Yesterday I made my 96th blood donation, completing twelve gallons. For all the time I’ve been married, Kris has gone with me to hold my hand. She’s there to distract me and keep me from getting faint. After all these times, I’m still such a coward. But with the pandemic, the Red Cross won’t allow anyone into the center that is not donating.
This was my third time going solo since the shutdown. Maybe I’m not as big a chicken as I use to be. When I started, they would often have to take my blood pressure twice. The first time, it would be too high. They would give me five minutes to calm down and try not to be anxious, then the second time I would pass. I also learned to ask them to take the blood sample out of my finger before they took my blood pressure because sticking my finger with a needle would cause my blood pressure to spike.
I guess I’m doing better now, but I still would rather have Kris by my side rather than going solo. She would read to me something off Facebook or the latest Pony news off Equestria Daily. At the blood drives we host at Loscon, we would encourage first-time donors to bring a friend, or one of us would talk them through their donation. We had one friend, Pam, who was especially good at holding someone’s hand and keeping the distracted. The calmer you are, the faster your donation goes.
This year Loscon has been canceled, so we will be missing hosting a blood drive after thirty-one straight years. But I’ll keep doing what I can. As long as I’m healthy into my eighties, I should be able to reach my life long goal of twenty-five gallons.
Dennis Amador Cherry
31st article completed.
First Steampunk novel: 58,960 words.