The American Red Cross called me a few days ago. They asked me to donate blood. I’ve given blood on 8 different occasions but, I must admit that it’s been awhile since I’ve donated. I’ve been watching the news coverage on Hurricane Sandy. My heart goes out to everyone that has been touched in one way or the other by this storm. I received this call when I was feeling especially sad for all those impacted in such a horrible way.
When the call came from the Red Cross to donate blood, I felt it was my duty to donate. My blood type is always in demand so I felt that this would be a way for me to help. The person that called me on the phone was nice enough to make an actual appointment for me. They’ve never done that before. I was surprised. My appointment was for 5:00. I arrived at 4:15 hoping that they would take me early.
There was a lady sitting at a table who asked me to sign in. When I signed in, I noticed there was just one person in front of me without a check mark next to their name. The lady asked for my Red Cross card. I was prepared since I’ve given blood before. I’d placed my card in my purse before I went out the door. On many occasions when I have to get something out of my purse, it involves a certain amount of searching before I find the item. I’ve been known to just about empty my purse trying to find what I’m looking for. Fortunately I had placed my card in one of the slots of my wallet. Being prepared makes the process go very smoothly. The lady handed me a book of instructions. She told me to sit down in a chair and read from beginning to end. I’m a fast reader so it didn’t take too long. When I was finished I turned my book back in. She handed me a paper and told me to go sit in the waiting area. That was easy enough.
I was lucky enough to sit down next to a nice gentleman. He explained to me that the computers had been down. They had just started working again when I walked through the door. I was happy to hear there wouldn’t be a delay. There were 4 people in front of me. It didn’t take long to get called into a small booth that was set up along the wall. The Red Cross worker took my blood pressure, iron count and pulse. I passed everything and was able to give blood. I did have to fill out a questionaire on the computer. I was asked if I minded using a computer. I smiled and explained that I’m a freelance writer. The questionaire only took a few minutes. There were a few questions that only pretained to men but there was a place to mark that I was a female.
My next step in giving blood, was to go to the cot that was set up in our community room. I’m not very tall so I was lucky to get one of the shorter cots in the room. I tried to climb up on the cot with as much dignity as possible. I will say It’s not easy being short. This is the part where I start getting nervous. I have the pain threshold of zero tolerance. I’m such a baby. If someone pinches me I feel like I’ve been shot. The Red Cross worker was so wonderful. I barely felt a prick and we were ready to go. The bag that holds the donated blood is below the cot so you don’t see it. I think that’s a good thing for numerous reasons. I was given a small ball to squeeze. The girl told me to squeeze it every 10 seconds. I was finished in a relative small amount of time.
The Red Cross has juice and snacks for everyone, when they are finished donating blood. At the snack table there was cookies and cold drinks. I had a diet coke and cookies. The diet coke hit the spot. I enjoyed the cookies too. All in all I would say giving blood was a good experience. I felt good about helping people in need. As of today I’ve donated 9 pints of blood. I noticed on my Red Cross card that it says one donation can help 3 people.
I wrote this article to give everyone an idea of what it is like to give blood. I would have to say it was a good experience for me. When I left to go home I felt good. I’m pleased to know that my efforts in donating blood will help those in need.