Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I made the call

I used to be a faithful and frequent blood donor, or more accurately, platelet donor.  Donating platelets instead of whole blood means you don't have to wait 8 weeks between donations, so I used to go in at least once a month while I was still working and for a while after I retired I was donating every two weeks.  But then my doctor put a stop to my donations while he figured out why I was having occasional bouts of low iron.

Well a few years have passed and the reason for my iron deficiency was never discovered, despite my having  been subjected to every invasive procedure available to modern medical science, so my doctor finally relented to my repeated requests to start donating platelets again.  He did this at my last appointment a few weeks ago but until today I hadn't done anything to make my return to donating a reality, despite my good intentions to get back into the program.

So yesterday evening when caller ID showed it was the Red Cross calling it seemed rather serendipitous, and I answered (I don't usually answer obvious telemarketer calls).  A very pleasant-sounding young woman asked for me and then said that she was looking at my prior blood donation history and my total number of donations (234, or something like that) was the highest she had ever seen.  Clearly she was flattering me as an enticement to encourage me to sign up to make a donation for whatever blood drive she was representing.

I interrupted her obviously well-prepared pitch to tell her that first, my donation history pales in comparison to many other devoted long-time platelet donors, some of whom have double the number of donations (or more) that I have, and second, that I had already resolved to call the Red Cross to make an appointment for my next visit with them, and because her call was just the incentive I needed I promised to make the call the very next day - and she said that she believed what I said (I'm sure lots of folks say anything just to get her off the line).

So this afternoon I made the call, and when Renee answered the phone and I told her who was calling, it was like I had never been away. She said of course she remembered me - I'm "family".   She pulled up my record and made an appointment for the day and time I requested, made sure I remembered the restrictions to observe before donating (no aspirin for 48 hours and a diet low in fat the day before the appointment), and said she was looking forward to seeing me - and I think she really meant it!

It feels good to be back.

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