I gave blood this past Saturday. The guy who processed my paper work and the girl who took my blood told me that I am up to 3 gallons with Bonfils Blood Center. They were very appreciative. It made me feel sort of good to hit another gallon milestone.
My church has a blood drive 6 times a year and I go whenever I get a chance. I have probably only missed 3 opportunities to give over the past 3 years. So, there are probably some people who give more often than I do, but certainly not many. 6 times a year is the most they will take your blood and I have done it 5 times each of the past few years. At my rate it still takes awhile to get up to another gallon.
For some reason, every time I get to another gallon, I picture milk gallons in our fridge filled with blood. It sort of grosses me out. That is a lot of blood.
Most people I talk to who have not recently given blood seem to be scared of doing it. I try to explain that it really is not that bad, but most people do not believe me. I actually enjoy giving blood. It makes me feel a bit heroic knowing that I may be saving lives. Actually, in my head, everytime I give blood, I am saving 3 people. That is the number of people Bonfils publishes as people I could potentially be helping. I translate that in my mind from potentially saving to absolutely saving lives.
My wife does not give blood anymore because she has had a bad experience. The last time she tried to give they kept jabbing and jabbing and eventually gave up. I guess her veins are a bit difficult to find and tap into because she has had this problem giving blood samples to doctors as well. I think if I had an experience like that, I would probably stop too.
But the worst experience I have ever had giving blood was that the snacks were not quite the selection as usual. They have never had trouble finding my veins. I have never fainted or even felt the least bit woozy. Nothing the least bit unpleasant has happened to me while giving. I never even feel worn down or feel I should take it easy the days I give blood.
If they let me, I would probably give blood more often. Probably not a lot more often but 7 or 8 times a year.
I have heard that it is healthy to give blood on a regular basis. Some of the things I hear sound sort of urban- legend - like, but at least some of them I think are legitimate. The one I can think of right now is that there are studies which show a decrease in prostrate cancer (in men) for those who give blood regularly.
So, it is apparently good for my health for me to give blood.
But that is not why I do it. I do it for the glory that I have built up in my mind.