Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Blood

Like I said yesterday, I went to the Bloodmobile to give blood. And unlike last time, I actually made a successful donation!  Last time, the lady thought I was too scared, so she sent me away.

I signed up for an 11:30 AM time slot, so I could get out of class a little early.  They made me fill out a questionnaire, which had a lot of questions about HIV and other blood-related diseases that I don't have. Then, they made me read the two-page disclaimer, which looked like this:

Side effects of giving blood usually last for fifteen minutes, but you must keep your donor information on hand for the next three weeks.  Common side effects include light-headedness, fainting, a sudden desire to play the tuba, and lack of blood.  Drink plenty of fluids, and avoid strenous activities like sports, tap-dancing, and looking up something on Wikipedia.

The doctor leaves you alone while you read the two-page disclaimer, and of course, when I was waiting for the doctor to come back, I was having horrible visions of myself fainting in the middle of dinner, and then getting mashed potatoes all over my face. Having to avoid stairs for the rest of the day seemed like a challenge, too, seeing as I live on the third floor.

Then the doctor came back in to check my blood pressure and temperature and stuff, and he pricked my finger to get a drop of blood, so he could check my hemoglobin.  I believe his exact words were, "Yep, that's hemoglobin, all right.".  The finger-prick isn't all that bad, because it barely cuts into the skin; they only need one drop of blood, so it's a very light prick. I've done this for doctors three times in the past, and it's no big deal.

Well, that was the easy part. Then came the tough part: giving a pint of blood.

Mr. Doctor found the vein in my right arm, and he drew on the vein with blue marker. I've never had anyone draw on my arm before, and let me tell you: it's not the greatest confidence booster in the world when your doctor marks you up with a Sharpee.  He then cleaned up my arm, which erased all of his artwork, and I was wondering why he drew on my arm in the first place when he put the needle in.

My reaction was not, "Ow!", it was more of an annoyed, "Hey, you didn't warn me first!"

The needle doesn't hurt. Instead of feeling painful, it feels more...weird, because you have this needle sticking out of your arm for ten minutes. And the good news is that you feel less than you normally would, because there's not as much blood going through your arm at the moment.

The whole time, the doctor had me squeeze a stress ball, to make sure the blood was pumping. Maybe having a stress ball helped, too.

Eventually, the doctor said I was done, and he removed all the equipment. Then he made me sit in the rest area, which had free food and stickers, which I got to impress all the kids at the local elementary school (they weren't impressed).  After fifteen minutes, I left the bus, and that's basically it, except for me being more light-headed and thirsty for the rest of the day.

In conclusion, giving blood totally doesn't hurt, and you should do it, because it's a great way to help other people and save lives.

14 comments:

Karen said...

I am so use to them getting blood from my arm, but that may just be for my health.

Anonymous said...

I would give blood, but I am horrified of needle.

Miriam said...

The doctor wanted to draw my blood once to see if I was anemic. My mom had to surprise me by taking me there on the way home from school to make sure I'd actually go, and they had to have an extra nurse standing next to me, holding my hand and talking to me to distract me. Plus I had a wet washcloth covering my face.
It was either that, or I'd faint. :/

Kira said...

I had my blood drawn about a year ago to check if I was diabetic (I wasn't). The blood-drawing person told me it was less painful than a shot, which I can sort of agree to. But I didn't like the feeling of the needle sucking out my blood ... definitely something I don't want done again.

Diana said...

Isn't typing a blog post as strenuous as looking up something on wikapedia? Don't get me wrong, I love your blog posts but watch out for your health Michael! Disobeying a disclaimer, shame on you! lol

Anonymous said...

I had to get my finger pricked once.... But they used this funny looking thingy so i thought they were cleaning my finger.. i was very surprised..

Anonymous said...

I hate needles...

Balin said...

I would give blood, but I cannot until late April, because last April, I went on a missions trip in Peru, and only when I tried to give blood earlier this month did I learn that anyone going to the place in Peru I went is not allowed to give blood for a year.

Which annoyed me, because I don't even know my blood type.

Lexi said...

Once the doctor had to draw blood from me and knowing my record they said they'd get their BEST guy to do it. Let's just say that, if that was their best guy, I'd HATE to see their worst guy. I have a scar on both wrists and the insides of my elbows. My mom had to yell at the dude to make him stop! He didn't even look for the vein, just went *POKE!* then moved the needle around in me, hit a nerve or two, and (here comes the best part!) they didnt even draw any blood.

Karen said...

Lexi,

Ouch:( I feel your pain. The first time that I got blood drawn at the new place they poked both arms and didn't get any blood until they did the back of my hand. They either lost the vain ( which has happend before ) or they made a guess. I do know they have trouble finding a vain but after that first time they make sure they find a vain before poking me so many times!!

Anonymous said...

I get blood drawn all the time, because i get sick all the time and doctors always make me get blood tests done. My mom always says "oh youre so brave!" and i say "mom i do this like every month" haha (:

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I've never given blood. It doesn't sound terrifing, but it also doesn't sound pleasant...I'll admit needles make me a little nervous.

I'm just amazed that they can take a whole pint of blood and it doesn't harm anything. I wouldn't be too happy about feeling lightheaded for the rest of the day, though.

--J.F.

Anonymous said...

What's your blood type?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, i had to get blood drawn before i had surgery, so i can't tell if my bad feelings were from blood loss or from my leg being cut into.



I have no i idea why i posted this.