), or if you lived in England during certain years (Mad Cow exposure). As I sat there, a tall, well-built, young guy came over and sat down next to me. He took one look at the questionnaire and, with a concerned look in his eyes, asked me “How much blood is a pint?” As I explained how much I thought it was, he looked even more squeamish, and finally said “I don’t think I can do this!” It didn’t matter that I told him it really isn’t so bad. The big tough guy wasn’t going for it, and was out of there as fast as he could move. The cute little nurse wasn’t able to make him come back either – he was genuinely spooked about it. Made me smile.
All in all, it was easy, only took about 30 minutes for everything, and made me feel good. I think you should consider doing it if you can. That way, you can deserve a medal, too. It was a great way to officially start off my vacation.