I tried to give blood yesterday. I failed miserably. Again.
Usually if I’m going to fail, it’s at step one: the finger prick test. If my hemoglobin level is too low, that’s it. Finished. Out the door. Try again in 2 months. Yesterday I passed that part with flying colours!
Then it’s blood pressure and temperature. My normal BP is ridiculously low. To the point that a nurse once questioned how I was even able to stand up and walk around. My temp is often low as well, but yesterday, I squeaked by with both stats.
Next is the bliss of trying to locate one of my teensy-weensy little veins. Imagine my delight when they got one on the first try!
But then I screwed up the most crucial part: the actual donating of the blood. Silly me. I was clotting faster than I was pumping. After much heat-pack massaging and fist clenching and tourniquet adjusting, they couldn’t get my blood flowing any faster and I ended up clogging the needle. Good times!
The average Joe can give blood up to 6 times a year. I was successful twice in 2013. But given how early in 2014 my first failure was, I’m still in a good position to blow last year’s record out of the water.
This is not meant to be a “Yay me!” post. More like, “Go, you!” Because if I can keep trying when I clearly suck at this, surely you who are not freakazoids should be able to do this easy-peasy lemon squeezy. It probably won’t hurt you as much as it hurts me. (Obviously encouragement is one of my spiritual gifts.) But even if it does, it’s worth it.
I remind myself every moment I’m inside that clinic: this pain is so short-lived and so tolerable compared to someone facing brain surgery or a lumbar puncture or bone marrow transplant. I can suck it up for one hour in honour of those who don’t have a choice about the pain they’re dealing with.
And so can you. Please do it. Give blood. It really, really matters and it is worth the nauseating agony mild discomfort. Plus, you get cookies.