Blood Donation Surprise

I entered the American Red Cross where gray-haired people with brown spotted skin filled the waiting room. This would be easy, I thought. I was the youngest potential blood donor in the room by at least fifteen years. I checked in, took a seat, and waited my turn.

I was healthy and in my forties. I had contacted a local American Red Cross office for information, and I had decided to donate. I followed their recommendations carefully: the night before I had retired early, and I consumed the recommended food and drinks.

A staff member called my name and escorted me to a padded chair, and after I sat down she reclined it slightly. The phlebotomist arrived and wrapped a plastic band around the upper part of my arm and wiped the underside with alcohol, that felt cold and smelled sharp and sterile. She found a vein and slipped the needle under my skin, I felt a slight intrusion. I relaxed and blood began to flow in the clear printed bag that had a UPC code. This was better than I had anticipated; I felt no pain and the donation took about nine minutes.

Afterward, the phlebotomist removed the needle and raised the back of my chair to a full sitting position. Then an assistant arrived and supported my arm to help me up. When I stood I felt a cooling sensation flow from my scalp and goosebumps rose on my back. It was like I had entered a freezer. I was nauseated and almost fainted. Two staffers supported my arms and walked me to a chair in the recovery area, where I reclined for about ten minutes.

Meanwhile, the silver hairs from my group rose from their seats, grabbed snacks and drinks, and chatted with their fellow donors like they were at a cocktail party celebrating their retirement. When staff members checked and released them, I wondered if they were skipping in the parking lot.

I sat up and washed down three Lorna Doone cookies with juice, and I improved. Within thirty minutes, an employee deemed me OK to drive. Before I left, a volunteer pressed a sticker on the upper right side of my shirt that read, “I donated blood to the American Red Cross.” She smiled and said, “Keep this on incase you pass out in the parking lot, someone who sees you will know what happened to you.” I had hoped some of the elderly had dawdled outside in case I needed CPR. Fortunately, I had left without incident and continued my errands.

According to the American Red Cross, my experience was the exception rather than the norm. Regardless, for me, it was worth a brief dizzy spell to help someone. If you are interested in more information, please check out the American Red Cross. Hopefully you will donate too.

http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood

http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/fainting-after-giving-blood.html

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Our Labrador retriever was a loyal dog.

Funny Dog Story

When I entered the kitchen around 7 a.m., my husband glared at me with bleary eyes  marked with half-moon circles. I poured my coffee and said, “What’s wrong?”

“I was hoping to get a full night’s sleep last night because I have a busy day. Didn’t you hear the dog whine at 4:30 this morning?”

“No, I didn’t hear him or I would’ve gotten up.”

” He whimpered, whined, then he yelped and barked. He needed to go out.”

“So you’re angry that I didn’t hear him.”

“No, I threw on my white terry cloth robe and I couldn’t find my slippers so I put on my flip-flops. The dog tore down the steps to the front door and I followed him and grabbed his leash from the closet. When my flip flops hit the tile foyer, I slid on something slimy and my feet flew up; I landed on my back.

“Are you ok?”

“I’m bruised and tired.”

“What was on the tile?”

“Yellow dog vomit, a big puddle. Don’t worry about cleaning the floor. I had lain there a minute and my robe absorbed it. I rose, and when I opened the wooden entry door the dog pushed the storm door open and ran.”

“He slipped out? We never let that happen. Thank goodness no one was out driving.”

” I walked the neighborhood with nothing on except my robe, underwear, and flip-flops. Clouds had blocked the moon, and I navigated using our floodlights and street lights. I couldn’t find our Labrador retriever, and when I returned home he was standing on the front lawn panting and wagging his tail so hard that his back shimmied. He had stolen six neighbors’ newspapers and scattered them across our front lawn.”

“So, training him to get the newspaper was a success. He must have felt euphoric when he had retrieved the first paper and didn’t know when to stop,” I said.
“I had walked our court with barf streaked down my back and I pitched papers to the homes without them. Some neighbors may be surprised to find a journal on their lawn that they hadn’t ordered.”

” At least the dog seems ok, so we don’t have to take him to the vet. Since we never let him out alone, he shouldn’t be able to nab any more papers.  I’m sorry that your day started at 4:30. On the bright side, the dog helped you relive your youth as a paperboy. But, next time wake me. ”

 

 

 

Unforgettable Hilarious Night

My brother-in-law, Sam, had made the mistake that has haunted him for decades. He divulged valuable information to the wrong people.

He told my boyfriend Bob, who is now my husband, and me that his mother mentioned that he looked like Burt Reynolds. She was right, he had Burt’s rustic look with dark hair, a mustache, and heavy eyebrows that framed his brown eyes. Regardless, we had set him up for humiliation.

Bob and I had spent months in a resort and knew many restaurant owners and bartenders. We had planned to meet Sam and my sister, Kathy, for appetizers in a bar that we frequented. We arrived first and asked the bartender to tell Sam, who would arrive shortly, that he looked like Burt Reynolds.

Sam and Kathy entered and sat down at the wooden bar beside us, and before they ordered, the bartender said, “You look just like Burt Reynolds.”

Sam rolled his eyes and smiled knowing that Bob and I loved to agitate. He said, “I see that you have been talking to my wacky sister-in-law and her boyfriend.”  The bartender laughed. That was the beginning of Sam’s hell.

We left the bar ahead of Sam and Kathy and drove in heavy traffic to an outdoor-dockside restaurant where an acquaintance of ours, Charlie, sang island songs and strummed the guitar. On that humid July night, people packed the tables and bar. Bob and I had arrived and the hostess sat us at a recently vacated dockside table. When Charlie finished his set with  Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty,” we approached and asked him to watch for my sister, a beautiful blond, and my brother-in-law, who resembled Burt Reynolds. “When you spot them, would you please announce that Burt Reynold’s has arrived?” Charlie laughed and agreed.

Ten minutes later, Kathy and Sam ambled around the corner to the deck. Charlie stopped abruptly in the middle of  Jimmy Buffett’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” ending with “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” I had hoped that these wise words impacted Sam’s outlook on this night.

Charlie  stood up from his stool and laid his guitar down and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our surprise guest Burt Reynolds and give him a big hand.”

Bob and I stood at our table and waved to Kathy and Sam. The sundress and polo shirt crowd cheered and clapped as Sam and Kathy skirted the tables heading our way. Sam shook his head and glared at me. When Sam and Kathy sat down, the three of us convulsed with laughter. Sam didn’t smile.

Meanwhile, John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” blasted from a yacht motoring into the harbor. When the boat captain had tried to dock, he had skimmed a piling near our table with the yacht’s bow rail. We watched and heard the rail’s metal pieces click off one by one, like dominoes and splash in the water. We suspected that the captain was drunk. Lucky for us, no one cared about “Burt” anymore.

Sam didn’t divorce my sister over her family’s unusual sense of humor, and they are still married after forty-plus years.

That was the first of several stories about how we tortured our wonderful brother-in-law. Thank goodness he still has a sense of humor.

I changed the names to protect the innocent and guilty.