Blood. We all have it. I like to give some away every once and a while 🙂 A couple years ago, when I reached the minimum age to donate, I started donating blood! I am pretty special (but you knew that already) and have O- blood, which means I am a universal donor. I’m not actually that special, about 7% of the world has O- blood.
I use to imagine that my blood was put into the lovely plastic bags, trucked off to some warehouse in a cooler, and then stored for a few weeks or months before a hospital somewhere was running low, BUT I found out that the blood you donate is used WITHIN A WEEK of you donating it. By the time they process your donation and find out where it needs to be shipped, it is being pumped into someone else to help them LIVE! Crazy.
Understandably, there are various reasons why many people cannot donate blood. In fact, I have been rejected twice for low iron and another couple times my blood pressure was too low so I had to wait fifteen minutes, drink tons of water, and get my blood flowing and pumping harder to donate. For uber healthy people, donating blood is really cool and it actually does save lives 🙂 I kind of think of these donation sessions as mini-medical check-ups. They take my pulse, iron, blood pressure, and temperature! I love seeing what my heart rate is because it is usually fairly “athletic” and low!
I took some reading in case the lines were long or it took a while but it was super quick and I didn’t even get to read a chapter!
It feels so great to donate… well, not the needle part, especially when she had to “adjust” my needle in my arm… but the “giving” part! Oh, and the mango juice I had after was pretty great too!
Exercise-wise… take the recommendations of “No strenuous activity for 6-8 hours and drink TONS of water” seriously. Not adequately rehydrating after donating blood can be really dangerous, especially if you try and workout even the morning after (been there, done that). I took the recommendations EXTREMELY seriously this time and decided it was absolutely necessary that my brother cook dinner for me.
I was weak, ok? 😉
He made an incredible dinner of homemade chicken strips, purple yam fries (even though only the skin is purple, how strange), and strawberry salad.
Actually, he had pasta with his and I had salad. His plate was a lot less colourful than mine, though he claims his ketchup should be considered a colourful vegetable addition to his meal… uh, not so much. Heaven forbid I don’t get 23 servings of vegetables a day.
If you CAN donate, DO it. For my Canadian readers, you can go to this link for more information and you can even book an appointment online! How can one say no to free juice and cookies? As super healthy and athletic Canadians, let’s take a bit of time to help someone else get healthy!
If you are in the middle of training for a race or ramping up the mileage, Runner’s World has a great article about how blood donation could affect your running in the days and weeks following donation! I am not currently training for a race, just maintaining mileage so it was the perfect time for me to donate!
Have YOU ever donated blood?