November 02, 2018
What’s the challenge?
Donate one pint of whole blood
Why is this challenging for me?
Donating blood has always been something that I’ve thought about doing but have never done anything about. #FirstTimeDonor. According to my driver’s license, I’m an organ donor too, so what was stopping me from donating blood?
Needles. Nerves. Is it sanitary? What if I pass out? Ya know, fear!
How was the experience?
The whole concept was intimidating to me and I was extremely nervous this morning! I called to make an appointment, asked a dozen questions, then when I got there I asked a dozen more! So thanks to Dale at the front desk for being so patient with me!
I was quickly checked in, then sat down with a tablet and information booklet to complete my registration. That part was painless and only lasted about 10 minutes. Then I had to go into a tiny office to go over the answers to my questions and get pricked in the finger to make sure my hematocrit number was in the safe range to donate (measuring the proportion of red blood cells in my blood). I passed.
Then I was brought into the “everyone can see you so don’t blow it” room with all the chairs and machines. Right as I sat down, a woman in the chair next to me was done and just getting up — 3 steps away from the chair, her knees buckled, and she went down. Great, just what I wanted to see. Turns out she didn’t eat breakfast, luckily I did so I assured myself I’d be fine.
Once I got hooked up to a massive needle and the nice lab lady covered it with a piece of gauze so I didn’t have to stare at it, everything was fine! I got to squeeze a little squishy ball with one hand and browse Instagram with my phone in the other. It took me precisely 11 minutes & 54 seconds to donate a pint of full blood and I never passed out!
My experience concluded by hanging out in a seating area with a larger-than-life drop of blood mascot with other donors who were drinking juice and munching on cookies. I couldn’t eat any of the snacks they had but luckily I’d brought my own Larabar & water bottle so I was set.
Below are the photos I was sharing on Instagram during the whole process for your viewing pleasure. At the end of the day, I’m relieved that it’s over and honestly, I wish I had started donating sooner. I already made my next appointment to go back in 8 weeks when I’m able to donate again!