Blood donation proves quick, painless good deed


April 26, 1999|By Jeff Holland | Jeff Holland,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE PHONE RANG A couple of weeks ago, and it was that nice lady from the blood bank at Anne Arundel Medical Center, asking if I could make another donation. I asked her to call me back after April 15 and I'd see how much blood I had left.

As it happened, the tax man spared me some, so I made a date for this past Friday morning.

I like to schedule a donation first thing in the morning, right after I drop my daughter off at school. It's not unpleasant at all.

First you have a nice chat while the nurse takes your temperature and blood pressure, checks your pulse and takes a sample from the tip of your middle finger. Then she runs you through a series of about 746 questions about your medical history and personal life, just to make sure you haven't had intimate relations with any at-risk individuals since at least 1977. Then it's off to the donor room.

There are two chaise lounges, one set up so they can tap your right arm, one for your left. Since I'm left-handed, I always take the one on the right. The nurse cleanses the spot in the crook of your arm, then gets you to squeeze a rubber ball while she puts in the -- no, I'm not going to finish that, because so many people cringe when I describe that part. This time it was painless. The worst I've felt was a bit of a pinch.

You watch the news on a big TV and less than 10 minutes later, you're sipping cold fruit juice and munching on a cookie. It takes about a half-hour out of your schedule, and it could save somebody's life. That's a good feeling that outweighs minor inconvenience and discomfort.

Besides, you get a free mini-checkup, free cholesterol test and even free valet parking at the Clatanoff Pavilion on Jennifer Road. So call that nice lady at the donor center at 410-573-6718.

Drawing applause

Last Thursday, a group of students visited the Annapolis Rotary luncheon at the Fleet Reserve Club to show off their winning artwork from the "Four Way Test" poster contest. As a new member, I was touched to see such a warm reception for these bright young citizens.

Mike Maddox, director of the Environmental Services Department at Ginger Cove Retirement Community, headed the committee that organized the contest at Annapolis Elementary School.

"It's encouraging to see the support of the parents and the school faculty," Mike commented as he introduced the kids.

The winners best depicted visually the Rotary's test of a good statement: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all?

Those whose posters were chosen were first-grader Alex Crilly, second-grader Tyler Stanfield, third-grader Raven Brown and fifth-grader Jack Hutchison. They received a standing ovation from the membership for their efforts.

Getting in stride

Now that spring is here, it's time to work off some of that winter weight.

The Annapolis Striders will start a ten-week program on May 4 to introduce adults to the joys of running. Sessions will be held three times a week at the Bates Track on Spa Road behind Maryland Hall in Annapolis, at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 8 a.m. on Saturdays.

You'll learn such basics as how to choose the right shoes and how to prevent injuries. The program builds gradually from a walk-run regimen to a 5K run by July 17. That's 3.1 miles of aerobic fun.

The Striders recommend that you check with your doctor before starting a fitness program like this, and that you be capable of walking briskly for 20 minutes.

The $15 fee includes a T-shirt.

Information: 410-268-1165.

Pub Date: 4/26/99

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