I went to the Florida Blood Services bloodmobile, which was parked outside a theater. I figured I’d get movie passes instead of a t-shirt, and I was right; I got two passes, not good for special engagements. Certainly the best swag I’ve gotten for blood.
I tried donating by apheresis. The system takes whole blood, holds onto the red blood cells, and pushes the plasma and platelets back into me on the same line. It didn’t hurt until the first cycle was ending; apparently the vein they picked wasn’t terribly fond of having fluid pushed INTO it. I started feeling pain and pressure, and they quickly shut off the machine. I imagined the crook of my elbow swelling up like a cartoon hose, but I’m sure it was nothing like that.
They were able to use the portion of blood that I had managed to donate, but I have to wait the full four months before I can donate blood again. I’m not saying I would have gotten around to donating again, but I’d like to have had the option. Oh well, maybe I’ll help someone out around Christmas.
Speaking of donating blood at Christmas: I was at a funeral a year or two ago, and one of the speakers (referring to the deceased, whose life was bound up with organ donation, both as a recipient and as a lifelong advocate and activist) said that Christ was the ultimate organ donor. Well, I tend to think He was the ultimate blood donor.
Anyway, I think giving blood ought to be part of the modern Christmas celebration, for anyone who chooses to regard Christmas as a religious observance. (Frankly, the Christmas I’m aware of is primarily a secular phenomenon.) I don’t know how to make it happen. Maybe I should just put a bug in God’s ear and hope God will nudge the Pope, or other influential people. So do I pray about it or just figure that God is everywhere, even on LJ?