Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gave Blood, Eased Guilt

I gave blood for the first time recently (Saturday Feb 13 to be exact). And I must say that it was nice to have the guilt, that I have been carrying around for not giving blood the last ten years, lifted.
My ward had a blood drive and I decided it was high time I gave blood. I attempted it one other time, back in college. I wanted to do it, but was afraid of the needle. I was pretty queasy around needles at that time. My roommates and I got ourselves all pumped up to do it, walked over to the blood drive, saw the HUGE line, waited for about thirty minutes and then left. Waiting for so long made us all chicken out. If we had been able to just walk right up and get the process started I think we would have all given blood that day, but that was not how it went. I wonder how many of them have given blood since that experience? Ever since then I have been carrying around a lot of guilt about not giving blood. I have had other opportunities to give blood but never have. I have been feeling guilty about not giving blood for over ten years now. It was definitely time to get rid of this guilt and give some blood.
I was still a bit nervous. Over ten years later. But since my first attempt I have given birth to three children and been poked with plenty of needles during those pregnancies and lived through the pokings. I told myself that I should be fine.
I had not actually signed up to give blood, but Theric just assumed that I would be giving blood without ever asking me about it, so he got the kids all packed in the car and I hopped in and off we went.
We got there and while it did not look like there were a lot of people ahead of me it still took quite a while to get to the actual point where they took my blood. There was a booklet to read, then lots of waiting, then an interview along with blood pressure readings and a finger prick so they could check my hemoglobin count, then a questionnaire and more waiting. During all this I learned that the pool of people cleared to give blood is not as huge as I had always assumed. They are always updating the list of things that make you ineligible to give blood. Apparently good, clean blood can be hard to get. But in the end I had it! I made it through the screening process and my blood was deemed acceptable. So, over an hour after arriving I was finally instructed to lie on a table, relax and had a vein in my right arm tapped for the blood within. About fifteen minutes later I was done! The technician said I had good flow, so my pint bag filled pretty quickly, a bandage was wrapped around my arm and I was instructed to go sit in a chair at the refreshment table, relax and eat some OREOS. Yum.
Blood given, guilt lifted and, hopefully, a stranger's life saved.


Blogger Lady Steed said...

Looking back I am pretty impressed I didn't chicken out again. There was more than one person in the hall that was having a hard time feeling normal after giving blood. I was made aware of all the ways my body might react and they didn't sound like fun. Then my friend came over and told me how she passed out when they gave her the finger prick (turns out she tends to pass out at the sight of blood). None of these things made excited to be giving blood, but I tried to remain calm and patiently waited for my turn. Truly, the worst part was the finger prick. My finger was still hurting from that over a week later! While the spot where they took the blood from was hardly bruised.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 4:02:00 PM  
Blogger FoxyJ said...

Good job! I admit that I've never given blood either; I used to sell my plasma all the time, back when I was a starving student. So it's not the needle thing. For a while I was ineligable due to having lived in Europe and I've never followed up on whether I can now or not. And I have low blood pressure and tend to be anemic. But perhaps next time there's a blood drive I'll follow your example and at least find out if I can.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger Lady Steed said...

Foxy, yes, you should try, in about six months. Is giving plasma very different from giving blood?

Sunday, February 21, 2010 5:05:00 PM  

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