I’m only a little bit ashamed to say that yesterday I gave blood for the first time ever. Originally I was misinformed about whether I’d be allowed to give. Then I deluded myself for a while. Finally uncertainty and fear stopped me from trying.
Then my wife said we were going to give blood on Thursday. There was nothing stopping me.
They ask you a bunch of questions. Then you sign something. Then they take a drop of blood from you fingertip to see if you’ve got enough iron to safely give blood.
Since they wait this late before trying to disqualify people, I really think that they’re trying to collect as much information on possible donors as well. So they can forecast trends, and better identify premium subjects.
The finger prick is no big deal. I didn’t actually feel mine.
Then they have you lie down and put your feet up. You give them your arm. They’re about to put the needle in… Don’t LOOK, you FOOL!!! And it feels like a pinch.
You squeeze a little stress-ball every so often to keep the flow going, and just ignore whatever is going on. I was making jokes with the guy across from me. And then it was over.
They offered juice and peanut butter crackers. Gave me a list of do-s and don’t-s that I’m supposed to keep with me for two days. I was concerned I might get dizzy or woozy, but it didn’t happen. I didn’t give it much opportunity to happen though. Just took it easy for a couple of hours.
Next morning, there wasn’t even a bruise.
I heard that one of other first-timers squirted blood all over her shirt. But she didn’t freak out, and it didn’t stain the shirt, so no harm done.
In the mail I’m going to receive a letter with my blood type. And they’ll mention my cholesterol score and if they found me carrying any bad diseases.
I’m told that some blood types aren’t needed so much, so they just squeeze out the plasma. They still want you to give that blood though, to keep you in practice, because some day they might need every drop they can get.
Next time the bloodmobile comes ’round, I’ll probably donate again. Right now though my main job is to encourage everyone else to give some blood. If just 1% more folks donated, there wouldn’t be any shortages in this country. That’s what I heard anyway.
It’s not scary or even uncomfortable. Go for it! You know you want to.