Not "give blood, play hockey", as the bumper sticker goes, although there's nothing wrong with that. I just got home from finally
getting off my butt and donating blood. It's like a civic duty or something, isn't it? I've been meaning to do it for a really long time, like 10 years. But there's this rule about not being able to give blood if you've had a tattoo in the last n
months, and I always had gotten one sometime within the n
months time frame, so it never worked out. There were a lot of Red Cross bloodmobiles on campus this past semester, which got me thinking about it more, but I was always on my way to class and they'd be gone by the time I was out of class. So I finally made an appointment, at the Stanford Blood Center
, a few weeks ago. I picked Stanford because, well, it's Stanford and also because they have this handy list that tells you exactly how much and what kind of blood they have on that day, and what they use blood. For example, "five month old had a liver transplant here last week", with accompanying adorable pictures of small children. They do a really good job at the ol' heartstrings tugging. What can you say? "I'm sorry, I have to go run errands. I can't take 30 minutes out of my day to give you some of my blood".
Unfortunately, my first trip was unsuccessful, as my hemoglobin level was .2 too low. Good enough reason as any to eat Cream of Wheat and take a multi-vitamin every day. I did that, went back today and it was much higher, so they took my blood. I got the "new" medical assistant, so it's a good thing I don't mind medical procedures. She wasn't bad or anything, and it didn't hurt, and it only took ten minutes for me to fill up a pint. But she was definitely new because all the other medical assistants kept hovering around her to make sure she didn't kill me/let the blood drain onto the floor/etc. No such thing happened, and afterwards I was encouraged
to have cookies. That was the best part!
So, if you think you'll have a spare 30 minutes one day, check with the American Red Cross to find a blood drive near you. If you happen to live around Stanford, I recommend them. Except they're currently not using red bandages due to some sort of reported allergy to the dye used in them, so you'll walk out of the Stanford Blood Center wearing a Cal colored bandage...