Yes, attempt number 2. For those of you who missed it; a couple months ago I made an effort to complete this task on my Bucket List and failed. I would suggest reading that adventure because it was hilarious – You can click here to jump to that post. This second time around was in fact, successful and I got my little “First Time Donors” pin to prove it!
After failing my first attempt to donate blood, I immediately booked an appointment with my family doctor to explore my iron levels as per the suggestion from the clinic. We got blood tests and fully examined them. “They told you that your iron levels were incredibly low?” my doctor looked at me skeptically. “You are totally fine! I’m looking at your blood test results right now and there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. I’m surprised they wouldn’t let you donate!” She then suggested that I start taking iron supplement pills a week or two prior to me attempting to donate blood again to see if that would improve my results when they stab my finger next time. So that’s what I did. I started taking extra iron, vitamin C and Biotin and have continued to do so for months. A couple months later, my Mom, my sister and I all decided to try again. Well, after my Mom went and booked a second appointment without either of us knowing… “I had to donate blood when it wasn’t even my idea last time – I’m not letting you clean off the hook!” she told us.
Our appointments were first thing in the morning; just like the previous time, I was taken into one room, my Mom was taken into another room and my sister into a third. This time, it was a man on the other side of the desk who asked the basic health and medical questions. He then told me he would take a sample of my blood to test for iron and sugar levels. I was familiar with the procedure…. I immediately started to regret my decision to take iron supplement pills and shot up a quick prayer that the Good Lord might bail me outta this commitment a second time. He stabbed my finger and drew a drop of blood and waited to the machine to spit out the results. “You’re clear, here are your tubes” he confirmed. Dang it. My hands started to sweat. I’m so pathetic.
They directed me to a large chair to set me up for the donation of death. My Mom was already plugged in and donating her bag of blood like a champ… for the second time. “Alright, let me take a look here…” the nurse said as she pulled my arm up to her eye balls, “Wow you have beautiful veins! These will be lovely.” she pat my arm. My stomach was already in knots and her comments were definitely not helping. ‘Um, don’t tell me any of that, I don’t want to know anything… at all.” I asked. “Oh sorry, do you not handle blood well…?” Now, I’m totally fine with blood. I don’t get sick seeing wounds, I love watching war movies; Hacksaw Ridge didn’t face me. But when someone is bringing my arm right up to their eyes looking like their going to eat it, I get a little turned off.
I looked away the whole time. There was no way I was going to watch them fish around for my lovely veins. They gave me a stress-ball and told me I could squish it if I needed to. I laughed, “If I needed to” I started squeezing that sucker as if it gave me a million dollars with each squeeze. The tube they taped on my wrist was warm, confused I looked at the red tube on my arm. It’s warm because my blood is in it…. I darted my eyes away. That thought was gross. The nurse came back a minute later, “Mmmmk, let’s see how things are flowing” she checked my blood bag, “Oh my gosh, you’re really filling that thing!” Yuck, yuck, yuck. I don’t want to know what rapid pace my blood is flowing out of my body.
In the end we were all successful! My sister and I both donated blood for the first time and all three of us indulged on the well earned, snacks afterwards. I think donating blood is something that I am going to challenge myself to do as often as I can because it’s good to do things that scare you. I laughed when the blood clinic mailed me my “Frequent Blood Donor” card – Calm down people, I ain’t donating that often! Another task I was able to check off my Bucket List was finding out what blood type I am: A+ Most people have been surprised when they learn that I haven’t learned my blood type until now. But I’ve never hadto go to the hospital for myself since I was born. I’ve never broken, twisted, sprained, or fractured anything, nor needed stitches. I mean, now that I’m writing this I’ll probably bust something *knock on wood* I’m thankful for this adventure and I’d encourage you to also donate blood! I was reading that it requires several blood donations to save a life. According to the Red Cross, “A single unit of blood is separated into 4 main “blood products”: red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and white blood cells which can save up to 3 lives!”
Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others”
– Stay Satisfied