Apparently, I'm not good enough for the Red Cross any more. I used to give blood all the time in college. Granted, I usually came pretty close to passing out every time, but just lay me back, put the wet towel on my neck, hand me some juice, and I was back on my feet in no time. Four times a year at least.
Then I joined AmeriCorps and my weight dropped. I probably hit just over their limit, but I was already passing out before, so I refrained. Then I moved to Virginia and got on Accutane. No doubt in my mind that I could not give blood while on that drug. So I've been off of that for over a year and decided I should try giving blood again after a 4 year hiatus. Made my appointment, drove the mile downtown (could've walked, but decided it wasn't in my body's best interest due to the history of fainting).
I'd only given at blood drives before, so going into a Red Cross donor office was a new experience for me. WHICH I ABSOLUTELY LOVED. I may never go back to blood drives again. I also loved having an appointment so I didn't have to wait around in some dorm/student center/office park and watch all the double-reds jump the line. I'm telling you, these things backed up in college - we were all so eager to give!
After my mini-physical, the nurse(?) delved into the questions. The answers to these for me used to be "no, no, no, no, no...etc." But now they're not. And one "yes" in particular knocked me out of the running. My honeymoon, of all things! Cancún, Mexico is apparently a malaria threat. We only went there because the swine flu made it a pretty cheap place to visit last fall. Apparently we were taking risks in every direction with this trip! (And luckily all we ended up contracting was Montezuma's Revenge. Er, maybe that wasn't so lucky.) Anyway, because of our week in Mexico, I can't save up to three people's lives until October 11. And by then I'll probably be pregnant or something and not be able to donate once again. I did still get my coupon for a free pint of Ben & Jerry's and a Red Cross ice cream scoop, so the day was not lost. And our lesson for the day, kids, is that it never hurts to try! So if you're feeling inspired, go give blood because I can't. Or go party on the Yucatan Peninsula so you have a good excuse not to (and then still try and get the prize anyway).