Monday, June 4, 2012

Donating Blood

            I gave blood for the first time this week, I was walking out of the Library on Wednesday and was hit by a one two punch of charity, a group selling brownies for breast cancer, and a woman asking people to give blood.  I bought two brownies, in part because I had not eaten since 5 hours prior, and that had been a spoonful of peanut butter and a tiny cup of yogurt, then had spent the rest of that morning doing homework and not thinking about food.  The brownies, I think helped with the blood donation.

            It was kind of funny the questions they ask, I think I had to confirm more than once that I was not in fact a drug user, and had never had sexual contact with a man, hopefully they are as probing with their questions to everyone and not just me, I think it would be a little rude to question me twice because I give off some sort of vibe, though what vibe a gay smack user gives off is unknown to me.

            Then there were the questions relating to going abroad, the attendant knew that Greece had some questionable cities on it, but none of the islands I had visited on my trip were on the list, and when I asked about Istanbul, the attendant stared blankly into space for a minute before deciding it was best to check.  Turns out, Turkey rings a few questionable bells, and I was in at least three places for which bells were typically rung.  London is also an issue, because of the angry cows, but they decided that you have to have been there for a certain period of time to be of issue.  During all of this they handed me crackers and juice, because brownies and yogurt was not exactly robust dinging and they thought I might get woozy without some additional calories.

This is me months ago, next to the Tigris River.  Not contracting any blood born pathogens.

            Then they pricked my finger and squeezed the bejeezus out of it to check my iron levels, which were fine.  Why they could not check that numeral by punching a hole in the back of my hand or the fleshy part of my palm so it didn't hurt as much I do not know.

            Then they laid me back, hooked up a shocking number of tubes, and stuck me.  It hurt, evidently this nurse had never been a user of intravenous drugs either because it was not the distant light stinging I had expected.  Either way I squeezed the stress ball, imbibed more juice and waited until the bag was filled, they handed me a receipt for my blood.  I relaxed for a minute watching them juggle and mix my vitals, using this little clamp thing to push the blood out of the tube that had ran to my arm, up into the sack which would be its final home, before being pumped into some poor sod who needed it.  I then was told to go home and eat and rest.

            I did, I went home, ate something, probably much smaller than I should have.  And then napped for 5 hours, it was lovely, even though I ended up having some really strange dreams as a result.

            And that was my last Wednesday.

            I also realize I have not been keeping up with updating my progress to get more in shape over the summer, so here is last Sunday (5/27) which shows a lot of improvement, though that might just be because I did the exercise after taking a day off to recuperate, where as before the battery of exercise came at the end of the week:
 Blood Pressure: 135/81
Chin-ups: 4
Leg Extensions (70lbs): 27
Bench (95lbs): 23
Leg Lifts: 21
1.5 miles: I lost count and couldn't tell you what time I was on.  This is a boring exercise.
Curls (25lbs): 30
Fly Extensions (10lbs): 30
Hold Breath: 55 seconds
Weight: 214.25lbs

And just yesterday (6/3) which had some big ups and several small downs:
Blood Pressure: 132/73
Chin-ups: 5
Leg Extensions (70lbs): 26
Bench (95lbs): 28
Leg Lifts: 20
1.5 miles: 21minutes 30seconds
Curls (25lbs): 30
Fly Extensions (10lbs): 35
Hold Breath: 52 seconds
Weight: 216.5lbs

            I am also reading a book I bought about 3-4 years ago, "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell who is my favorite non-fiction writer.  The book is about geniuses and the environmental factors that produce extreme results.  How a large IQ is helpful, but only to a point; about how 10,000 hours of practice or study very much defines a persons ability to succeed in what they are doing; and how raising children to ask questions and to be willing to engage with those around them will make them vastly better at utilizing that high IQ and those hours of practice.  It is a fascinating read, sort of makes me wonder how different my life would be if I had gone to school at a different time, or if I had focused on writing more as a hobby in middle and high school to get the 10,000 hours of practice.

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