Today's fun fact is that I gave blood for the first time ever yesterday. My coworker, and friend, Amy came to my office, grabbed my hand and said "Come on, you're going with me and giving blood!"
Me: Um I am? Wait, I uh *tries to think of an excuse*, uuuh, I don't really like needles you know.
Amy: *eye roll*. Come ON! Your covered in tattoos and you are going to tell me you don't like needles???
Me: Well I mean needles IN my veins. That's different.
Amy: Whatever. If you can get a tattoo you can give blood.
Me: *realizing she's right* Ok fine. I'll go.
I gotta admit on the walk over to the donation area my heart was pounding. I was nervous! I began to hope that maybe I wouldn't qualify and I could sneak out of the whole thing. During the interview process I did my best to throw a few of the questions in my favor. When asked if I had come in contact with another person's blood recently I enthusiastically answered YES! YES I HAVE!! Blood! Yes! I HAVE touched blood that was not from my own body!!
Turns out treating my daughter's skinned knee, doesn't disqualify me.
No matter how hard I tried my excuses just weren't enough to keep me from giving blood. Before I knew it I was laid out flat on my back like a slab of meat while the nurse searched for the perfect vein. Once she was satisfied with my ability to bleed she swabbed my arm with what seemed like an excessive amount of iodine. She collected her tubing and then warned me that I'd feel a slight pinch and then a burning sensation. She said the burning is due to the iodine.
Well no shit sherlock. With the amount you poured all over me I could probably treat the wounds of every homeless person in Syracuse! I'm not surprised to hear it's going to burn when it finds a way into my veins!
I braced myself. My heart was pounding in anticipation of the pinch and burn. My stomach was flopping around as I imagined what it would feel like to have so much blood draining at one time. I waited, then I waited some more. I finally squeezed open one of my eyes just as the nurse said "There! You are all set!"
I AM??!?! That didn't hurt AT ALL!
I looked down and I was all hooked up and the blood was already flowing out.
WOW! I was surprised. There was no pain and my arm didn't feel creepy or tingly or anything like I had expected. It only took me 5 or 10 minutes to fill my bag and the nurse informed me that I am a very good bleeder.
I'm gonna take that as a compliment.
When I was all done I sat up slowly and I felt just fine. I wasn't even dizzy. Bonus? I got free cookies AND a capri sun!
I have to admit, the whole process was simple and for the most part pain free. It wasn't anything like I imagined it to be. I went from feeling scared and nervous to feeling really proud that I had done my good deed for the day. As I sat down and ate my cookies I told myself from now on I will donate EVERY TIME I can. My friend Amy, the one that convinced me to go, has donated 31 times!! THIRTY ONE TIMES!! Wow... thank goodness for people like her. She's been picking up the slack for people like me all these years! I guess it's time I start to handle this myself.
The Red Cross needs us, and if you have never donated, you might want to give it a try. I promise you that it isn't nearly as horrible as you imagine it will be. And to know you are helping a stranger... well it'll give you lots of warm fuzzies.
Another bonus?? Being a pint low turned me into a cheap date! 2 glasses of wine and I felt like I had drank the entire bottle!
If all the good deeds, warm fuzzies, free cookies, and juice isn't enough to convince you... perhaps the fantastic buzz is!
CHEERS! To the Red Cross!
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