I have always tried to donate blood as frequently as I could. I have to admit I've let it slide for a while, and my guilt was compounded by the fact that I had the Red Cross Blood Donation people calling me frequently.
Today I decided to go in and donate. I thought it was neat that they let you answer all of the personal questions on a computer and the examiner isn't there for that. Not that I've ever had embarrassing answers, but.... I think it IS stupid that during those questions, NOBODY can be in the room with you, due to privacy issues. My two year old won't even let me use the restroom in privacy. I'm not worried about a couple of silly blood donation questions while he climbs around my legs. I would have thought about throwing a fit, but they showed me a totally contained toy area, so I was more than happy to let him go play.
So, we get to the travel questions. Last December, if you'll recall, I was on a Caribbean cruise. 364 days ago, I spent 8 hours in the lovely Samana area of the Dominican Republic. Apparently, this is a festering hole of malaria. I was deferred for having been there in the last year. I'm welcome to come back on Wednesday and donate though.
So, even though I thought there would be no lingering health consequences for my cruise, apparently there could be. If you could pray for me for the next day or so, that I won't have malaria appear, I would greatly appreciate it.
I get why they have rules. I think they can get a little ridiculous though. Seriously. There is NO WAY I have malaria from my brief jaunt there. If I did, don't you think it would have manifested by now? My major problem is that I have now been deferred three times, two of which were pretty ridiculous, in my opinion.
The first time I was deferred was in college. At the time, they wouldn't let anyone donate who had had symptoms of hayfever within the last week. Well, I would never, ever be able to donate if they kept that rule in place. I will say I can see why they had that rule- a cold and hayfever do feel awfully similar. This rule has been abandoned.
The second time was a year or two ago. I had gone in for a dental cleaning, and then attempted to donate blood two days later. No dice. Seems a bit silly.