I’ve been feeling frustrated and helpless watching the devastation from Hurricane Harvey unfold in Texas. One moment I’ll see photographs and hear accounts of places I know and love in Port Aransas and they’ll be good reports. The next minute I’ll see photographs of another place I love and it will be completely destroyed. Being 2000 miles away makes it difficult to do anything to help. Since my Blood Type O+ makes me a universal donor, I decided to donate a pint of blood.
It’s not quite as easy as walking in, having a needle inserted, and dribbling out a pint of blood. That’s a good thing. First I had to be poked to determine if I had enough iron in my blood to make a donation. In the past I’ve barely squeaked by. This time was no exception. But for me, that’s also a good thing because hemochromatosis, also known as iron overload disease, runs in my family. One of my brothers has it, my cousin died of it, and a cousin once removed has it. While I was reading the detailed blood donor information I came across references to European travel cautions during certain periods because of mad cow disease. Wait a minute. I was in France just three years ago. Uh oh. But, I only skimmed that page, so I overlooked the dates of the scare and the length of time one needed to be in the affected areas. Since I didn’t spend any time in suspect nations in the years of the mad cow scare, I didn’t have anything to worry about. Then I had to answer about 40 questions about all aspects of my life that might have some impact on my blood. I was breezing through the questions until I came to number 14. “Have you ever had a bone graft or organ transplant?” Well, yes, just a month ago I had a bone graft in a dental procedure. Stop everything! Bone graft? Can’t give blood for a year. I guess that after a year, any of the horrifying conditions that might develop from said bone graft would have manifested themselves, further disqualifying me.
So, unable to donate blood, I gave away some of my airline miles to Angel Flight West. My donation probably won’t get to Texas but my blood probably wouldn’t either. But, at least someone might benefit. I hope so.
The slightly crazed-looking cow is from Costa Rica a couple of months ago.