The gift of (extending) life

Without getting my feet stuck in the “When does life actually occur”, I added the qualifier up in the post title. Is it when daddy’s swimmers get jiggy with mommy’s egg, or when the kid pops out with a stogie and a martini glass and says “there goes the neighborhood” or somewhere in between we we have cute little names like ‘little bean’, ‘peanut’, or ‘monkeyboy’?

But now giving blood, that’s more cut (haha) and dry. You must have blood, among other things, to live. It’s the goo that gets that ever precious oxygen to various parts of the body. And although we need it to sustain life, little nasties can reside in it that can kill off the entire world population if it had a brain and opposable thumbs.

If you have ever given blood, there is a in-process procedure which you are poked, a little proded and asked about a bazillion question. I had forgotten that my cruise qualifies me to have a little addendum added to my questionnaire for the next 3 years. *sigh* and having a new trainee the questions were slow going.

But I’m not complaining (too much), I have patience with people who are learning especially when I can help. After all, she was the one that had only been there working for 2 weeks. So, I waited for her to take my pulse, then my temperature… and then ask the questions.

I was surprised that there really were not any new questions this time. The standard Jail, tattoo, jail, syphilis, aids, madcow, been to Europe, been to Africa, blah, blah blah…

well, they didn’t kick me out.

And my Iron was really high today 46% oh and if you need more personal information my temperature was 96.4F. But with my high iron, they really really really wanted me to see Alyx. Alyx, huh? Hot chick? Suave dude? Nope. Alyx is a fancy schmancy name for a blood extraction machine that can take out blood, strip the components, keep the red blood cells and the shove the white blood cells and other stuff back into the body. It’s kinda like a preprocessing and they can get 2 units of blood out of one donation.

Hanging out with Alyx is a little longer than a regular pint of Vampire’s brew, but a lot faster than giving platelets or plasma. If I give blood, I can usually get in, give blood and get out in 45minutes. My special time with Alyx had me there for about an hour and 15 minutes. It would have been closer to an hour, if we didn’t have to search for St. Maarten, St Thomas and the other islands in the big book of outbreaks.

Seeing that I had some flexibility in my time today, I went to go hold Alyx’s hand and have the blood experience an out of body travel before coming back through customs and getting back to work. As an added bonus of taking longer than the regular stick and extract method of blood donation, I got to watch TV. I finally settled on SportsCenter.

I filled out a release forms that had such things as dizziness, vomiting, and death on them… mmmm sounds like fun, sign me up! There is no difference in the needle or procedure. Just lather me up with a nice iodine swab and an pokey-pokey. Instead of the blood just going into a bag on a scale that hums when it’s the right weight. It goes to a mechanical unit that does all its magic before it gives it back to me.

One interesting thing is that since your blood leaves your body and sees the world around you from the inside of a plastic bag, it cools. So when you get your blood back, it’s cooler and thus you can get the chills. So, I asked for a blankie, to watch my SportsCenter BOO-YAH, not only do you get a blanket, but you get a heated blanket… hell, am I on a cruise? heated blankie… sweet.

Before I knew it, I was done. when I give blood the old fashioned way, I like to (secretly) race the other donors and try to finish before they do…don’t ask.

So, now I don’t need to give again until April, that’s kinda cool.

But since I got my plasma and white blood cells back, does that mean that the 40oz Colt 45 Malt Liquor won’t work as fast?

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon