Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Saving Lives, being a Super Hero and Super Model

Yup, that's, saving lives! Kinda reluctantly.

So the people at the Red Cross have found me again. I have gone into the platelet relocation program, but those Red Crossers can smell blood from miles away.

The full, true story:
I started my saga of donating blood when I was 18, but the story starts months before my first trip to the Red Cross. (actually, it started with my childhood love of Clara Barton, who was my inspiration for many a book, history, and science report).

During my senior year in high school I had some awful abdomen pains and the doctors could not figure out what it was...Appendicitis, NOPE; Stomach problems, no; bad tuna salad, neicht; Uterarian troubles, nada...they later explained it away that my ovary likes to "wig out" (his highly professional and expensive term-thank you 8 years of medical training!) when I ovulate. (TMI? sorry) Throughout this time I was subjected to a battery of tests (MRI, barium chugging, x-rays, lots and lots of poking with needles). This is when I first learned that I have thin willowy limbs and, my veins, yes. The nurse (who I found out later was very very new to the job) spent 18 times and 18 places trying to get my IV times! I looked like a druggie later. It took the senior nurse 3 times. So needless to is not easy to get to my veins.

Well, this did not send me running to the Red Cross Blood Bank. However, when I was working on a political campaign, we hosted a blood drive with the Congressman. They asked all of us to give blood and pretty much said if I didn't I would contribute to our candidate losing. Being 20 and gullible...I became susceptible to peer pressure and Just Did It. It took the technician several times, but he got it out of me.

This was the beginning of the end. A few weeks later, the lovely ladies of the Red Cross hotline called to tell me that I have "a very rare blood type and the only type of blood available for baby transfusions...and don't you want to give more blood for the babies." Well, how could I say no to that?

I can't...I don't...Since then I give blood anywhere from 3-8 times a year or try to. When I was in DC, it was harder to get the blood bank...but the blood bank here found me and they want I must go.

Now this is not to say that I don't love going...I do. The people are usually really nice, it doesn't hurt too much, you get to save a life or two, and you get free cookies (I have my priorities straight, people). I don't love having to get stuck three or four times while trying to coax out my Kate Moss-like veins.

The reason why I am going today...the lady from the blood bank called me this weekend and kept saying, "So, superhero, when are you coming in?"....ME! a Superhero! I could get used to that. Being nice and giving blood...sure those are good things...but being called superhero stroked my skittish-fragile-vein-ego.

Besides...this is a good time for me to plug the Red Cross. If you can give blood, you should. Even if you are scared, even if you think it is yucky or makes you feel good and really does make a difference in the day to day operations of saving lives. Click here to learn more!

Oh, and the supermodel part...My hair has been supermodel-rific lately...Getting that Tyra inspired breeze through it as I walk around school. Mainly, I've been saying it to myself because I've put back on a few pounds since this fall and am trying to think thin while I work out. Yeah, let's see that work!


Anonymous said...

Awww, A? Now I feel guilty. Do I get an exemption since I flat pass out every time I donate?

The Roaming Southerner said...

Yes of course you get an exempt. KW does too actually (well, he did the one time he donated after he played basketball for an hour...needless to say it wasn't something he wanted to experience again).

I don't think that donating blood is great for everyone.

It just isn't awful for me, so I have no excuse when the ask.

McMommy said...

Superhero!!!!! Wow! I bow down to your superior blood!!

p.s. This just might be your funniest post EVAAAAA!!

Erin said...

I give blood! :) Are you proud of me?