I gave platelets today. I went over to the Citicorp building on 53rd and Lex. at lunchtime and got my blood pumped out of me. The procedure, called Apheresis, entails putting 2 needles in one arm. The blood is taken out, centifuged, pulling the needed blood component out then adding an anticoagulant before returning the blood back into my arm. And it’s not a restful procedure. You have to actually have a relationship with the machine- squeezing and pumping on the intake turn, and resting on the return. I’m tired.

Why give platelets? Because my blood is rare, whole blood donations are not in demand. But you can give platelets to anyone. Cancer patients, those receiving organ or bone marrow transplants, victims of traumatic injuries, and patients undergoing open heart surgery require platelet transfusions to survive. You can donate platelets every 3 days or so, because they’re not taking whole blood, and they’re giving back most of it.

So I’m sitting in the Blood Donor room, and my left hand has 2 needles in it. I was told not to move, or I would blow the vein. I tried to read, but everytime I tried to concentrate, I’d forget to squeeze and the machine would beep. It snitched on me! The technician would then come over and repeat the directions all over again. About 45 minutes into this, my hand goes totally numb. Then my lips, then my nose. Have you ever tried to squeeze something while your hand is asleep? It hurts. Fifty minutes into the procedure I look up and see the yellow pus, I mean platelets, hanging above me. Great. I can stand seeing blood, but this turned my stomach and I broke out in a sweat. 5 minutes later the room starts spinning. I told myself I have 13 minutes- I can do this for 13 minutes. I forget to squeeze, the machine beeps, and adds another 4 minutes. Argh! Finally, the machine beeped one last time and I was done. This was the first time I had such a strong reaction to giving.

I was going to try to do this once a week, but I think I’ll have to scale it back to once a month. After this, giving blood is a dream. So remember- when the blood mobile comes around, donate!

Medieval Fun

Flashback time. MR and I took Zombiegirl and 3 of the soccer girls to the Medieval Festival in Sands Point Preserve a few weeks back. I was excited to see the knights- shining armor and all. I’m not sure what the girls expected.

When we arrived, much ado was going on at the King’s Court. Knights were fighting, swords clashing against wooden shields, metal clanging against metal. The girls squeezed their way up to the ropes, and MR and I stayed in the back. We watched their expressions while the knights were fighting, and they were absolutely mesmerized!

The knights seem to take these battles very seriously. In fact, all the folks at the Medieval Festival take their roles seriously. I was watching a young girl dressed in a long gown watching from the actor’s tent. She had a bottle of 21st century water in her hand. I thought- Aha! She’s out of character! My surprise when she poured it into a metal tankard and drank.

After the battles, the King announced that each knight would do battle for a fair lady’s hand. Each knight circled the meadow looking for a lady to defend. Since we were behind the girls, we were pointing and yelling that we had 4 beautiful girls here to pick from. Sir Adonis came over, and picked Zombiegirl! He led her to the king, where she sat with several other damsels while we cheered on her knight to win!

That’s our fair maiden in the red hat…

Unfortunately, Sir Adonis was defeated. He claimed his lady, gave her a corsage, and led her back to her people.

The girls all agreed that he was “hot!”

We walked around the commons to sample the wares of the kingdom, and to partake in a few of the recreations. Hey! I’m getting into this! At one table, the girls tried on armor…

After visiting the castle and having an ice cream break, we went over to see the jousting. Yes, they use real horses. Yes, they use real lances. Yes, they are really charging at each other. It was very cool when we discovered one of the knights participating in the joust was a woman- Lady Genevive. What a great role model for our young girls!

The jousting was awesome- the lances split apart when they crashed together!

The girls each got a piece to take home.

In the middle of the jousting, a commotion was going on by the King. The girls yelled that the King was hurt, and when we looked over, Sir Stephen had picked up the Queen and kidnapped her, running through the crowd.

They took the Queen to the castle, where the King’s knights laid siege, and rescued her after a fierce battle. Huzzah!

No Festival is complete without purchasing swords for slaying dragons, or going into battle. The girls had a blast, and talked about it for days afterwards! They’re looking forward to going back next year, and talking about which “princess” is going to have Sir Adonis defend her honor!

The Epiphany!

It’s been way too long since my last post! I have to write some flashback posts of everything that’s happened since August.

But first and foremost- my epiphany.

SS23 and I were making our weekly library trip (Columbus and 10th) and the book I had reserved somehow went to the Midtown library. Panic sets in. What will I read for the 2 hours going home? SS23 gave me one of her books to read- one that I had picked up in Borders over the summer, but put it down in favor of Twilight. Sometimes, SS23 will reserve books I had been thinking about, or had read in the past and absolutely loved- I think she’s a little psychic. Out of all the books she had reserved, when I bemoaned the fact I had nothing to read, this is the one she handed me- Skinny Bitch.

Get thee to the store and buy this book.

It was last Friday. I read the whole book during the commute home. I was numb when i got off the train.

I don’t want to give a whole synopsis on the book. You can read it on Amazon. But I want to tell you- it changed my life. I wish I was ALOT younger when I read it!

Since then I’ve:

  • Switched green tea for coffee. I’ve come to realize that my drinking coffee is a ritual, a social thing. I LOVE coffee, but I never drank it alone. I was always making a pot for MR., buying it for the soccer game, brewing it in the office for the girls. Whenever I had me-time, I would always reach for a cup of Red Rose tea. I never drank coffee by myself. So taking the social aspect away, I’m drinking green tea. And I don’t miss the caffeine- that stuff has just as much as a normal cup of coffee!
  • Stopped eating dairy products. Later in life, I became lactose intolerant. So this was a no-brainer. Rice milk, soy yogurt (yummy!) olive oil spread. As the book says- we’re the only species on earth that drinks the milk of another species. Ew.
  • Cut out the refined sugar. The title of the book is Skinny Bitch. Emphasize the SKINNY!
  • Started eating only organic products. The trace amounts of pesticides used on my vegetables is building up in my system. Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Will cancer show up eventually? I’m protecting my family, and buying organic. It might be too late for me, but I’m going to try to protect my kids.
  • Shunned meat. No chicken, beef or pork. Read the book and you’ll understand why. Unfortunately, I can’t impose this restriction on my family, but hopefully, over time they’ll see the light. In the meantime, I’ll double cook. It’s not hard. They need the veggies, too. (If MR brings home a deer, however, I’m eating it! It’s organic, and was not subjected to the cruelities of the meat-packing industry.)
  • Become a vegetarian. In one week, I’ve eaten new things. I’ve learned to cook differently. I’ve had to plan. This has shaken up my life, and it was the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. How complacent I’d become! It’s a new adventure, and one I’m excited to embark on!

So it’s been a week. How am I doing?

I’ve dropped 4 pounds. I have more energy. I sleep better. I’ve become “regular” in my potty activities. I don’t feel as irritable as usual. I feel lighter. Soulspeak will probably know what I mean. She read the book too.

Any regrets? Besides not doing this sooner? One so far. MR made his famous chicken cutlets the other night. They’re awesome.