I have ALWAYS wanted to donate blood. They had blood drives at my high school, but with my early graduation I was always too young to donate, even with consent. When I finally hit 18 I was determined to go, but I was afraid to go alone. I never like going anywhere alone, maybe that’s why I keep having kids!
Surprisingly, it is very difficult to find someone who wants to donate blood with you. I asked around for MONTHS and everyone had their own reasons why they weren’t interested. Finally, one year we drove to Iowa to surprise my mom for her birthday. She just happened to be donating that morning, so I tagged along! (Surprising her was another item on my list, so this was a 2 for 1 deal!) I had just driven 16 hrs with little sleep and ate Sonic french toast sticks for breakfast so I wasn’t exactly prepared, but I WAS determined. The process was quick and simple, and I felt like I was really contributing something great.
Once I got home I started going to the Red Cross Donation Center near me as often as they would let me. They usually want you to wait eight weeks, and I go every time my time is up. But, my iron tends to run low if I donate too close together. For me it usually ends up being 10-12 weeks. I alternate between whole blood and plasma so the wait times between change as well. So ‘regularly’ is relative here. I also began taking iron supplements to help with donations. I will link my brand in the Adventure Enhancers section in case you have the same problem.
Everyone at Red Cross is so sweet and knowledgeable. They have even gotten to know my kids as they sit in the waiting room. They will turn the TV to cartoons, feed them snacks, talk to them, and teach them about blood donations. It feels like family. The kids have even started asking when they will be allowed to donate blood! It is a great atmosphere.
The first time I was worried I would feel faint or have a hard time, especially considering my spontaneous appointment, however my only big change was coming home full of adrenaline from crossing off list items. Since they check my iron levels beforehand and make me sit and eat a snack afterwards I tend to be fine the rest of the day. I did have one appointment I started to feel dizzy afterwards. I felt lethargic the rest of the weekend. I started to get worried about my iron levels since that is my usual issue. Turns out, it was just baby #3 on the way! That put me out of commission for blood donating for almost a year.
Not all the items on my list are adventures, some are just things that are very important to me. I want to explore and experience, but I also want to learn, grow, and give back. I am still proudly contributing to this list item and enjoy every moment of it!