A blog by Mary Van De Velde
Are you a grid iron fanatic? That was the question from Lifesource in a recent email. Being a football lover, I opened it right away knowing it was a reminder to give blood again, but this time there’s a chance to win tickets to a Bears Game! Not that the Bears are a big incentive, but I know my sons would want to go to a game, so I made an appointment right away.
I always wonder why more people do not give blood, so I looked up the top 10 reasons (or excuses). They include: not enough time (it only takes 45 minutes), fear of needles and pain (the “pain” is no more than a pinch), you don’t want to get tired (you’re only tired a bit the day after), and you’re afraid you’ll catch a disease (all the needles are sterile and they clean constantly). So instead of thinking of reasons not to give, think of why you should. I started giving because of my brother, Bobby, who lost a lot of blood when he was a kid during an operation. I was too young to give then, but when I was older and discovered I had his same blood type, B+, I tried to start giving regularly to help someone else. Even though some blood types are rarer than others, all types are needed. Lifesource says someone needs blood every 2 seconds!
For first-timers, some of the questions you have to answer before you give can be a little odd. Questions such as, “Have you ever had sex with someone who had sex with someone in Zimbabwe?” (not a real question, but they are similar). After giving many times, you will have memorized the questions and you can zip through them in about two minutes. As for the iron test, it’s tougher to pass for women. My advice is to take a women’s one-a-day vitamin, eat raisins right before you give blood, and eat plenty of green veggies the day before, and you’re good to go. If you have low blood pressure, go walk around the block before they take your blood pressure just to get your blood pumping. Don’t worry, most people don’t have any of these problems, but of course I’ve had them all.
The best part about giving is not only feeling good that you’re helping to save a life, it’s heading to the snack area afterward and having some awesome popcorn. Oh, and maybe I’ll take an extra bag for that trip to the Bears game, where I’ll probably end up with high blood pressure!