Wednesday, May 6, 2009

#81 - Donate blood

This is just a friendly disclaimer that this blog might not be for the faint of heart. You've been warned.

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.


  1. Now that it's over, I can tell you my 'horror' story. About 9 months ago (middle of winter in Aus) I went off merrily to give blood in a, which I had been doing every 3 months for a year or so. For me, it always takes about 10 mins to fill the bag, and after only 5, the nurse came up to me said it was too slow to only have half the blood, started freaking out that I wasn't fit for it, then took out the needle. I felt really crap because what are they going to do with 200ml...nothing. arm was getting these really weird tinges for a few days when I'd twist a certain way, then I notice a bruise from elbow to underarm following the vein. I went to the doctor, he said it looked like my vein had gotten infected & told me to never give blood again. I don't know if it was just put in badly, withdrawn badly, or just too cold...but I hate getting the text message reminders saying I'm due to go back. Despite the experience I'm a big advocate for it, and just feel crap that I'm not allowed to.

    I hope I haven't turned you off going back :S

  2. Wow, good for you!!!! But you left me wanting more story about explaining blood donation to your daughter.....too funny!



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