Dracula’s Calling

Phone Rings. Hubby Answers.

“Dracula’s calling”

I reply, “I will be right there”.

Me “Hi, what dates are open”?

Them, “We’d like to thank you for your past [umpteen]…..”

Me, “Sure, what dates are available”

Them, “Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday of next week between 1 and 8 p.m.”

And that is how it goes when Dracula calls – also known as the Red Cross.  I have A negative blood, a group of only 6% of the population, and Dracula, ah I mean the Red Cross, has me on the 56-day call list. You can donate a pint of blood every 56 days.  I know their spiel as well as anyone making the calls, having donated for a good part of over 40 years.  Things have changed some as automation, computers, and bar coding came into play but in the end it is still reading information about the process, answering a series of questions (which you can now do at home instead of reading the material at the donor center), then temperature, blood pressure, and iron levels, all in a private setting.  The iron thing is a problem sometimes.  Today for example the hematocrit on my left hand was 11.3, well below the 12.5 required for a blood donor, but another person came in and took a sample from the other hand and that was over 13 so I was good to go.  A few more questions in case you have traveled to or lived in an area where it might not be safe to use your blood, or have been exposed to certain diseases, certain life practices, or taken specific prescription medication. Then on to the donation table.

Not much to it really.  Stretch out. Get comfy. They swab your arm, stick in a needle, you squeeze and let go of some soft object at 5 to 10 second intervals, listen to the music that is playing, and in short time you are done and sitting at a table drinking juice and eating a snack.

On occasion I donate platelets.  That is fun.  You watch the blood being sucked out of your vein. Then a machine makes a lot of noise, and you see yellow plasma being poured back into your veins.  A little ghoulish but interesting. Ask for a blanket though because the blood/plasma drops a few degrees in processing and it takes a bit for your body to warm everything back up to normal temperature.

When you are done they tell you to drink a lot of liquids and no heavy work for the day.

Pretty smooth process.

Are you a blood donor?  Tell us about it.

Every Day Is A Good Day.  VJ

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