Friday, February 26, 2010

I So Didn't Even Want To Eat That Snickers Bar

And really, how often in life do you say that statement? Snickers are one of the few candies I actually will eat, and I don't think I'd had one since Halloween. I ate it this morning though, and it was almost torture to eat it. What a waste.

The good news is that it was completely worth it. (You're scratching your heads now, aren't you?)

See, Manic Mommy is having a virtual blood drive. This is the third year she's done it, and I think it's pretty awesome of her. She's encouraging people to donate blood, which is worthwhile all on its own. As an added inducement, she's gotten prizes donated for those people who donate blood from January 1 to February 28 and email her picture proof of the donation. For more details, read here.

I've participated the last two years that she's held it, since I'm a regular blood donor already. And no, I haven't won any prizes (yet!). I have two main reasons that I donate blood.

When my grandfather was ill before he died, he used gallons of blood. While the transfusions kept him alive, nothing was enough to return him to health - but without donations, no one has a chance. He was a regular blood donor, but I don't think even his massive quantities of blood made up for what he used. I'm helping to replenish what he needed.

I also have O negative blood, which is the universal donor. When there is an emergency and they don't have time to type someone's blood, O neg is what they need to use, so it's most in demand, as well as being in the veins of something like four percent of the population. As a regular donor, they like my good clean O neg, and it is bagged separately for use with babies who need it. Seeing that neonatal sticker on my blood each time and knowing that I'm able to give hope to families who otherwise wouldn't have it - there's no way I'm going to stop donating.

So did you notice that today is February 26 and the contest started January 1?

Yeah... me, too. Sadly, I'm not posting this now because I managed to donate twice in the timeframe (which is doable, every eight weeks get back out there!).

I tried donating early in January but was declined because my iron was low. Then I got sick. Then I was busy with work. My iron was low again. Work. I went to Florida for Disney's Social Media Moms conference. Work. I got sick. Work.

I knew that today was my last chance, so I've been preparing all week. Somehow, I needed to get my iron up to where it normally is. Until December, I'd been donating every eight weeks or so for years.

When I've donated before, their suggestions for getting your iron up were to eat chocolate covered raisins and Snickers bars. So yep, that's what I ate for breakfast. Of course, I didn't actually have chocolate covered raisins, but I did have raisins and chocolate chips, so I had a nice half cup of that. And then the Snickers bar that I ate on my way to the donation. That much chocolate that early in the morning is not fun. Apparently, I'm no longer eighteen, as I think at some point that would have appealed to me.

When I got there, they offered to test my iron for me before doing the rest of the paperwork to avoid wasting time for both of us. As I sat down, I asked how long it takes for the iron to metabolize. Oh, two to three hours, she told me. Great. So that junk I just ate to get my iron up within the last hour wasn't even going to make a difference. Whee.

She stuck my fingers for the sample and put it into the neat-o machine that gives the iron readings. Annnnnd... 14.8. For me, that's super high. And well above the 12.5 needed (I usually hover in the high 12s and low 13s). Yay, I could donate blood!

Apparently it was the quinoa and spinach that I had for dinner last night. Go fig. And yes, I will be posting the "recipe" for this, since even the wee ones ate it and loved it - to the point that Mister Man asked if he could have spinach and quinoa for breakfast this morning.

So how about you? Have you donated blood lately? Can you go donate blood still for Manic?


Karen February 26, 2010 at 7:41 PM  

I love that you donate so frequently. Hero is a good word.

Clueless_Mama February 26, 2010 at 11:05 PM  

I like the picture, but I hate needles. I admire people that donate frequently. Way to go!

Alexis AKA MOM February 26, 2010 at 11:08 PM  

Oh I saw her do this last year, what a GREAT thing you did! You know I've never donated something I really should do, thanks hun for the push!

Laura February 26, 2010 at 11:17 PM  

Yeah I really need to get off my duff and donate blood.

The blood mobile stops at my husbands work and every goes out to donate blood, they get paid while doing it.

Oh you are so cute! I hate you now :D

The Boob Nazi February 26, 2010 at 11:50 PM  

Why didn't you want to eat the Snickers?!? Did I miss that part somehow?

WeaselMomma February 27, 2010 at 5:33 AM  

I am so glad that you donated and that you are putting out a last minute push for the Virtual Drive!

