I saw a notice the other day at work that the hospital next door was having a blood drive today, so I decided it was a good time to cross something off of my list. Now, I'm a HUGE fan of keeping my blood INSIDE of me, so I wasn't particularly looking forward to this. I hate needles. I know some people would argue that someone with as many tattoos as I have can't say that, but I say you're wrong. A tattoo is nothing like having a hollow spike driven into a vein. Nothing like it at all. Piercing might be more like it, but I've never been a big fan of piercing myself.
There were two bad parts to the process - the finger stick to check my iron and of course, inserting the dagger into my arm to drain my blood. I'll kind of give you the fact that it is ridiculous for me to be so squeemish about the finger stick - that is more like a tattoo (but not really), plus when I was pregnant and had gestational diabetes I had to do it multiple times a day (in addition to insulin injections). But I still hate it.
I was proud of myself, though. I normally can't look anywhere near the tubing and whatnot. They always drape the tubing over your arm and feeling this warm tube on my arm, knowing MY BLOOD is running through it creeps me out, but I did better. I even watched the bag fill up some. I guess a lot has changed since I gave blood last. It has to have been almost 10 years, and I have had 3 kids since then. I'm not quite as squeemish now. Bodily fluids aren't such a big deal now.
What freaks me out most is when they take the needle out. I held pressure on my arm and when the guy pulled the gauze back, blood came rushing back out - AAAAHHHHH! My worst blood donation nightmare - leaving and my arm starting to just gush blood. He told me to hold pressure on it some more and I'm surprised my arm isn't black and blue from the intense pressure I was giving it. He checked again and no more blood. Then I got my bandaid and a pretty red Coban wrap to hold the cotton ball in place. The instrucitons were to keep the Coban on for 1 hour and the bandaid for 5. It was more like 3 hours and 8 hours. Like I said - I am just convinced one day I'll leave and the hole will open back up and blood will just spurt out of my arm all over the place.
It didn't though. Taking the bandaid off was a bitch though. Owwww!
Oh, never try to explain blood donation to a 4 year old. They will NOT understand and they WILL look at you like you just traumatized them for life.