i haven’t given blood in eight years. i used to do so regularly but going to nicaragua changed all that. according to the red cross going to nicaragua excludes you from giving blood for a period of one year after your visit. since i’ve been going to nicaragua for eight straight years i haven’t been able to give blood during that time period.
before going to nicaragua i gave blood a couple of time a year. every time i gave i would here the same thing … “your blood pumps out fast. you are an excellent donor.” i always finished before anyone else because my veins did such a great job of filling the pint donation bag. i know it is a rather odd thing to feel proud about but i was proud of it. in essence i felt good about the fact that if i was ever cut in a major vein i would bleed out quickly.
that all changed thursday when i found out that i could give plasma even though i have been to nicaragua in the past calendar year.
i know many people around here who give plasma at biolife. college students, neighbors, campus ministers, etc. i really know a great number of people who do this. in fact, the manager of the stevens point biolife branch was my curling skipper two years ago. i figured after two years i would give this thing a try to see what the whole experience is like. i think that is something pastors should do – learn what everyone is going through.
so i went there, filled out the paper work, went through a brief physical, and then was plug into a machine. suddenly my veins became shy. i was convinced that i would be in and out of biolife rather quickly. after all, i am the guy with great veins. instead i went almost double the average time. instead of beating the 45 minutes to an hour that biolife says it should take to complete the donation, i went 1 1/2 hours. in fact, after 45 minutes in my left arm i had only filled 1/3 of a donation bag. so they swapped me to my right arm. that’s right, i was stabbed in both arms. little 110 lbs girls were flying through their donation while my great veins held in every drop of blood they could.
i don’t know why this bothered me but it really did. i think i am going to try it again just to prove that i could do better. really i have great veins. please believe me. their great.