Friday, June 22, 2007

Give the gift of life

The Naples blood center has the slogan "Give the gift of life" printed on the side of the mobile blood donation center. This past Wednesday they parked this RV sized hospital in front of our church. I get the emails telling me when they are going to be looking for donors so I scheduled my appointment for 4:30 pm.

Now allow me to give you a little back story here. Over the course of a year or so, I have attempted this task 3 times before (this being my 4th.) Every time, I go through the rigorous process of getting asked a million questions, probed, then prodded only to be deemed unworthy to give blood or "give the gift of life."

The first time, my iron level was too low. The second time, my blood pressure was too low. Last time I tried I had been to Africa too recently and they were required to wait until all the Ugandan red dirt would pass through my system. All this took me back to a high school memory when I couldn't donate because I didn't weigh 100 lbs yet. Ahh those were the days... but I digress.

I went into this attempt thinking that I was for sure going to pass the tests and I would be the hero of the day because I had exactly the blood type needed to save some little girl named Sally with pink bows in her hair waiting for a donor like me. But guess what happend? Before I could even sit down they starting the interrogation and within 5 minutes of my entry I had once again been deemed unworthy to "give the gift of life." Little Sally would have to wait.

This time around they explained that I will not be able to donate blood for a year because of a procedure I had done back in April. I just can't win. Neither can Sally.

Now I understand why there are such rigid filters for blood donations but I am a healthy, young, active girl who has been trying to help for over a year now and they have done nothing but discourage my attempts. The only time in my life that I have ever been able to donate blood was on September 12, 2001 where I stood in line at the Red Cross for 4 hours in downtown Nashville. Questions weren't invasive and somehow my blood and I passed and were able to do our part.

I want to help. I want to "give the gift of life" but THEY won't let me. So, for all the Sally's out there, I'm sorry, I'm trying!

Has anyone else had a frustrating experience with this process?

1 comment:

Cherie <> said...

I have only given blood once...My Sophomore year of high school. Although, I was almost not able to because I was not aware I had to have a parent's signature until the day I went to give! I was so upset, but luckily my dad worked down the road and could stop by to sign the form for me. I have never attempted to give on the "Blood Bus" but I know someone who did and had a bad experience. They stuck the needle in her and moved it around to find a vein, which caused one of her veins to be torn and her arm to have a huge bruise for awhile. I'm not so sure I would want to give on there since I heard her story!

I have a fear of needles now though too so I don't think I would be brave enough to try it out. I had a similar experience as my friend, but it was at what used to be Cleveland Clinic before it got bought out by Physicians Regional. Anyways, I was having some blood tests done and they didn't move the needle around in my arm, but they couldn't find a vein and came really close to putting it in the back of my hand, which completely freaked me out (I've never even had an IV before)! So I don't like needles being stuck in me anymore. You've inspired me to write a post about this now so if you would like to read my whole story, just visit my xanga site at

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