Going West by Mark Powers

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Giving blood

Mark just resting after giving bloodI finally gave blood today. I have never given blood before and was a little nervous, but fortunately was easier than I thought. I signed up a couple of weeks ago by a lady that said you save 3 lives every time you give blood. I also thought, if I was ever hurt in an accident and needed blood, I would be thankful to someone who gave theirs for me.

I ate plenty of food and drank lots of water before giving. I wanted to think that whoever got my blood would say, "Wow, that blood was great, I feel super now!" Upon arriving a the blood donation center, I had to answer a questionnaire about my health history. Of course they have to screen people to ensure the quality of the blood supply, and I felt a little proud that I have taken care of myself all these years and was eligible to give. They prick your finger to do a quick blood test for iron in your blood, as well as check your blood pressure. I was surprised they said my blood pressure was a little high, so I think I will have it checked again later and see what I can do to lower it.

You lay flat on a cusioned table and the nurse preps your arm. I am adverse to needles, so I was a little nervous, but the nurses at the Hawaii Blood Bank were really professional and nice, and I hardly felt anything...a huge relief! Within a few minutes they were down. I asked the nurse how much they took and showed me the pint sized medical bag that was filled with my blood. I actually was astonished to see it. There it was, a small bag of dark red blood from my body. The nurse reiterated what the recruiter had said, that my blood would eventually go into three different people! Amazing.


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