Donation Uncoordinated

Since I am doing spin class on Thursdays, I thought it would be a good idea to move my blood donation to a Friday so that I could still do both. My first test of this happened this past Friday. I donated for the 77th time, and other than it taking a while to get through the process, the whole thing was pretty easy. 
Sunday however was a different story. Originally I had planned to ride to the dump, do a tour, then ride home. I evicted against that for some reason, and in retrospect I am very glad. On the trails I felt pretty bad. My heart rate would shoot up and I would easily get out of breath. It reminded me a lot of riding at altitude in Rossland actually. I felt slow and sluggish and uncoordinated. The ride was also very, very wet.

Still, I was glad to have gotten out for a ride and to get some fresh air and exercise.

Donation Area

Tuesday I had what may have been my quickest donation yet. I arrived for my appointment at 5:50 and by 6:45 I was at London Drugs. I walked into the clinic, right up to the front desk, did the finger prick test, then onto the questions. When I was done that I walked right into the nurses area where they ask the high risk questions, then I was ushered onto a bed. No waiting at all. I filled the bag, then it was on to cookies. Nice!

I think that was donation 58 too.

Previous Bleeding

Last night was my latest blood donation. The staff mentioned that I had 56 previous donations, so last night was number 57. Pretty good if I do say so myself.

I’ve found that the iPad is a great device to have with me there. Reading a book while donating is so easy, and interruptible. The only downside is that I can’t do it while I am holding the bandage on to stop the bleeding. Still, I love it. It would be better if Canadian Blood Services offered wifi though 🙂 Almost better than the cookies.

Speaking of cookies, I had to hold back at the cookie station. I normally eat about three packages, but I went just before dinner. I kept to two packages 🙂

Easy donation, and now I am already booked for next time.

I almost forgot that I received an invitation to an event to honour regular donators. I don’t think I can go, but it might have been nice to see what it was about.

Regularly Eligible

53 that is how many blood donations I have done now. When I started going regularly I hadn’t really thought about why. I remember as a child seeing my dad go and give blood. That’s one reason I went. Now I go for another reason. There are so many charities out there these days asking for money. I don’t want to be giving lots of my money away to a select group of society that one charity helps out.

Instead I give blood.

This is something that helps anyone regardless of their race, wealth, belief system, or lot in life. I’m proud that I can help people on this way, and I do what I can to encourage others to go. I hope I don’t come off as pushy to others, but the stats on the number of eligible Canadians that do donate is embarrassingly low. Only 3% of eligible Canadians actually donate. I know we can do better.

My latest donation was a simple affair. I’ve been through the process enough times that it doesn’t faze me anymore. Strangely though, my hands were chilly, and for the first time in a long time, it actually took longer than five minutes to fill the bag. Other than that, no problems. I only had a two sets of cookies too, since I was meeting Sox and the kids for dinner afterward.

React Longer

I gave blood on Thursday (donation number 51), and although it went fine, I had a ride planned and I was a little curious how my body would react. I didn’t get enough sleep last night, so that compounded a feeling of dread for the ride.

Turned out that I was worried needlessly. My earlier training has left me much stronger and more fit than I expected. Even with the loss of blood, my legs felt strong. The only indication I had of something being up, was any time we hit a steep-ish hill, my heart rate skyrocketed.

My plan was to head out for 1.5 hours, which is what I pretty much hit. I was tired when I got home, but I know I could have gone longer. I didn’t eat anything on the ride, so if I had, I could have easily done another hour.

View June 25 in a larger map

Total Distance: 39.45 km (24.5 mi)
Total Time: 1:52:51
Moving Time: 1:37:03
Average Speed: 20.97 km/h (13.0 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 24.39 km/h (15.2 mi/h)
Max Speed: 52.48 km/h (32.6 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -11 m (-35 ft)
Max Elevation: 74 m (242 ft)
Elevation Gain: 348 m (1140 ft)
Max Grade: 9 %
Min Grade: -10 %

Proud Record

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, then you know that I donate blood on a regular basis. It’s something I started a while ago, and hope to continue for a long time.

Today I went again and did my regular donation. I stuck with my left arm like always. I’ve never tried my right arm, and this is probably the closest thing I have to a superstition. My left has always worked, so why mess with a good thing right?

There was one special thing about today though. This was my 50th donation. I’m quite proud of that. One thing I had been wondering about is when did I start donating. On my way out today I decided to ask the question. One of the staff looked into it for me.

Back when I was in university (in 95) I donated at a mobile clinic. The next donation was November 2000. From there I started donating every couple months. That is a pretty good track record I think.

49 donations in 9 years and 5 months. Doing the math and I get a donation every 2.3 months. Considering I can only donate every 2 months, that is something else I am very proud of.

I hope that someday I can pass this along to my kids.

Young Refreshments

Tonight I had donation 46 at Canadian Blood Services. One of the volunteers commented that I must have started donating as a young child. 🙂

Getting to the donation was pretty easy, as was making the donation. Afterwards, the stopping of the bleeding was the hard part. This had never happened to me before, but my arm did not want to stop. They iced me up, bandaged me up, and taped me down. Eventually I had stopped enough to let me head over to the refreshments.

Drink boxes? Really? What about the environment? Please let’s get back to the containers of juice.

If I keep to my schedule, I could hit 50 donations this year. 47 in June, 48 in August, 49 in October, and 50 in December.

When I got home Sprout was asking me questions about my bandages. I took the opportunity to tell him about what I do, and why I do it.

Blood 45

Just got back from my latest blood donation. Lots of people there midday which even required me to wait a little longer for the appropriate bed. I have always donated from the left arm and it has always gone fine. I am not normally a superstitious guy, but I always insist using the left to donate. It all started because I am right handed too.

Anyway, the donation was fine, and the cookies and juice tasty. Unfortunately they have moved to individual sized juice boxes. What a terrible waste to see all of the leftover rubbish. Sure they can be recycled, but that is a lot of extra processing to do.

By the way, that was donation 45.