triathlon and family can mix

Saving Lives

3 to be exact. All in a days work…..

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I have just surpassed 30 donations as of September 13, 2012. While I didn’t actually do much, the nurses did all the work, I do feel better both physically and mentally after giving up a pint.

I reckon that karma explains the mental side of it; I am sure the cupcakes don’t explain the physical side of it.

So I asked the question to my nurse last time I was in, “Why do I feel better after I donate?”. “Iron levels she responds.” So blunt, and not offering any followup information. Does she have better things to do?

So I went looking for the detailed reason why I feel the way I do after donating. Here is what I could dig up.

Boosts Production of Red Blood Cells – Ever heard of the Tour de France? Have you ever heard of EPO? Seems to me these days they are one in the same, at least during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. EPO boosts the athletes ability to produce red blood cells, in turn, increasing the capacity for those red blood cells to carry oxygen to the muscles. So after donating, my body gets a natural and legal form of red blood cell regeneration. Does it make me faster, doubt it, but for the reasons following, it can’t hurt.
Iron Build-Up – Men are at an increased risk of increased iron in our blood. Guess why. By donating, that excess iron goes with, and helps reduce our iron levels. Oh, iron has been linked to hear disease and the chance of a heart attack.
Karma – My number one reason for rolling up my sleeve every other month, giving blood is a great way to help out someone who is in a tough spot; be it an accident, cancer treatment, or regular transfusions they rely on donations to heal. I was part of a dedicated donor program where my blood was used for a specific patient, one who I never met, but felt a connection with after a year of being part of the program.

So what about training you ask? It is suggested that you refrain from strenuous activity for 8-10 hours after donating, so I schedule it on a rest day. If I donate at lunch time, I am ready to hit my next training session the next morning.

So I will continue to donate every 56 or so days, because hey, it is a pretty simple way to help someone out.

Question: Do you donate? If no, why not?

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2 responses

  1. I’ve only donated 14 times, but I am still very proud. I am glad you donate every other month, as well. I do my best as well. =]

    October 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm

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