Friday, November 08, 2013
I gave blood yesterday. I've been doing this since I was a senior in High School.
Lol. I remember my Mother finding out I'd given blood the first time. It wasn't a secret... I told her. She discarded any plans she'd had for our dinner and served us liver instead. (UGH!)
I've been at it so long now that I've donated 17.5 gallons as of yesterday. That's 140 pints.
It all started out as a way I could give back to my community. As a student I didn't feel I was contributing much, and this was a way I could help that didn't cost money I didn't have.
Later, as a young mother, it was a bit of "me" time as well as way to help others. We didn't live in Portland then, so I could only donate during blood drives about 4 times a year. My husband called me (still does!) a reverse vampire.
In the past few years, I've seen both of my parents need repeated blood transfusions, and I have been so grateful that the blood supply was there to help them. I want to help make sure that the supply is there for others in need.
Part of the pre-donation process is a blood pressure check. I've always had good blood pressure...even when I was heavy. Yesterday the woman working with me took my blood pressure and mentioned that I was low (96/66). She asked if I was on medication for high blood pressure. When I said no, she said "then you must exercise a lot." She asked if that was so that I could eat anything I wanted. She was surprised to hear that I had been 35 pounds heavier and need to exercise to maintain that weight loss. Eating anything I want is not a choice I get to have.
Non Scale Victory!! It was nice to be admired for doing something that helps ME! I got to tell her about Sparkpeople after she told me about her sister who had paid for diet food and then gained all the weight back when she stopped using it.
Another, very short term, benefit of giving blood is that I weigh almost a pound less today than yesterday. And I've been drinking a lot of water to aid in the replacement of those blood cells. This is really a very satisfying type of community service. I recommend it!