When my daughter London was 15 months old, we discovered that she had a rare form of bone marrow failure called Transient Erythroblastopenia of Childhood. Don't feel bad if you've never heard of it. If you asked my husband what London was diagnosed with, he would stare blankly at your face for an uncomfortable amount of time. And then whisper-mumble something unintelligible under his breath. Then walk away real fast before you could ask any follow up questions.
We are aware that we were extremely fortunate that her condition was transient and therefore short-lived, so he never really had to remember what it was that caused our little baby girl's body to spontaneously stop producing red blood cells. A series of life-saving blood transfusions bought her the time she needed for her body to kick back in with making red blood cells. I will never forget how different she looked and acted after she got her first round of transfusions. She had been so pale and sickly, that post-transfusion she honestly looked like she had a spray tan.
We know so many children and adults who's lives have been saved, or prolonged, because of blood transfusions. So for Day 11, I donated blood for the first time at the American Red Cross! I have attempted to donate many times, but have been denied for various reasons - pregnancies, surgeries, tattoos, travel, not reaching the weight limit (unless I just had a baby, which brings us back to disqualifier #1). But, I've been working out, so I am officially weighing in as an adult and my uterus has been closed for business for many years now. No fresh tats, no surgeries, and no travel to questionable regions. So, today I was a first-time blood donor!
Here are a few things you should know about blood donation.
- The lady checking you in was probably born in the 1800's, so speak up when you spell your name.
- They give you gummies when you're done.
That's really all you need to know. Oh, and...
3. Blood donation saves lives.
If that doesn't do it for ya, then it's okay to do it just for the gummies.
I was a little nervous going in because they ask you so many questions about how scandalous your history is, that even the most wholesome donor ends up feeling a little like a promiscuous drug dealer. But, all the surveys were really the most tedious part. After that, they impale you with a needle that's about as big around as a string cheese. (This is a slight exaggeration for the sake of humor and a little bit of pity.) Then they bag up your blood and it's really not that bad honestly. But, spoiler alert, you face feels numb if you go in dehydrated.
Viewer discretion is advised, because I did take a picture of my blood bag.
And then I made the phlebotomist take a picture with me. I'm pretty sure she wanted to poke me with another needle, just for asking her to do a selfie with me.
And then I wrote #AdamsActs on my bandaid. With my left hand. And a numb face. So, it looks like a toddler did it.
Two quick updates for you before I sign off. First, the snack drive for David's Refuge is a success so far! Thank you to the people who made deliveries today!! And second, we did hear back from The Craigslist-Nutella-Breakup-Kid. He read the blog and said he actually thought it was really great what we were doing, and instead of accepting our Nutella donation to his cause, he requested that we donate that money to a homeless shelter. Sara is going to live in regret for leaving that one. He's smart, he's funny, he cares about homeless people, he hates video games and he loves chocolate!
If you are single and lookin' to mingle... and this guy matches your dream guy description, we may be able to make introductions. I hear a great first date is attending a blood drive.
It's like speed dating, but with gummies.