Somebody’s making me bleed my own blood

Derrick Knutson
Derrick Knutson

As I’m writing this column I’m planning to bleed … rather profusely. 

For those of you taken aback by that intro, no, I’m not planning to get involved in a particularly bloody bar fight or try to cure some malady by the Medieval standby of leech bloodletting.

I’m going to give blood during a community blood drive at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rush City.

For those of us who are able to donate, giving blood is important, especially during the winter months when blood supplies tend to dip. People don’t donate as much due to illness and inclement weather.

I’ll admit, it’s been about two years since I’ve given blood.

I’m a fairly busy guy, but that’s no excuse.

Blood donations are always needed, and I’m going to get back to doing my part because most of the time I’m healthy enough to part with a pint.

For those of you who have never donated but are thinking about it, the process is fairly simple, and it doesn’t hurt much.

You read over a few forms, assert you’re not suffering from an array of diseases and someone pricks your finger with a small needle in order to test your blood’s iron level.

If that level is deemed to be in the correct range, then you’re ready for the donation chair.

Sure, there’s a bit of a sting when the needle goes into your arm and you have to wait about 20 minutes while blood is slowly being siphoned out of you and into a plastic bag, but that’s about all there is when it comes to discomfort associated with the donation process.

Then you get to feast on cookies and juice until your heart’s content.

Or if you give blood at a certain establishment in the Twin Cities metro area like I did twice, the guys running the operation give you drink tickets.

I remember asking one of them, “So, could I use these to get a couple beers after I’m done donating?”

His response: “Sure, why not?”

Note: It is not advisable to consume adult beverages right after giving blood.

Well, at least that’s what I’ve been told.

There’s also something else to keep in mind if you’re planning to donate soon: stay hydrated and eat a balanced meal a few hours beforehand.

I once gave blood in college after running from class to class all day long and barely eating or drinking anything.

A few minutes after the donation process began, I got dizzy and ended up taking a short, unplanned nap.

The medical professionals there were able to rouse me, and I felt fine after I regained consciousness.

I would have likely avoided the passing out incident if I’d drank a bottle of water and eaten a sandwich earlier in the day.

That was the only time I’ve had a problem donating.

Every other time it has been an easy process.

Here are some upcoming local opportunities to donate blood:

•Chisago County

Jan. 28, 1 to 7 p.m., First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 561 Chestnut St., Taylors Falls.

•Isanti County

Jan. 25, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church, 109 Second Ave. S., Isanti.

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