A close friend once asked me to donate blood. The thought of needles sticking out of my arm petrified me, let alone leaving it there for a few minutes with blood streaming through it. In defence, I claimed that blood should stay in the body where it belongs; and that if they want blood, they will need to beat it out of me. I have hurt some feelings that day with what I said… Donating blood was never spoken of again…
Of course, it was something I would like to do. But fear was my biggest hurdle. Numerous opportunities had passed and gone and I was still reluctant to go.
I returned from Malaysia with a new me, not the current me, but one that wanted more from life rather then the comfortable life that home can provide. I had to wait at least a year after returning from a malaria risk area.
What was stopping me? My phobia of needles. I missed my opportunity where someone could walk me to the door, I thought I had to do this alone, but I was saved.
In a pub one Friday afternoon, a good friend and I was chatting and this topic was awoken from my crypt. She told me how she donates and what a wonderful thing it is… She offered to go with me. A little more mature this time, I was prepared; I accepted and committed myself to this quest.
The time has come and gone now. I have donated. But I can tell you, for me it was a truly terrifying experience. But did it feel good afterwards – partly probably because not enough blood was going to my head and I felt a bit trippy.
I’ll save you the details of the donation, but that ‘prick’ they tell you about? Either my nurse didn’t get it right, or its a lie, he struggled a little and it wasn’t the swift poke I was expecting. Blood squirted out all over my arm and I thought it was funny and started laughing… I was so pumped on adrenaline, I didn’t know why I was laughing; I was so pumped on adrenaline, it wasn’t blood I was donating.
I don’t know what happened, but after the donation, I felt lost, like I usually am, but with mixed emotions. I wanted to crack up in hysterics, I wanted to cry then just curl up in fear – all at the same time. The staff there were amazing. Extremely supportive and helpful. They made sure I was 110% before letting me leave.
I do wonder why I hadn’t done this the first time I was asked. I am still afraid of needles – more, in fact, but knowing my blood could potentially save somebodys’ life. I don’t think there is anything greater someone can do. If I were a super hero, what would my power be? An infinite supply of blood.