By Dave Horton
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our lives, our jobs and getting things done that it takes a cry for help to bring us back to our senses. I received that cry a few weekends ago. My wife and I had just returned from a night on the town when the phone rang. It was a friend of mine from the Lane Blood Center. The first thing out of her mouth was, “Are you clean?”
Some of you are smiling so I’ll explain what she meant. In order to donate blood, your system must be free of aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs for at least the past 24 to 48 hours.
I know these factoids because my first donation happened back when I was serving in the Air Force. I’ve since made over 260 donations and each time it reminds me that I’m not the only person in the world.
Lane Blood called me on a Saturday night because they had a severe shortage of a blood product called platelets and they needed me in the next day. In fact, they asked if I could make a double donation. During this process, whole blood is removed and cycled through a machine (capturing the platelets) and then returned to your body. It takes a fair amount of whole blood to capture a unit of platelets — in my case close to nine pints. The body of an adult male contains between 10 and 12 pints, so I brought a book!
Don’t worry, no one’s going to ask you to do that; they know I’m a sucker for giving blood.
Why do I tell you all of this? I hope it encourages you to get involved with the Lane Blood Center and donate something our bodies make naturally, to those who need it most. Donating blood reminds me that life is bigger than just you or me. Sometimes I need a little jolt to help remind myself.
If you need a little jolt, too, look at Nancy Trautman’s story.