Tag Archives: #giveBlood #GivetheGiftOfLife

#FML

I’m not going to spell out those initials because most people know what they mean. But I will tell you why I’ve titled this piece this way.

Last week I went to give blood. Since it’s the time of Covid and I no longer am employed as a nurse, I’ve wanted to do SOMETHING to help and giving blood is always a good idea, anyway. During this crisis/pandemic, though, it is more needed than ever since so many people are staying home and the ones who aren’t are not donating.

So. I’ve given blood for years and have never had a problem and didn’t anticipate one on this day. Armed with my Kindle, mask, and water bottle, in I went to the donation center at my appointed time.

I’d already filled out the prescreening questions ( 80 of them!) at home via the online link, so I just needed to have my vital signs taken, my blood tested for donate-ability ( not a real word but you know what I mean!) and then I had to be hooked up to the blood letting apparatus.

Easy peasy.

In preparation for the blood draw I always overload on green leafy vegetables for a week before hand – I eat spinach every day as it is, but the week before I double the amount and add in all kinds of goodies like kale ( ugh!) and pomegranate, all high in vitamin K levels, which enrich the blood.

Well, I must have really overloaded myself this time and gotten my blood good and primed. Why, you ask? Let me ‘esplain.

A typical blood draw takes between 15 and 25 minutes. Mine always average about 25.

This one took 5 minutes.

Seriously.

I filled that bag up as fast as I’d ever done before.

If you’re a medico you know what’s coming based just on that fact.

When the tech came to check on me, she said, “Wow. You’re a fast draw-er.” Then she took a look at my face and before you could say “are you okay,” she had me in Trendelenburg position ( head lowered below heart level, feet elevated at least 12 inches above it) and two other techs doused me with ice cold wet rags on my head and around my neck and wrists.

Yup. I was on my way to passing out big time. How did she know? I can only imagine how pale my skin had gone but I do know I was sweating like a puttana in a confessional. My top was saturated, in fact. Those little black dots that signal something is going on were scattered across my vision and this unbelievable wave of nausea engulfed me so badly that I couldn’t speak. If you’ve ever passed out you know that feeling because it’s like no other. Your hearing starts to echo, your vision tunnels in, the tips of your fingers and toes start to tingle and you can hear your heart beating in your head.

After about 15 minutes of hanging upside like a bat, I was righted once again, the blood letting apparatus was removed and the tech did everything she had to do to make sure the draw was complete before removing the needle and bandaging me up with the instructions to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon.

Wise words.

The moral of this little confession, kids? Even though I had a not so great experience, donating blood is one thing you can do to make the world a better place. During the horrible time we find ourselves in right now, we all need to feel like we are doing something useful. Donating blood truly does save a life, and if you can save someone’s life, well, I don’t know about you, but that just makes my day.

I can donate blood again in 8 weeks and plan on doing so.

Maybe next time I won’t eat so much kale, though.

Please consider giving the gift of life. to find out more about blood donation, click here: American Red Cross

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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How to really celebrate the Spirit of Christmas

 

Every year I make a list of the things that I want to do during the holiday season. Christmas isn’t just about getting presents for me — it never was. My childhood wasn’t filled with things like most American kids have nowadays. I was lucky if I got new underwear or pajamas from Santa some years. The Christmas season was more about experiences. Visiting the Rockefeller Tree. Attending the Natale festival in Little Italy.  Midnight Mass. These are my memories of Christmas. As an adult, I expanded my list of experiences and I want to share them today, because I think everyone should remember what the real spirit of Christmas means. It’s not about getting a new iPad or the latest must-have toy. It’s about experiencing the joy, hope, and love the season embodies and helping others feel the same way.

Here are a few things on my list to do this year:

  1. Volunteer. Those Salvation Army bell ringers don’t grow on trees! It takes a well-coordinated volunteer army to man those kettles you see around stores, in the mall, and on street corners. Give the gift of your time. Usually, shifts are 2 hours. Surely, you’ve got 2 hours you can donate to a worthy cause. 
  2. Attend a local holiday concert. Every year my town has a holiday concert put on by the local Pops Choir. They’re usually a fundraiser, so admission goes toward funding a local charity such as the food bank or a women’s shelter. Kicking back in an auditorium filled with like-minded people who want to enjoy some holiday music sung by people who should – in my opinion – be on American Idol(!) is a great way to spend a wintry, cold afternoon. Sit back, listen and enjoy, and know you are making a difference in someone’s life with the cost of your admission.
  3. Support Toys for Tots. I know I said Christmas isn’t about the presents, but kids, especially kids in foster care, those who have to spend Christmas in the hospital, those whose mothers or fathers are serving in the military thousands of miles away, THOSE kids deserve to get toys and presents. My daughter is an adult and I haven’t bought her a toy in quite some time. But I still toy shop during the holidays so I can hopefully make another child’s day a happy one.

         

         4. Volunteer at the local food kitchen or deliver food to shut-ins. This one is so self-explanatory I don’t need to define it, but I will, with this thought: Think of the meal you have with your family, friends, loved ones every Christmas. I’m sure your table is packed with more food than you all could possibly eat in one sitting. The house is decorated and warm. Everyone is relaxed, happy and glad to be alive. Now think about that family where the dad just lost his job, or the single mom who left an abusive relationship and took her kids with her. They live in a shelter. They worry if they’ll even get a meal a day, much less a holiday one.These are the people food kitchens were made for. Why don’t you take an hour out of your time and volunteer to serve these people.  Spend time with others who don’t have what you do, probably through no circumstances of their own making, and help them see that people really are kind and giving and the world isn’t a terrible, lonely place.

            5.Attend a holiday craft fair. I lovelovelove receiving home-made gifts. This is a great way to support local crafters AND do some holiday gift shopping

           6.Give blood. This may be the last thing you think of doing during the holidays, but believe me, it’s needed. This is the one selfless act that truly means giving because you’re literally giving the gift of life to another human being.

I’m sure you can think of many more worthwhile ways to make your Christmas a happier, more soul-fulfilling experience. I wish you all the most joyous of seasons, and my hope is that after reading this blog today, you’ll go out and make someone else’s life as happy as yours is.

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