Before you read the next sentence, first close your eyes and think of something romantic. (While much of this blog is female focused, it ultimately applies to everyone.)
No? Didn’t top the list?
Oh, come on, ladies. What gets you in the mood better than a diaper-size maxi pad between your legs, making you feel endlessly sexy?
Okay, that might be a stretch.
But I do want to talk about blood. Yours and mine.
Although I’m not a doctor or nurse, in my own tiny way I’ve tried to help people in the health care arena. How? By giving blood. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do so recently. Last year I was turned down every time I tried to donate, due to low iron levels. Supplements didn’t help.
During that time, my already heavy periods became worse. I never realized just how bad they were because I never really talked about it with anyone until recently. When you have heavy periods from the get-go, you live with it. You’re only thinking how you’re single-handedly keeping Spray ‘N Wash in business, or how the “over a 4 month supply” promise on those jumbo Tampax boxes is false advertising.
Things progressed to a point where my entrepreneurial side kicked in. I mean, if I could improve the extraction, storage and sanitization methods, maybe I could:
– Sell it for chum;
– Sell it as an exotic drink (you’ve heard of the Sour Toe Cocktail, right? HERE);
– Swim alongside Diana Nyad to divert sharks to me instead of her.
I started talking about it with some friends. One had such heavy periods that the blood clots she expelled were the size of small animals—her own red, drowned menagerie! Another opened her browser and showed me a host of products designed to deal with the issue. We laughed about some of our most embarrassing moments resulting from “that time of the month.” I never realized how raunchy and fun women could be when discussing menstruation.
Turns out that producing so much blood isn’t normal. I had an asteroid-size fibroid lodged in exactly the right place to give me the fire hose cycle. Because it could grow and increase the chances of iron-deficiency anemia that could have deleterious effects on my heart, I elected to have it removed.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to donate blood again, but I have high hopes I’ll be able to do so again later this year. In the meantime, I ask you to do what I cannot.
This brings me back to romance, one of my favorite subjects. Romance by one definition involves heroic or marvelous deeds.
And it’s where you come in.
Due to extreme winter weather that’s hit the East Coast, there’s a severe blood shortage across the U.S. Even without that added concern, both here and abroad, the need is ongoing and global.
Giving blood is one of those little yet extraordinary things we can do regularly that can really help someone in need. All it costs is about an hour of our time roughly every other month. Unless you’re a competitive athlete, you’ll be back up to full speed in 24 to 48 hours.
Some of us can’t give blood for various reasons and that’s okay. But if you can donate, please do. Consider:
– Someone needs blood every two seconds.
– About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.
– One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
Romance novelists sometimes write about second chances. But we write fiction.
My debut romance novel, Like Jazz, is a story about second chances. But it’s fiction.
If you think about the second chance you might be giving to someone because you donated blood, you might just become the hero in someone else’s story. That’s real life, folks.
And you thought blood wasn’t romantic.
Find a blood drive near you: http://www.redcross.org/blood