09 November 2007

Saving Lives One Pint at a Time

In my home, turning 17 was a big deal in only way- it meant that Dad would take you to the blood donation clinic so you could donate blood for the first time.

I grew up wanting to donate blood. Needles don't bother me, and frankly I find it preposterous when people say they are terrified of getting shots. Of course nobody likes them, but really. It's a needle. Spend a few weeks with IVs in your veins, and I am sure you will get over it.

The first time I donated blood, I had absolutely no problems. I probably had a little bruise after; I always do. But, I worked a full shift at the grocery store with no problems. From there on out, I donated very frequently at our local blood donation clinic. I tried to donate as often as possible (every 56 days), but usually my busy schedule wouldn't allow that. Sometimes the clinic would call me and ask me to come in since my blood type is O-negative, which makes me a universal donor.

Every now and then I might have a negative reaction. Sometimes I would be just plumb exhausted after donating. Once I passed out. Smacked down on the hard floor without even a bend in the knees. Very embarrassing. Ask my brother, Steve, if you want more info. He certainly hasn't forgotten.

Yesterday I donated blood, and I did just fine, although I was feeling more tired than usual today. Frankly, though, it was worth it. Knowing that I can help sick people is very gratifying to me. I know that a lot of people just can't donate. Many bodies can't handle the loss of a pint of blood. I watched a girl yesterday who had a really hard time. Poor thing. I don't have a hard time, though, and I like knowing that I can save up to three lives with every whole-blood donation.

I hadn't donated in about three years. I had signed up a few times, but I always had some sort of complication when it came time to donate, and thus the lapse of time. It felt great to donate yesterday (in my heart, not my arm). I have to say I get that warm fuzzy feeling more from donating blood than any other type of service. When you donate blood, the blood can go to a variety of different patients- from emergency cases that require blood transfusions to cancer patients who need some healthy platelets to premie babies. You can read about some here.

If you can donate blood, you ought to. It's just a little bit of pain, and the knowledge that you are helping sick people is totally worth it.


Janssen said...

Frankly, I am deeply grateful to be too underweight to dontate. Because needles do freak me out. A lot.

smarteze said...

I hate needles, but while I was at BYU I tried to donate when there was a drive going on because I, too, am O-. I got rejected once for not having enough iron in my blood, which made me paranoid about donating again ("what if I get rejected again???"). Haven't donated in a few years though.

Heather said...

I donated blood this week. Save lives, get free snacks & a free t-shirt. I like it.

Mom said...

Your dad gave all the time, must have given gallons, said it was easy and something he could do for others. Mom