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Sometimes The Silver Lining In A Dark Cloud

I try to donate whole blood every eight weeks, and I have been mostly successful at doing that for the past 22 years. Recently, I changed employers and accepted a traveling job. From week to week, I did not know where I would have to be, and it made finding a mobile donation close to home or work very difficult. Blood drives organized by church groups, civic organizations, and universities are wonderful, but they are very hit or miss, unless I have an entire day to devote to a donation. I no longer work in the downtown area of a major city, where I could always find a convenient opportunity to donate within walking distance of work.

I volunteered for a six-month work assignment in another city. After three days of airline middle seats, trying to get my luggage onto crowded subways, long lines for coffee, not having a security access card at work, and the usual joy of the workplace, I took a deep breath and decided to see if there was a donation center near my temporary workplace. I had started questioning the wisdom of what I had gotten myself into. It had also been 11 weeks since my last donation, and I couldn't match my free time with a mobile blood drive. It turns out that there is a huge permanent Red Cross donation center within walking distance of my six-month work location. I am good for the next 8 weeks and I know right where to go when day 57 rolls around.

I am feeling much better about this work situation already.

WildeOscar WildeOscar 51-55, M 4 Responses Feb 8, 2011

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I applaud you for donating and only wish I could. I'm unable and it's a shame because I have no fear whatsoever of needles and the process. I pray for the day that they can test all blood and allow anyone who likes to donate!.....

I have almost been turned away twice for my blood pressure being too high on first testing. They are cautious about donor safety and the safety of the blood supply. As disappointing as it can be not to be allowed, it is better to be too cautious than not cautious enough. I also once had to wait for a reinstatement process that was never developed, but there was another way. Things change. Maybe in the future you will be able to.

I can understand them being concerned with things as your pressure, and causing you harm. The part about blood being acceptable for whatever reason is what I don't understand. Don't they test all blood donated? If mine were not acceptable couldn't they reject me at that point instead? I hope you're right that someday they will change the process.

rather than donate blood, i sell plasma. times are tight and my family needs the money.dj

Thank you, Q and gk, for your comments. There are many who are pleased to make this simple gift. I am grateful to those who serve in the chain that makes blood available to those in need, as we may all be one day.

I am unable to donate for some reason. I faint--not from the process, but because of what it does to me physiologically speaking; it weakens me I guess. The one time I attempted it, it took me so long to recover it scared everyone. I was told not to do it again, that some people just cannot donate.<br />
However, my has ex donated all of his adult life--like you, and we used to get calls at the house because he has a rare blood type. Because we were regularly getting called it made me understand just how great the need is--always, and just what an important contribution it is to humankind. <br />
You, by making the effort, as he did--save lives. It brings tears to my eyes to think about it, such a simple thing for some people (like him, and yourself), but yet such a pure and selfless act of generosity and true altruism. (especially when one considers the effort you put into figuring out how to do it on a regular basis).<br />
Thank you. <br />
Fate is funny. I guess they need you there. <br />
Way to find the silver lining.