I went and gave blood today at UNH after lunch. It was the first time I gave blood in close to 10 years. I used to donate in Hawaii all the time, but then I had my daughter and we moved back to Japan (after having seen a nurse mark my blood as "foreign" at a blood drive in Osaka, I vowed never to donate there again) and I just fell out of the habit. Giving blood is such an easy way to make a potentially huge difference in someone's life and they usually give you good cookies when you're finished. Save a life and get a cookie. What could be better than that?
The blood drive was held in the MUB, same place I got my flu shot last fall, but much less crowded today. I checked in, filled out the form, answered the interview questions, got the finger prick and my blood pressure taken. That was all easy enough. The only real problem I ever have giving blood is that I'm a slow bleeder. My hands and feet are usually cold. I have poor circulation, and I don't have any good fat veins in my arms. The nurse managed to locate a vein and got me set up, but she ended up having to stand there with me for 15 minutes holding the needle and tube in a certain position to make sure the blood flowed enough to fill up the bag. It probably takes me twice as long to donate a pint as it takes a normal donor. The needle is never as bad as I fear it will be and as long as I don't look at the bags full of blood I feel fine. I feel a little slower than usual right now, but none the worse for giving up the pint.
The blood drive at UNH will be going on for the next two days, so if you're on campus and can spare a little time out of your afternoon, please consider giving a pint. You could help save someone's life and you'll get cookies.