This morning, I made another deposit at the bank - the blood bank. That's seven times this year, 160 donations (since 1982, maybe?), for a total donation, so far, of 20 gallons of blood. Woo, hoo!
I'd have a higher total than that, but I was deferred for three years. (On the advice of my doctor, I took an anti-malarial drug before traveling to Guatemala. It was the drug, not the trip, which required a three-year deferral, though they don't restrict donations for that now. Still, the malaria preventative was undoubtedly a good idea, anyway.)
Of course, I've been lucky enough to be able to donate all these years. I started because my place of employment let me leave in the afternoon to give blood (with pay). Then, I worked 12-hour shifts for more than two decades. That meant I always had time free during the week sometime.
When I turned 55, I retired, so I've got all the time in the world now (assuming I can pull myself away from the computer long enough), and I don't have any medical issues which prevent me from donating blood. So this is something that's been very easy to do. Also, I'm O-Positive, which is the most common blood type, so they always need it.
Frankly, it feels good to donate blood. It's not a big deal. It's quick, it's easy, and I don't even notice the loss of a pint of blood every eight weeks. Plus, there are free cookies. What's not to like? :)
After years of donations, though, I had to switch arms. Believe it or not, you build up scar tissue when you poke your arm with a needle 160 times. That's what they tell me, at least. I don't notice anything different myself, but apparently it gets a little harder to find a good spot for the next poke.
Or maybe I'm just getting old, huh? They don't have much trouble with my left arm even now, but it's generally easier to use the right these days.
Afterwards, I'm encouraged to eat heartily and to do nothing strenuous - neither directive being particularly difficult for me. (They also tell me to drink liquids, but I ignore that, I'm afraid.) Note that they don't put a time limit on those things, so I just assume they want me to eat heartily and do nothing strenuous until the next time I come in to donate blood.
That works for me. :)