Thursday, May 4, 2006

It's that time!

Yes, it's Blood Donation Time for Lauren.

For several months, now, I have given blood THE VERY DAY I was eligible to do it again, after the last time. I think it's a good policy. That is, one can donate blood every 56 days, and I have done it every 56 days. November 12th, January 7th, March 4th. . . I've been pretty good about it since I was first eligible (late 2000, early 2001, I think?), but there were a few several month gaps, in there, owing to being dorm bound, some of that time, and occasionally I'd have a pulse too high to be able to do it when I went, and have to wait. But that's not happening, anymore. It's not going to. (I may take the 6 month hit for acupuncture and a few more holes in my ears, sometime--that's two opportunities missed--but I'll do it all at once and Right After I've donated.) In any case, no other avoidable dooms. Lately, I've been very careful. No caffeine the morning before. Drinking plenty of water, so my blood volume is good and moves fast. And I think I was pretty close to Optimum Donation Efficiency for a donation or two before they gave me the handy calendar with printed in reminders--If you donate May 4th, 6/29 is written underneath it in red: your next eligible date.

The Delta Blood Bank (our local collector) in Turlock is only open Thursdays and Saturdays, however. And when I missed April 29th (ran out of time :( ) it set me back to Thursday. Today. So long as I can keep going on Thursdays, at least, I won't lose much more time on shedding platelets and hemoglobin and red blood cells and so forth. I aim to have donated 2 gallons (to Delta) by October--this will be 14 pints for them, today, 1.75 gallons. And I gave something like 3/4 gallon to the Red Cross, when I was in or visiting Southern California. So that'll be about 20 pints from me. 40 cups. 320 fluid ounces. 640 tablespoons. 20 pounds.

So I have donated my entire blood volume at least twice over.

For visuals, that is about:
- 5 (64 oz) jugs of juice.
- 5 cartons (1/2 gallon) of milk (or two and a half of those big mother jugs).
- 13 (24 oz) water bottles
- more than 12 bottles of wine (or fifths of your favorite liquor--mix and match!)
- more than 21 of those big cans--more than 5 of the 4 packs--of Guinness.

By weight:
- 4 (5 lb) bags of flour.
- 3 of your average infants
- 2 average cats or 3 chihuahas (or one Maine Coon cat)

Now go. Go to your kitchen and look at your milk or juice or hooch. Or Pooch, if you like.

Isn't that a trip?

Then find an hour, some time, and go give up to three people another chance to go be miserable to one another--or really, really good to one another. (Or put a pint dent in the up to 6-8 pints commonly needed in leukemia treatment, 6-12 pints for a gunshot wound, 10-100 for traumatic organ damage. This is a pretty big issue.)

Some Fun Blood Facts.

Edit, already: This is actually only *13* pints to Delta, today. So make it an even handful of the four packs of Guinness. :)


This Girl I Used to Know said...

They won't take my blood because they think I have mad cow disease from living in England.

Lulu--Back in Town said...

Goddamn them!

A lot of the blood shortage is the donation systems' fault. Gah. They also won't let in "A man who has had sex with a man even once since 1977." Or a woman who's "had sex, even once, with a man who's had sex with a man, even once, since 1977." I don't think they make exceptions, even when people have been protected, etc, though it's a possibility (like "Ever traveled to the United Kingdom" is excusable if it was for less than 3 months! Hurrah!). But I don't think so. Forget that the fastest growing population with AIDS has been straight women for a while, now. Or that mad cow was not that kind of issue while you were living there, etc.


Anyway. :( I'm sorry they're dickheads and won't let you.

This Girl I Used to Know said...

Well, actually, it was a double-whammy for me...

First, I had to donate blood for myself when I had jaw surgery in 1991. When I did that, I got a false-positive for HIV. Even though they re-did the test and I (obviously) did not have HIV, that was it for a while... rules, you know.

Then, when I finally figured that the whole false-test thing was over and tried to give blood again... "Have you lived in England for more than six months in the 80's" came up.

So, I figure, I'll try again in ten years and see what new rules they have.

It doesn't bother me that much. When my company has blood drives, I just give money.

Lulu--Back in Town said...

I wonder how common false positives for all these things are? My mother's never had hepatitis, but has tested positive for antibodies, so they don't let her donate, either. My *dad* had had hepatitis, but I don't think antibodies are transmittable. So, something going wrong there.

Hey. . . would they still let you donate to yourself? I mean, forbid anything should happen to you that you should need it, but I wonder.