Okay this feels kind of lame.
That I’m writing this up and counting it, but let me explain my ways…
I want to give back. You know, do something that’s not just about me.
I had never donated blood before. I don’t know why, it just wasn’t a thing I ever considered.
But when I started this crazy year of adventures, donating blood was definitely on the list.
I wanted this adventure to be in honor of a high school friend who passed away just a few days after giving birth to her second child. It was so sudden and so tragic. And it made zero sense at all. It breaks my heart to know she is not there to raise her babies. Her husband was left with the love of his life gone and a toddler and a newborn to raise by himself. I don’t know him personally, but he’s continued to post updates to her Facebook page and he’s doing a fantastic job with those precious kiddos and his support circle is amazing.
I wrote this after she passed and it’s been saved in notes on my phone all this time. I never shared it, but I guess now is the time.
It’s basketball for me…
She was such an incredible teammate, always positive, making us laugh and cheering us on even in a season where we didn’t win a single game. There was that impromptu team sleepover when we finally won a game my senior year, all those bus rides and of course AAU basketball with her Dad as coach. What memories! The Erin I knew in school sounds just like the Erin everyone knew most recently…a beautiful, bright light in the lives of those around her. Her laugh, her smile, her loud and hilarious personality are what I will always remember. The only thing in this sadness that makes any sense to me is that we should all live and love like Erin did. Much love to her family and those precious babies.
I’d heard about blood drives in her honor at the high school where she taught, but I couldn’t find information for this year.
Then my friend Melissa said, “I’ll go with you” and just like that it was a plan. We would go to Bloodworks Northwest in Everett where Melissa has donated blood and platelets. She’s awesome like that.
And I would donate in honor of Erin.
I made sure to drink a ton of water so that I was hydrated and I was so excited to do something that could make a difference in someone’s life.
Of course everyone kept telling me horror stories about people passing out and peeing their pants (is that even really a thing?)
We arrived and checked in. I answered a bajillion questions on a survey and then they called me back into a room to ask more questions and check my vitals and iron levels.
Here’s where it went sideways. I could feel my pulse racing. I don’t even really know why. I wasn’t scared. I mean there is always a fear of the unknown, but this whole damn year has been about tackling new adventures and putting myself out there, so I knew I’d be fine and I would NEVER chicken out. I’m just too competitive to not finish something I started.
The lady did have a white lab coat on.
It’s ironic for that to make me nervous. I love lab coats (on me). They scream science and I live for that stuff. In fact, if they would have let me wear one, I would have been all over that. Actually maybe I should suggest that next time. “I’ll donate blood, if I can wear a lab coat and my super cool safety goggles”. What do you think they would say to that?
They’d probably turn me away this time for being a weirdo.
Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
So I’ve always had a little bit of the white coat syndrome. I think it all started after I found out I was pregnant with Emilee. I was always so scared they would tell me something was wrong. The worrying goes way back. So naturally I’d walk in to a doctor’s appointment and I’d feel my heart pounding.
Anyway, same white lab coat, but add in a medical scenario and apparently my racing pulse is reflective of nerves and not excitement. Ugh.
She checked my pulse and you know when someone makes that face where their eyes get big but they’re trying not to judge. She asked how much coffee I’d had and I answered, “none…I haven’t been drinking coffee.” Her eyes got bigger. She was definitely judging.
My pulse was racing. She waited a few minutes. Checked again. The second time she checked it was 107 bpm. My resting heart rate is always a little fast. I don’t know what that means, like right now it’s 85 bpm. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting there chatting with someone and it’ll be 92 (in the fat burn zone). That’s cool. I’m burning fat while talking. Well geez, I talk all day long so I must burn fat like nobody’s business.
Or maybe I should ask the next time I’m at the doctor…
Her final verdict was, “Unfortunately, you don’t meet the requirements today.”
The limit is 100 bpm.
I guess they thought I might pass out and pee my pants or something.
Either way, it was disappointing and I went home and whined to my husband about how my failed attempt doesn’t count.
And he said, “Why not? Do all of your adventures have to be successful?”
And I said, “Well yeah, duh.”
But then I thought, “Wait, maybe this is part of the journey.”
Accepting failure. Being okay with everything not turning out perfect. Willingness to try again.
Maybe this was one of those opportunities for me to do more than check an adventure off my list.
Maybe it was an opportunity for me to practice what I preach.
To fail is to learn. Did I just learn something?
The husband and his words of wisdom have done it again.
I’ve not given up. I will go back and share some liquid life in Erin’s honor.
I’m going to be nervous about being nervous…
But I will persevere.
Who wants to join me?
Until next time,