2017—Mad Cow And Other Things To Worry About
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.