When I was in my early 20s, a Red Cross Bloodmobile came to CalArts
to get blood donations from the students. Despite my lifelong fear of needles, I was goaded into donating blood. I found out that it wasn't too bad after all.
I continued to donate blood after I returned to Pennsylvania. Since I am O Negative (Universal Donor), I got calls to come and donate
as often as it was allowed. Sometimes I was turned away because of a low iron count, but not too often.
But in the last few years, my low iron count became a problem. Not to me, as I have always tended to have a low count. I was diagnosed as anemic when I was a toddler. But the FDA has limits that cannot be overlooked just because a person has naturally low iron levels. As a result, I haven't been able to donate in the last two years.
Taking iron pills is hard on my bowels. Eating more steaks didn't seem to really help. So I've been taking children's chewable Flintstone vitamins for some months now.
So I when I got a call yesterday, I agreed to come in this afternoon. I told myself if my iron count was still too low again, that I would tell the blood bank to take me off their call list. I went in to the donation center hoping for the best, but not too much. I filled out the paper work, had my finger pricked for a blood sample, and waited for the machine to whirl it around. Watched as the tiny tube was evaluated.Hallelujah!
I was able to donate, to my relief and happiness. The technician suggested that perhaps I can only donate twice a year now that I'm older. So I called the blood bank and asked them to put a hold on calls for six months. Then I asked if they could look up how much I've donated over the years (this does not count the first pint I gave in California).
The woman replied "Oh, wow
, you're a Four Gallon Hero!"
I have to laugh, even now. That's REALLY
what she said! Four Gallon Hero
The excited way that she said it helped me feel not so bad about not being able to donate as much as I used to. Hero.
Never thought anyone would use that word for me. Not that I really believe it, mind you, but nice nevertheless.What about you?
Have any of you done anything that you thought wasn't such a big thing, but someone else thought was heroic?