Remember when I made this statement: “I have never dared to donate blood because I am terrified of needles; however, upon considering Phil’s suggestion to do so on 2 Words: Become Better, decided to put on the brave armour and furnish my left arm next time there’s a blood drive at work”? Well, I do, because I actually posted that on my Volunteering/Donating page.
To say that needles make me feel uneasy or anxious would be an understatement. I think fretful would be a more appropriate term. Nonetheless, I committed to donating blood, and was planning on finding out the date of the next blood drive at work in order to do so. Only I didn’t need to do that because guess what I found right on the parking lot when I arrived to work this morning? Yeap, I had to put on that courage armour in a rush. Went to my office to sign in. Checked my email, sent a few replies, and headed back to the parking lot. Wait; I recalled Cece‘s advise to have a good meal before donating blood. I’m covered. Had my Herbalife protein shake, which boasts 114 nutrients (pardon the plug 🙂 ). I was greeted by an attendant who gave me information to read while she took my driver’s license to input my data in their system. Afterwards another attendant took me in a little room and interviewed me about my health history; took my temperature, blood pressure and pulse. Next she did an awful thing I tell you. She pricked my finger and extracted some blood in order to get my blood cell count. That was the worst part of the whole process! It is a good thing no one warned me about the finger prick because I am terrified of this.
Then to the real deal, she guided me to one of the donating beds; assessed my veins; sanitized my left arm; tied it and gave me a stress ball to squeeze. After giving me a heads up, she inserted the needle. Ouchie. The pain faded quickly; however, the notion of the needle being inside of me is what really stressed me. Using my right arm I texted a couple of friends for support, including my sister. Her very kind reply was something like “I’m busy. Quit being a pu**y” Yeah, I can always count on my dear sister to pick me up when I’m down.
10 to 15 minutes passed and the needle came out. My breathing rate went back to normal. I was given oj and Oreos, yummie; as well as a water bottle to keep hydrated. Also, a nice gentleman shared some blood donating facts with me:
– RI needs 285 pints of blood per day
– One pint (which is what you give as a donor) could save 3 lives
– Colleges and Universities are among their best sources of donations during the academic year; Summer is much slower.
– Donors can give blood every 8 weeks.
I was sent off with instructions to stay hydrated, keep the bandage on for 4 hours, not smoke or drink alcohol until I had a good meal. Above all I had a sense of pride for facing one of my big fears in order to help others.
Care to share your blood donating/fear of needles anecdotes?