I gave blood today. I really love giving blood. I think today's donation made 19 pints for me. It helps people and it's fun to do. I've never minded the needles, so giving blood has never been a problem for me, as far as I'm concerned. The very first time I gave blood, they had to stick me in both arms and dig before they got it flowing, and I've had a few "problem" donations since then, but nothing that bothered me. Today's donation was pretty straight forward. I warned the nurse that people have had problems finding a vein in me in the past, but sometimes it just goes fine. She thanked me for the warning and examined my arm a bit before deciding on a spot to stick me. Her first stick was dead on and I flowed without any problems. It was really quick once they had the needle in me -- they were done in six minutes.
This time, instead of hanging the donation bag on the chair while obtaining the collection, they had a machine that they put on the floor that the bag sat on. The machine was about the size of a shoebox and the bag sat on a piece that would rock back and forth. I assume that was to help keep the blood from starting to clot in the bag. The machine also had a scale, so it would beep when it was full and ready to take off. It was definitely pretty cool. I watched it at work on the chair next to mine, since I couldn't see my own.
After giving blood, I headed over to the canteen area so they could watch me and make sure I didn't faint. I didn't. I ate some snack food and had a soda instead. They even gave me a free t-shirt for donating blood today. That's one of the perks about going to the blood center to donate -- sometimes they have giveaways. I also like going to the blood center because I can make a regular appointment and give more often than if I relied on the blood drives at church, e.g.
On my way back to the office after giving blood, I indulged in my favorite post-blood-donation activity: getting a huge cheeseburger from Cook-Out.
Once I got back to the office, I had to quickly hop on a phone conference. I had originally thought I might have to be on that conference while donating blood, but things went quick enough at the donation center that everything was fine and I got back to my desk in time. The call hadn't really started yet and everyone was chit-chatting about various things. I mentioned that I had a yummy hamburger from Cook Out and everyone was jealous. People came over to my cube to look at it. I took a picture of it and put it online so the folks in California could look at it.
It was a great burger. Now, the combined effects of a hard week at work, giving blood, and eating a huge burger are really catching up with me and I'm seriously considering taking a nap. I've got lots to do tonight and this weekend, but I think I'll be better able to do it if I took a bit of a nap.
If you live in an area where there's a Cook-Out and you don't regularly enjoy the fine, fine burgers available there, then shame on you! If you come visit me in Greensboro, remind me to take you out to the Cook-Out so you can enjoy this culinary delight for yourself.