It’s in you to give…

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That’s the slogan used by the Canadian Blood Services. I was at one of their locations this past weekend to bleed a little for the cause. Makes you feel good to help and I get to have a laugh with the nurses who have gotten to know me over the years.

I’ve donated around fifty-five times. That’s fifty-five pints or about twenty-eight litres. In Canada, you can only donate every fifty-six days… that’s the rule. That’s approximately six times per year. About ten years for me. A tattoo put me on the No Donation list for six months (possibility of dirty needles I’m told) so maybe a little longer.

There were some technical difficulties with the printer, causing some minor delays, then later, the alarm didn’t go off when I had reached the recommended donation amount (A mechanical tray agitates the bag to mix the blood with anticoagulants and prevent clotting. Finally, it weighs your blood). One of the nurses walked by, noticed the bulging bag and declared me done. In fact, I had donated an extra four grams.

That’s not a lot extra, but enough to do some post-donation paperwork.

I had my usual snack afterwords; a bag of Bits & Bites and an apple juice, about four hundred calories. You lose approximately six hundred calories giving that pint of blood. It’s unclear exactly how you lose the calories but one article I read said something about your body having to work extra hard to make up for the lost blood… makes sense. Whatever the reason, the Bits & Bites and Apple juice don’t get entered on my Lose It app. I consider it a wash.

Another good thing about donating blood is that you don’t have to do any strenuous chores the rest of the day. Just sit back, put your feet up and point to that big bandage on your arm every time your wife asks you to do something. Just don’t try leaving the bandage on for two days… they usually catch on to that trick pretty fast.

Get out there and donate, do it with friends or family. It’s fun, makes you feel good, there’s treats and apparently you can burn a few calories.

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