I donated blood for the first time today

I have had a huge fear of needles since I was a small child.

In my early 20’s I started getting a lot better about it, but my heart still races and my blood pressure goes way up just thinking about it.

It was a huge thing having this surgery too as I knew I would have to have an IV!

The red cross was at the hospital that I work at today doing a "critical" blood drive.  I think the word "critical" drew me as they really need blood right now.

I also knew that the only thing that kept me from donating is fear and that this is a really good thing that you can do.  The red cross ALWAYS needs blood.

I had to admit that I was pretty much freaking out the whole day thinking about it, but determined to go.

My boss came by to warn me that they were having computer problems and running late.   She had an appointment at 11 and mine was at 12:30.

I still went down though and got my number to wait.  It was going to be an hour so I was able to grab my laptop and work while I was waiting.

When they finally called me, my heart skipped a beat.  Was I really going to do this?????

They had to do a finger stick to check my iron.  Ugh, I hate finger sticks!

They I answered and passed all of the questions and it was time for me to lie on a bed.

The girl wasn’t liking my veins.  She had to go get someone else.  The other woman used a blood pressure cuff instead of a tourniquet and ended up finding something in my left that wasn’t the best, but was the best out of all of my others.

The needle really stung going in, but it was over quick.  I was told the stinging is from the iodine that they clean your stick with.  She had to adjust my needle a few times, but things seemed to be going really well.

Next thing that I know I hear a lot of beeping.  They come over and keep trying to adjust the needle.  The flow had stopped.    Only 3/4ths of the bag was full.

The good news is even though that bag can’t be used for transfusion, it can be used for testing and research.  Someone needs to give blood for that right?  It still helps the red cross.

I was bummed though because I felt like I was so close to finishing.

When they pulled the needle, they discovered it had clotted and that is why the flow stopped.  The good news from that is it means that it wasn’t my vein and that it probably was possible for me to donate successfully.

So I will try again.

If you have made it down to the end of this really long post, I had to say that I wish I had done this sooner in my life.  Think about donating if you can as there is always a need for blood out there.  To find donation opportunities, go to http://www.redcrossblood.org/.

I did get a really cool tshirt.  It is sponsored by Discovery Channel and says:

Official Shark Week Blood Donor



About nancykerins

I am a 38 year full time working mother of one doing my best to get healthy. I had lapband surgery in November of 2010 and then had a revision to the vertical gastric sleeve in February 2012. The purpose of this blog is a therapeutic tool for me to work out my feelings and write about what is going on during this experience. If I can help others through this blog, that is just a bonus.
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One Response to I donated blood for the first time today

  1. nwhiker says:

    Good for you! And that sounds like an awesome tshirt.
    I used to donate blood all the time… but now they don’t want me because of how long I lived in Europe during the ‘could have eaten mad-cow beef!’ time. Sigh.

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