Last try at the blood bank

We are saddened by the death of our former high school vocal music instructor, Jona Balt?zer, this past week at the age of 89. Many of us remember him in the 1960s as a stern taskmaster in school, but he always had a twinkle in his eye.

I am glad we got to honor him at the 2013 HHS?All-School Reunion while he was still living. It happened to be his Hillsboro High School Class of 1943?s 70th-year reunion. He had led the annual gathering with the HHS school song with gusto for the past several years.

As I became an adult, he mellowed quite a bit and was a genuinely pleasant friend. I know I will miss him, and our class reunions won?t be the same without him leading the school song.

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This most likely will be the last time I will write about donating blood in my lifetime. All I can do for now is to donate a few organs at my death?if any of them are any good by then.

I got my letter from the Red Cross that said I had been reinstated to give blood after a 17-year absence. So with glee I headed to Trinity Church this past Thursday to do just that.

Not knowing how to make an appointment, I showed up and took my place in line. When I checked in, there was some material to read and I noticed that if you took any of the drugs included on their list, it may disqualify you from giving.

The nice women at the check-in encouraged me to give it a try. So without an appointment I received a blue card with a number on it to indicate the order in which I would be called. I learned after sitting in line that if you had an appointment you would get a white card with a number that would get you through the line quicker.

They took four whites and then took a blue as the proper ratio. Finally my number was called and the Red Cross woman asked me a couple of questions, such as had I taken any aspirin within the past 24 hours, I believe, to which I said yes. Then I told her I saw that Plavix was on the list, and she told me donors couldn?t take any of that medication for the previous 14 days.

Because I take both daily, I was banned for life. My cardiologist said I would always be taking those two drugs, plus a few others for all time.

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That was a bummer as I was really looking forward to contributing to the blood bank again. The American Red Cross material states that a blood transfusion happens every two seconds in the U.S., so that means the requirements are quite large if you do the math.

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Down deep I was really looking forward to having a cookie afterward. I knew the church women had probably baked them fresh.

When I asked if I could still have a cookie, I was told I could have two or three or more just for trying. I will tell you that those were some of the best cookies I?ve ever had.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@
hillsborofreepress.com.