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A Whole Pint

12 Sep

I do not donate blood. Why? Because I don’t really think about it and when the option is waved in my face I retreat due to a fear of needles.

Why would I donate blood when others do, others who do not practically hyperventilate when a needle is aimed for their arms?

Well, a card came in the mail about 4 days ago and it was about donating blood, it was saying the normal things those advertisements always say, about how they need more donors, not enough blood blah blah blah.

For some reason, instead of immediately tossing the card out and forgetting about it I kept it and the idea of donating blood bounced around in my head for a couple of days.

I realized not donating blood because I am scared of needles is a stupid reason to not donate.

We all need blood, duh, and who knows when something might happen and I will be the person needing the transfusion instead of being the person healthy enough to donate? I am not sick now but that doesn’t mean I won’t become sick, it doesn’t mean I won’t be in an accident, it doesn’t mean a thousand different things won’t happen to me in the next twenty minutes that will make me the person in need. And how could I, in good conscience, accept blood when I have never had the decency to donate some.

It’s like taking food from the food bank when you’ve never donated to it. Or like accepting help from the government if I lose my job but never having my previous pay cheques tithed so I contributed to the pot. It’s like getting someone to drive me places when I am injured but never helping them when they need a hand.

See where I am going with this?

I believe in balance and you can’t have balance without Give and Take, emphasis on the Give since it is always more important to give than take…imo.

Also, and this is my selfish reason for donating, what better way to over come a fear than to purposefully expose myself to it?

Sure I have had needles poked in to me over the years, but this, donating, allowing myself to be jabbed with a needle when there is no benefit to me…I’d say that might help me get over my fear…maaaaaybe…

My experience went as well as can be expected I suppose, every one there was really nice, they put a sticker on me saying I was a first time donor so that at every stage things would be explained to me in more detail since I had no idea what the hell was going on lol I also got a sticker at the end saying something along the lines of “be kind to me, I donated blood today”

My stickers

My stickers

Apparently I am still a child at heart because I enjoyed getting the stickers lol πŸ˜›

I got a finger jab (props to any diabetics out there who have to do that daily cause that sucked!) and my hemoglobin level was juuuuust barely enough to allow me to donate, looks like I should eat things with more iron in them, oh the things you learn. πŸ˜‰ Then I answered a loooong list of questions. Then I got taken to a private room where a bunch of questions were read out loud to me by a very kind nurse, these were the more sensitive questions, mostly having to do with sex, and STI’s and, well, that’s mostly it…Then I got taken to the refreshment area because I made a mistake in not eating prior to going to my appointment so I had to eat cookies to get my blood sugar levels up before they would take my blood. Maybe the sugar in the cookies makes it tastier? teehee

So oh the horrors I had to eat two Peek Freans Creme Cookies…Mmm cookies!

Peek Freans 2

Oh, I also got a mango juice box. πŸ™‚

Then I got sat in a waiting area where I watched some food cooking show that was mildly interesting but by this point I was thinking about one thing and one thing only…needles! A nurse brought me this…

Aaahhhhh medical stuff!

Aaahhhhh medical stuff!

…medical stuff! Scary looking medical stuff! Don’t give me this stuff, I don’t want to see what my blood will be going in to!

Ok, deep breath, it’s all good… πŸ˜‰

I basically ignored that pile of stuff and focused completely on the tv screen, that medical stuff no longer existed in my world, my world was a stupid cooking show because I knew the next step would be involving hooking me up to a needle and my fake calm was starting to crack. Yes I am aware I am a wimp.

Jump off a cliff? Sure, no prob! Get jabbed by a needle? Umm, let me go hide in a corner k? *rolls eyes* I’m an embarrassment to humanity, sigh.

After a little while I got taken to a super comfy lounging type chair thing, the friendliest lady cleaned my arm for 30 seconds (for real, she timed it an everything!) then I got stabbed with the biggest needle in the world! What the hell??!?! I’m used to small needles and didn’t even for a moment think the needle used for blood donation would not be a small needle but oh boy, it was nothing even close to the word small. Nope. Nuh-uh. Huuuuge! When it was facing towards me I could see down the inside of it! Who the hell makes a needle so big?! That can’t be normal!

Now, for all that I am scared of needles I have to watch when they are jabbed in to me, so I watched as the worlds largest needle was put in my arm and then left there. Left there! I mean yeah, ok, I knew it was going to stay in my arm, like an IV, but I thought the needle would be the size of an IV needle so this was a little freaky to see. The poor nurse she had to talk me through taking some deep breaths so I wouldn’t have a total freak out lol She did a good job of it too! It helped when she covered the needle with some gauze so I couldn’t see it anymore lol Didn’t stop me from staring transfixed like a cat at a mouse hole on the tubing that had my blood flowing through it…

There it goes...my blood...out of me and in to a bag...

There it goes…my blood…out of me and in to a bag…

Turns out I bleed quickly…which I guess is a good thing to know in case I am ever stabbed, I now know I have less time than others might to stop the flow of blood before I’ll bleed out cause yeah, that blood of mine just hot footed it out of the hole in my arm and filled the bag super fast. Which is probably for the best since about 15 seconds after the needle was in my arm the only thought filling my head was

“oh my god, there is a needle in my arm! get it out! get it out! get it out!”

That basically just kept repeating itself over and over and over until the lady came to take it out, then the screaming voice promptly changed to…

“oh my god she is going to take out the needle! it’s gonna hurt! it’s gonna hurt! it’s gonna hurt!”

And uh yeah, it did hurt, fyi.

After sitting for five minutes pressing down on the gaping hole in my arm so it would clot I got a bulky bandage made of gauze and was taken back to the refreshment area where I got more juice and cookies…a package of mini chocolate chip this time, Mmm!

That bandage is juuuust as uncomfie as it looks, sigh.

That bandage is juuuust as uncomfie as it looks, sigh.

Aaaaand then I spent the rest of the day with a headache, tired but unable to nap, and feeling kind of wobbly…like I had been working out and hit muscle exhaustion, only all I had done was donate blood.

I didn’t realize how much donating a pint of blood would physically affect me, I was told not to work out or do anything physical for 6-8 hours but even by that 8 hour mark I wasn’t up to doing anything, so I didn’t! I sat and watched tv and YouTube and cuddled with the cat (who I swear knew something was up cause he was even more cuddly with me lol) and basically just chilled.

I am not allowed to donate blood again for 56 days, which miiiight just be enough time for me to forget the fear, and the size of the needle, and the horror, and remember only the happiness of the cookies and mango juice…maybe… πŸ˜‰

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