My hard-core addiction to police programs got me thinking about donating blood. Nightly I’m snuggled in deep watching America’s favourite police shows dubbed in Italian: C.S.I. Miami (swoon, David Caruso), N.C.I.S. (drool, Micheal Weatherly), and old skool 21 Jump Street (Oh, Johnny).
And every night without fail, there are realistic scenes of a crime, and a boat load of blood. Always pools upon pools of blood, everywhere. Then I start to think about the survivors, and their need for blood, should such a tragic accident happen. After this my thoughts spiral out of control and I begin to think about the poorer nations, those who haven’t clean blood to share, or those sick who need the blood that I am able to give.
A sign was posted in my town calling for blood donations on December 8th, 2011, I wrote it down in my day book
This year was going to be the year I donate my blood.
Donating blood is always something I wanted to do, but was terrified. I’ve been known to faint (a few times) over the drawing of blood, or seeing others blood, anything blood related got my head spinning.
Early morning on the 8th I ate my breakfast of yogurt and Italian coffee, tied my laces and went for a 6k. Grabbed a quick shower and headed for the donation booth. I was still buzzing from my 6k.
I do not suggest running a 6k or any K before donating blood, ESPECIALLY if you hate blood.
The donation office was filled with locals and a doctor. I filled out the forms, and was asked several questions about my overall health and diet. The nurse pricked my finger with a small needle to check my hemoglobin levels and to see if I’m anemic. The white room clashed with her green sweater and found myself asking in a haze of confusion.
“Ma prenda il sangue cosi? But you take the blood like that?”
She had a little Italian chuckle and reassured me that a pint of blood will not come from my finger tip.
She escorted me into a small room where three beds awaited three victims. (Insert police crime drama music here.) Laying down on the bed I couldn’t help think that any moment David Caruso would come smashing though the doors to save me.
That didn’t happen, unfortunately.
I was cleaned up, then hooked up to the blood taking device. Deep breath in, and out. Eyes closed. No open eyes said the Phlebotimist. Ok. Open … eyes.
Ahhh. Weird sensation, I’m floating, but not fainting. Good.
The phlebotimist kept me talking, she was good in her job as she moved between the two victims in her laboratory.
After five minutes my blood was drawn and I felt woozy but good. I’d finally done what I’ve wanted to do for years. The entire experience was uplifting and the people I came in contact with were extraordinary in their efforts to accommodate my fears.
I was given fresh pear juice and driven home by the in-house doctor. He told me to have an espresso, which I thought was ludicrous. I was already feeling light-headed, and the effects of Italian coffee on my system would have been disastrous. Instead I made an herbal tea and ate my favourite simple Italian pasta.
The day after and I’m still feeling a little light-headed. I think, this is expected and have promised not to lift heavy objects or go for a 6k run. I will however snuggle in deep tonight and watch my favourite dubbed police programming.
Have you donated blood? Have you overcome your fear of donating?