Give blood.... save a life!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I had a goal for the month of January, to give blood. So when the Red Cross showed up at my place of work for a blood drive I didn't hesitate to sign up.

I gave blood in honor of my father-in-law who is battling leukemia right now. He was an avid donor, going in when ever he was able to donate. He would give plasma and double red cells, the whole bit. He had to stop giving once he found out about his cancer and now he is on the receiving end of the donation by getting blood a few times during the week.

My last blood donation did not go well. It was way back in 2005 but I remember it like it was yesterday. I have passed out before.... this was not new to me but this time was different. I started feeling not too good and then poof.... I am in dreamland. Thinking I am in bed having a dream only to wake up to people standing over me. I couldn't remember where I was for a minute or two. And it took a long time to recover. I vowed that I would never give blood again. My body just can't handle it.

Fast forward to today.....

I read up this time on donating. Did my homework! I ate spinach, raisins, red meat, and chicken to get my iron levels up. I got a good night sleep and made sure I was plenty hydrated. This was going to go well!

My appointment was at 10:00 and I was on time. I ate a good breakfast and even had a banana before heading down to donate. Going through the tests and questions was a breeze but my nurse had to comment on my shaking arm while she was taking my pulse. I didn't even know my arm was shaking. I made sure to tell everyone how this usually goes for me and of course, why I was donating again.

I had a young male nurse sticking me with the needle, which he needed help. My veins hide and he mentioned that I have deep veins. Nope.... they just hide when they know they will be poked. LOL!

Stick went fine and I was donating. About 2 minutes into it I started getting that feeling. It always starts with bad feeling in my stomach. I started taking nice slow deep breaths and asked them to lay me down. I was filling this bag no matter what!

Laying down seemed to do the trick and I was well on my way. The needle hurt a little but I didn't say anything because the last time that happened to me they stopped the process and I didn't want that to happen today. Half way through they had to move the needle around because my blood wasn't flowing good enough. I almost dropped the ball I was supposed to roll around a few times. Good times.... donating blood!

After a little over 16 minutes, I was finally done! I made it.... and filled the whole bag! I took a little longer to recover since I was laying down during the donation. Drank some juice, water, and ate some nuts.

But I am feeling pretty good! Very proud of myself for getting over the trauma and trying it out again. And guess what... I am saving someone's life and that right there is an awesome feeling.

So today I will be taking it easy and won't be working out. And I will probably have a nice battle bruise to show for my bravery. But I did it. And I checked off another goal from my January list!

Here is a picture and proof of my donation from today.......

Have an awesome day spark friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Elaine,
    I had hepatitis when I was four years old and I have anxiety about getting my blood drawn. My veins go into hiding or roll away. The phlebotomist usually starts on my right arm, then the left arm, then the right again but then end up using a butterfly needle on my hand instead. I've had terrible bruises on my arms that were four inches in diameter.

    I have been walking for six years now. I had blood drawn this month and this has been the first time in my life they got it on the first draw! I think its the increase water and blood flow in my body.

    I am sorry to hear about your father in law's leukemia. My boyfriend was diagnosed last January with leukemia. In August he had chemotherapy for the first time and a week later he had to have a bypass surgery. This last January we found out he has diabetes on top of this. I think his heart and pancreas were damaged by the chemotherapy. His oncologist is suppose to be the best in the state, but I'm not one hundred percent sold. He comes in looking like a movie star with his fake orange suntan, blinding white veneers and his young wife on his arm. It makes me feel resentful like he's having the time of his life sucking on the life of my boyfriend like a vampire. If only I felt he was there to help people instead of being there just for the money. I guess that's old fashion desire to have for your doctor.

    3284 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/21/2012 6:00:32 AM
    I need to give it another go. I have "hidden" veins too and needles remind me of all the sticks and bruises I received getting routine blood work through my pregnancies. The fact that I could save a life is greater than my fears.

    Thanks for sharing!
    3286 days ago
    Great job!
    3286 days ago
  • DRB13_1
    you were really brave! so proud of you!
    I'm a VIP donor. I had to stop donating the end of 2011 (temporarily) because I became too anemic. Looking forward to going back.
    I hope if you have the opportunity to donate in the future, that you won't get light headed. Bless you for volunteering to help save THREE lives!
    3286 days ago
    Elaine, I'm so proud of you! I had a mishap once in a doctor's office (I will spare everyone the gory details), and it caused me to fear needles for a long time. But with persistence and a lot of positive self-talk, it can be overcome...and you proved it! When I donate, they give me a ball to squeeze every 3 seconds. It keeps my mind occupied and helps the blood flow faster. Maybe you can try that next time!
    3286 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8692920
    Way to go! I would love to donate blood. Unfortunately, I have active Lyme and still can't donate :(.
    3287 days ago
    Way to go conquering a fear! Proud of you!
    3287 days ago
    Oh, I hear you on that passing out description!! Congrats to you on getting that bag filled!
    3287 days ago
  • JR0124
    You are making me think I should get over the time they destroyed my arm and go donate. I am terrified of needles and tell them every time but last time they kept digging and digging and I had a huge bruise. I go for my grandma who had cancer 7 times and needed blood transfusions every time she'd go for chemo. If she can do that I can get over my fear of needles, right?
    3287 days ago
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