Today was another one of those “do one thing a day that scares you” days. But for me, this was a super big scary thing! Why is it I don’t like needles? I couldn’t tell you. I don’t think anyone can say that they love needles, so how about that. I finally did it. I donated blood. Funny enough, it was probably one of the easiest things I’ve had to do. Now I can say that I will be a regular in that clinic every 2 months. No kidding!
I’ll just brief you through the process of donating blood in case you’ve been humming and harring of whether to do it or not. You show up there, and you are instantly greeted like a celebrity with VIP door to door free parking. Nice. You walk in the door and the lady at the desk greets you with the biggest smile – once again feeling like a celebrity – and thanks you so much for coming in today to give your blood. You sign some paper work, then head to a nearby station to get your iron levels checked (which involves a tiny finger prick). I’m not gonna lie, there was a small part of me that wished my iron was too low so that I had a good excuse to leave. I bet you the majority of people getting that incy finger prick are all hoping the same thing.
After the happy finger pricking lady does her job, you get sent into another room where a happy nurse checks all your vital signs and asks you some pretty personal questions, to which the majority of answers are ‘no’ to the majority of people I’m sure. Man those were some way out there questions! After getting your picture taken (okay, maybe that was just me), you head out into a big room with 6 beds. Here it gets a bit scary because you know those nurses standing there want to take your blood. You get to pick whatever show you want to watch on the nice big flat screen tv. For me it was Dr. Phil, since that’s what time of day it was. Good ol’ Dr. Phil. This distracted me as the nurse was checking my veins. To be honest, when she poked the needle in, I didn’t even know it was over. I asked, “Is that it?”. And was so relieved when she said yes. EASY PEESY!!! Then all you have to do is sit there for 10-15 minutes while this pump thing collects your valuables. Done!
The best part of it all is the unlimited amount of cookies and juice you get when you’re done. Again, you feel like a celebrity. All of the nurses and volunteers are thanking you, and you even get to wear a sticker for the rest of the day that reads, “Be nice to me today, I donated blood!”. Sweet! If you go to the Oak Street location on Friday’s, you will get to meet Nina who is one of the friendliest volunteers I’ve ever met. What a welcoming smile! I wanted to hang out there longer! Unlimited cookies?? I am coming back every 2 months for this! After eating the “calorie-less” cookies (since they say you HAVE to eat them – man that sounds like my dream world. HAVING to eat cookies!!), you once again head on past the smiley lady at the front desk and head back into your VIP parking, wearing your happy sticker. It was a good day!
The whole thing took probably one hour. The blood part of it only 12 minutes for me. If I can give 1 hour of my time every 2 months, I think that’s pretty good. Those 6 hours a year can add hundreds and maybe thousands of hours to another person’s life. If you’ve been thinking about donating, just call and make an appointment for a random day far down the road. By the time it gets to that day, you’ll have forgotten about being scared about it and now you’re committed, you have to go. Call 1-888-2-DONATE and make an appointment! It felt really good. I felt like I was doing a good deed. I guess I was!
Weirdly enough, donating blood may be a way to help lift your spirits. I left out of there feeling pretty darn good. I am now a regular. 6 hours a year, that’s all it takes. Make it one of your goals and help save a life!!! You are guaranteed to leave feeling good! (if you don’t pass out – but that doesn’t happen too often – I asked :) ).
Smile with your heart!