Folks who work with their hands will often donate blood to the project they are working on. Farmers, ranchers, craftsmen, carpenters…all have this in common. The left hand of a right handed craftsman takes a lot of abuse, and occasionally the right hand gets in the way of danger as well. I chuckle when I remember the story of Betsy Ross…the seamstress who made the first stars and stripes back during the early days of our republic. She is said to have sewn until her hands bled. What many folks don’t realize, is that she was only one needle prick from seeing her own blood.
I showed up at the Red Cross blood drive this week, as I do about every eight weeks or so. This always presents a dilemma for me, and since I come from a tradition where confession and absolution is kind of a big deal, I have to say that I lie on the questionnaire every time. They ask me a battery of questions to try to determine if my blood is safe, one of which is whether I’ve had an accidental needle stick in the last twelve months. If I were honest I would say yes and then have to explain myself and run the risk of being sent home. I wonder if running a French edger into my left thumb counts, or slipping with my round knife and slicing off a chunk of that thumb. What about an awl stick, or the many times my left hand was in the line of fire when using my little scalpel or straight knife? Do puncture wounds count? I remember when I skewered my middle finger with the needle on my Champion sewing machine. A couple times I impaled my left hand with a tool I use to stuff bucking rolls.
Donated blood…it’s a reality of life and one of the contributions we make to our customers and you can donate without having to lie at the blood drive.