Friday, March 14, 2014

The Gift of Life

Mid-March and another winter storm is behind us.  I'm thankful that my little area of Maine wasn't as hard hit as folks in the far northern areas.  My yard didn't even require plowing we got so little.  In fact, Sandra, my wife, and I had to leave the yard Thursday to visit a doctor.  Street crews were able to take good care of the streets here in Scarborough and in Portland.  When we arrived home, there was, perhaps, a little less than a half inch of sleet still on our unplowed driveway.

We're only a week or so away from the beginning of Spring so I had hoped this storm would be the swan song blast for this season.  No such luck.  "Depending on the track," a popular beginning for weathercasts this season, was heard again today.  Yep.  There's another potential storm heading our way; but if it gets here, it won't be until sometime next week.

I've still had enough.

These thoughts will be around after today, Friday, but the plea remains solid for anytime during the year.  There's a major blood drive in Portland today and it's a good opportunity for you to give to your community.

I'm living proof that the importance of giving blood is very high.  When I had my Triple-A, a burst artery, several years ago, I needed much blood.  I actually bled out while on the operating table and if the hospital didn't have access to blood, I'd have left this planet then.  My personal consolation at receiving the blood was that I had given a lot of it myself in my younger years.  In fact, I was on the blood bank's call list and got the call rather regularly.

I had often wondered if those donations really did save lives or just make us as givers feel good about ourselves.  I got the answer to my question.  I'm sorry to say that a combination of my age and my medical conditions have caused me to no longer be able to give. 

But you can.

The blood is needed almost daily.  The Red Cross blood drives assure that there is blood on hand when it is needed.  Periodically they have dedicated blood drives, like today's, so they can replenish a dwindling supply, especially during high need conditions.  Today's blood drive is at the Red Cross offices on Forest Avenue near Woodford's Corner in Portland so if you are reading this before late Friday afternoon, find the short time it takes to help save a life or lives. 

I promise you it doesn't hurt and only takes a half hour or so of your life and the people at the Center are super people who have the ability to ease any fear you may have.  But don't let the short notice of this dedicated drive stop you or if today has already gone by, the Red Cross Blood Center will make you feel welcome just about anytime during working hours.

By the way, if you're expecting a need for blood due to an upcoming surgical procedure and you really don't want someone else's blood, even though it is carefully evaluated by the Blood Bank, you can give your own blood and stored under your name for your own use later on.  That way you can build up the quantity you may need.  I'm not sure if that can be done at the blood bank or if you have to donate at the hospital you anticipate using, but a quick phone call to the Red Cross or hospital would give you the answer.  You might want to discuss it with your doctor.

I've always been happy with myself for taking the little time necessary to donate this gift of life.  In my case, it took many years to learn it actually works.

I hope you have a super weekend.


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