March 4th, 2013

Me 1

Good Blood

On Saturday, when I next donate blood, I will have donated 48 pints.

That's six gallons since fall 2003, when I started donating. (I'd donated a time or two during college but didn't get into the habit back then.) Do I want to picture how much six gallons is? Um, well, no actually. So I won't get into more detail than that. *close "how much blood in the human body" search on Google* But: six gallons of O-Negative. Nothing to be sneezed at. Thanks for doing good outside my body as well as inside it, my blood!

Blood On The Run

"Dear Christopher,

"Thank you for giving blood on 1/9/2013. After first ensuring local hospital needs were met, your blood donation was sent to Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay, OR to help a patient in need. Your donation is on its way to change lives!"

My blood's now better traveled than I've been these past two years. Feh. (Oh, is there a better message to take from this letter? Yes, there is!)

I like this: as you can see, the Red Cross told me where my latest pint of donated blood went. (THe rest of my blood's stayed in me. I've only barely been injured since then! Plus I don't cut myself.) The letter has other details: as a Type O-Negative, I'm among 7 percent of the population with that type of blood. "Less than 1 percent of the population," the note adds, "donates Type O Negative blood." It's especially useful blood; it can be used for anyone in a pinch, without their body rejecting it. Yes, my blood doesn't kill people. Score!

So this is a new thing for me, hearing in broad strokes where my pint went. Each donated pint can be split among up to three people, based on need. Seems very communist that way. (That's why blood is red!) Now I can imagine where else my blood's gone. Or even if it's gone into someone I know.

Meanwhile, there's a pint's worth swimming around in my veins that has an appointment with a sterile needle in five days. Carry on, pint; I'll use you until then...
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