Posts Tagged 'American Red Cross'

Blood Donation FAIL

The American Red Cross has  stringent rules for blood donation.  This reduces the risk to both the receiver and donor. Obviously,  the receiver doesn’t want a disease but the donor should not suffer adverse effects from donating.

The process of donation starts with a questionnaire and taking vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, hemoglobin levels).   During the questionnaire,  it asks all sorts of crazy questions like  general health, sexual contact and countries lived in or visited.

For example if you lived in England for more than 6 months during 1980 -1996, you can’t give blood.   Why? Mad Cow Disease…

Last year for spring break, my family went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. And  because 50 weeks ago I was here…

I can’t give blood until after April 11th because of the risk for malaria. You can’t donate blood for one year after coming back from the topics because malaria can be lurking in your blood.   😦

When they told me this, I was not happy!  After chugging water all day (and visiting the bathroom all day!) and mentally preparing myself to do this, I was disappointed and frustrated.   Maybe a little relieved, though 😉

Again, I know why the regulations are in place.  I understand why they can’t make exceptions, but I was still frustrated.

When I made my appointment,   I specially asked about it, remembering my father couldn’t give blood last summer.  Wasn’t sure if the regulation was for 1 year or 6 months. The person assured me I would be able to donate.

Just to mentally get ready to drain the life force from my body was enough for me, I took them up on the bag of Famous Amos cookie they offered! Then started to re-plan  my night.  I had planned to head, make a larger green monster for the iron and crash for the night.

Instead, I decided to go exploring MOM’s organic market, a place I drive by all the time and never stop at.

From MOM’s About Us page:

We are a community of thoughtful, progressive, hard working people. We are diverse. We strive to understand and learn from our differences. We respect different ideas. We value teamwork and take pride in the result of our efforts

An interesting experience! I will be going back!

The produce was very fresh and organic. Unfortunately, there was not a huge selection and no spinach or mushrooms! They did have loose Brussels Sprouts, which was great because I usually can’t go through an entire bag.

And they had Strawberries for $1.99! I picked some right up!

They also had bulk bins.  I love getting things from bulk bins then never use.  Pick up some rolled oats.And some shredded coconut:Then I saw the Tea! I love tea!!  MOM’s had lots of  Republic of Tea loose tea.  Most places only carry the tea bags. 

I picked up loose Yerba Mate Latte, a tea I have been searching forever for it!  Yerba Mate teas have about half of the caffeine of a cup of coffee.  It’s a nice change from coffee in the morning. Mate usually has a grassy taste, but the Latte has vanilla and cocoa flavors added.

Abby was also interested!! Actually, I think she was more interested in the cheese I was eating….

A good store to go to for specialty items, though I don’t think I could do all my weekly  shopping there. Definitely priced better than Whole foods!

Hopefully I don’t develop malaria in the next two weeks  and get the  courage to go back the Red Cross in two weeks!!


Donating Blood + True Lemon-ade Review

I love the idea of donating blood!  Just one donation can save up to three people!

Here are some quick facts about blood and donations from the American Red Cross:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.
  • Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
  • The American Red Cross supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.
  • The Red Cross provides blood for patients in nearly 3,000 hospitals across the U.S.
  • Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood type. O-negative blood type donors are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
  • Type O-negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known and with newborns who need blood.

Guess who has O-negative blood? Yup,  Me!

Notice the first sentence in the post – ‘I love the IDEA of giving blood’. And its not the needle that creeps me out…

I have given blood twice before, once in college and once right after I graduated.  The first was awesome and I felt great!  The second time I gave blood, I did not have a good experience.  I went with my father one morning and did not take in enough food or liquid beforehand.   I felt light headed and almost passed out, followed by a mild panic attack. I was informed if I  stopped my  donation before I filled the bag,  they would have to throw everything away.  So, I was able to finish my donation but was affected the rest of the day.  More importantly, I started my new job the next day and almost had to call out!

Because of my ‘Universal Donor‘ blood type, I usually get called every few months to donate.  I have declined the last year due to the last time I donated.    But when the Red Cross called me a few weeks ago,  I signed up for an appointment for tonight!

Found these tips for a successful blood donation from the American Red Cross:

  • Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Drink an extra 16 oz. of water and fluids before the donation.
  • Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fats that appear in your blood for several hours after eating fatty foods.

Considering what happened to me last time, I am chugging fluids!

One of the liquids I am drinking is a freebie I got from AJ during FitblogginTrue lemon-ade with Raspberry.  It’s a  powdered drink mix with only 5 calories and sweetened with Truvia™, an all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener.  Sort of like Crystal Light but low  calorie and natural.  I do like actual lemon juice makes the ingredients list.

First off, I would like to say I rarely drink anything sweetened.  I drink coffee and tea black and not a fan of juices.  I do drink the occasional Coke, and always the real stuff.  I can taste artificial sweeteners a mile away.

I liked how portable are the packets.  However, the powder did not dissolve easily.  It took more stirring then expected.

The taste was good, not great.  It did not taste like fresh lemonade but not like a fruit drink.  The lemon flavor is actually very good; it was the raspberry that tasted artificial.  I have a sampler of plain lemonade that I am excited to try.

Will I drink the rest of it? Yes! Will I buy another box?  No, probably not.

I would rather buy tea or drink water. (for free!)

The sweetener in this product, truvia, is a type of stevia,  a plant derivative.  I would like to learn more about this, since I don’t like chemical sweeteners and am wary of Agave.

Ok! Back to work and chugging more liquids!


Hi! I may be the least motivated person around. I am a 20-something working at my first job in the Computer industry. Just trying to get motivated in life - fitness, health, school, work and every day tasks

2010 Race Schedule:
3/7 - Disney Princess Half Marathon - DONE! 2:10:29
4/25 - Pike's Peek 10k
6/15 - Baltimore 10 miler
10/16 - Baltimore Half Marathon



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