Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gotta feed a Cullen

Day 3 of the 30-day challenge: donate blood.

After arriving an hour before the opening of the center (I thought I was showing up an hour late) and wolfing down a non-nutritional lunch at McD's (gotta eat), I finally did it. I did the thing that I've been wanting to do since senior year of high school but was too chicken to actually do because of my abhorrence of needles. I gave blood. Technically twice too. I mean, the blood donation center chick had to prick my finger with this boxy needle thingy to see if I had enough iron and enough blood (??? could you really not have enough blood?) to give. So those 7 or so droplets count to me. I mean, after all, they are precious.

After doing all that, I thought ok, I'm clear. I even went so far as to type that as my Facebook status on my phone app. But before I could push send, homegirl whipped out a blood pressure cuff. My finger hovered above my phone and my pulse began to quicken as I saw the challenge coming to a crashing halt before my eyes. I squeaked out, could high blood pressure prevent me from donating blood. I had to ask because, you see, my blood pressure is the whole reason I was even able to be in the donation center during the middle of the day on a work day. I am on medical leave because I can't get the damn thing to stabilize. Teaching is such a stressful job when it's not your passion. I even have acne now and have lost 40lbs because of it (see my about me pic). What prompted my doctor to authorize a leave (actually, she's been telling me to quit since October) is that on Wednesday, January 19th, my bp hit 170/108 plus it initiated a massive migraine. Immediate leave of absence required to save my life (maybe not something so drastic but it was enough to scare me and really concern her).

So, here I am, challenging myself to do something useful with my time every single day-- which brings me back to the point of this entry.

The donation lady (ok, I'll share her name, Marie), wrapped the cuff around my upper left arm and began pumping away on the little blue ball (get your minds out the gutter).  I waited with bated breath and sweaty palms, dreading the number she was going to utter. She removed the cuff and said, "Not bad. 124/90". Maybe she's dyslexic. One TWENTY-four? Come on. But who was I to argue with a medical professional? I had my all clear; I was going to be a life saver. I was going to be a blood donor.

Skipping over the whole prep process in which Marie alcohol swapped the inner nook of my left arm so vigorously that I had to double check to make sure I still had my pigmentation ("have to be cautiously clean"), I want to end this entry with this: it didn't hurt all that much. In fact, it hurt less than the IV I had two weeks ago (in the same spot). And I'm glad I did it. I know I said it tongue in cheek before but I really do hope what I've done today can help save a life. I feel good and that's what this 30-day challenge is all about.

Take me, James (Twilight), I'm yours.
That's right!
She said, now that you've given once, you can come back to give again. And the look on my face says...?

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