I Vant Your Blood!
Although I live 4 hours or so from Forks, I have yet to give blood willingly (or unwillingly for that matter). Sunday Jon, Braxton and I hit up the annual Steilacoom Apple Squeeze. Fresh pressed apples giving you their juices! Delicious!! Isn’t it funny that these people press apple cider, but it’s just the juice from a pressed whole apple. Apparently apple juice has sugar added. That’s DUMB! I have no clue why you would WANT to add sugar to this! Cinnamon and Jack Daniels, sure! Sugar? No. So after politely ignoring the apple cider floats, apple fritters and apple pie stands we indulged in a cup of warm apple cider. Then we mosied on over to the blood bus. I’ve never donated blood before, and I felt like that time had come. Jon has done it a few times before and he always made it out alive. We “in-process” which is relatively simple. Then they check your iron saturation (40%!) with a finger prick, take your blood pressure (98/52 thank you!), temperature and then if all checks out you are in a comfy chair.
The process is relatively simple, in fact the paperwork took longer. They clean your arm with iodine after they have found the glorious vein. I say ‘glorious’ because if it sticks out nice and blue and pretty, the ladies LOVE it! I can see how that makes their job easier! So after my nurse oogles my veins, cleans me and has a blood pressure cuff on…she sticks me. And you know what? It wasn’t bad at all! I think a tetanus shot hurts more. So they leave you there to periodically squeeze your ball and get things moving. It took me 6 minutes to produce 630 grams of blood. Between Jon, Braxton and me, I left the bus with my water and sesame sticks as raining speed-blood champion. From what I gather, 6 minutes is pretty awesome. They can definitely expect to see me regularly every 8 weeks as it is one of the easiest donations I have ever given. I certainly ate well and drank lots of water for the following 2 days and I feel just peachy! Also, I’m O+, roughly about 40% of the U.S. Only about 4% of eligible donors donate blood though. That’s not what I want to hear when Edward smells my sweet blood 400 miles away and needs a nibble. If you’re not the giving type though, there are other benefits to donating blood:
- You get a free mini physical every two months.
- According to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, consistent blood donation is associated with lowered risks for cancers including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers.
- Lower the iron levels in your body every time you give blood, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Florida Blood Services reports that regular blood donors who donate regularly over years have an 88% lower risk of heart attacks and a 33% lower risk of any severe cardiovascular event, such as a stroke.
- Help your body function more efficiently by allowing it to replenish your blood supply regularly. This process of replenishment can help your body stay healthy and work more efficiently and productively.