Mrs4444 February 27, 2010 at 9:37 AM  

How funny! I could have written this post, as I too have o-neg, got rejected because of low iron the 2nd-to-last time I tried to donate, and am scheduled to give blood Friday (too late for a second entry in the contest, I'm afraid :)

I have eaten then chocolate covered raisins for sake of iron (yuck) and think it's hilarious that you ate all of that for nothing, haha. I'm glad to know now that it takes three hours to kick in.

septembermom February 27, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

That's awesome Michelle. I really need to do it too. My husband does it regularly all the time. You look very cute sitting in that chair :)

Hyacynth February 27, 2010 at 11:12 AM  

You even look good while donating blood! Sheesh, mama. :)
You have inspired me. I'm going inquire about making an appointment for next week if they'll let me while I'm nursing. I haven't donated for years because of being in a constant cycle of pregnancy and nursing. But there's no harm in asking!

Unknown Mami February 27, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

I love quinoa and I love spinach. I've never had them together.

Dan February 27, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

Congrats for donating!

I used to donate, but any more the witches brew of drugs in my blood to treat my chronic condition make it "unacceptable". Donating is so important and such an easy way to help others.

P.S. If you want to see a blood center light up, have AB- blood like my wife.

Sherry February 27, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

I used to give blood all the time I could, but I've had a terrible time with needles and giving blood. My veins roll, hide, and then ttakes me forever to give a pint. I've passed out.. LOL! I might have to give it another go. Especially if they are giving out free cookies. :D

MaNiC MoMMy™ February 27, 2010 at 10:22 PM  

Awesome! And yeah, I woulda puked too with all that chocolate! How funny how we change as we age huh? Soo excited and thankful that your iron was high enough today, I know you tried so hard these past weeks!

Tell Hyacynth a girl from last week donated who is nursing and she was able to do so!

Putting the post together for tomorrow right now; hope you win something this year--you deserve to! Three years in a row! ANd so glad they didn't bitch about the picture taking, and you do look so cute! xo

Pat February 27, 2010 at 10:54 PM  

That's great, Michelle, that you give blood regularly! I've just started giving again after years of not giving because I always used to faint when I gave blood, so they couldn't get a full pint and thus couldn't use it for a transfusion. I finally learned to drink plenty of water, no caffeine, and eat something 2 - 4 hours before I donate and it's been the key to success in my donating blood.

Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 11:39 PM  

What an awesome gift! I did apheresis for a number of years, and am sadly no longer a very good candidate to donate blood because of the damage the needles did to my veins. Thank you for spreading the word!

Michelle March 1, 2010 at 2:16 PM  

Karen - Umm hero? Not quite, but thanks :) There are SO many other people who do so much more.

Clueless_Mama - I'm lucky that needles don't bother me, I know that. If only I could transfer that to the wee ones!

Alexis - You've never donated? Go! Do it! I'll look forward to hearing how it goes.

Laura - Niiiiiiice, they get paid to donate? Yeah, my work never did that :) I'll survive. You hate me now? Should I even tell you that was an unflattering picture? ;P

The Boob Nazi - Ummm because it was 8:30am and I'd already eaten raisins and chocolate chips for breakfast. My tummy can't do that much junk food anymore!

WeaselMomma - Me, too, although I'm bummed it took that long. Next year, hopefully I can join the outing you went on!

Mrs4444 - What, are you trying to steal my posts now? :) But hey - try the spinach and quinoa; apparently it worked for me. Recipe to come for Tasty Tuesday!

Kelly - Awww, thank you! And yes, go donate! (Hey, kid free time, right?)

Hyacynth - Ok you people are way too nice. I like the low standards though! Definitely ask. I was able to donate while nursing, and I know others have, too. Good luck!

Unknown Mami - Me neither, but it was actually really good (with cheese, of course), and the wee ones loved it. It's definitely going into the Lenten rotation.

Dan - Bummer that you can't donate anymore, but yay to your wife. AB- is definitely another needed blood type and RARE!

Sherry - They are always giving out free something. My mom was with you having lots of vein issues, but she was able to donate again a couple months ago finally. Have you tried really stocking up on the water and dumping caffeine before donating? I've heard that can help.

Steph - Awww, thanks, Steph. Although I will say that I am not in it to win it. I have the blood calendar on my wall and donate to donate. Prizes are just a fun addded benefit.

Pat - Glad you found your key to success and are able to donate. It's frustrating when you want to and can't (as I unfortunately know all too well).

Nichole - Good for you for donating, but bummer on the damage to your veins. I know it gets harder to pop the needle past my scar tissue, but luckily my veins are still strong. Will yours ever be able to recover?

Anonymous March 1, 2010 at 9:29 PM  

That is a great picture of you -

An old Friend

Michelle March 7, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

J - Thanks. You're too kind. So when are you going to donate?

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