Blood Donation Continued... (See Previous Post)

During Blood Donation

I am in the waiting area with my mum, and it is full of these stern looking faces. I want to turn and run - there is no denying it. I can feel the sicking feeling in my gut of dread, I can see bags of blood in various positions across the room. Some people are sat, some are laid. Nobody has passed out yet.

Mum is talking to her friend, and all I can think about is where the nearest toilet is; with my nerves I have given myself bladder weakness. There are biscuits on the tables.

They send me home and request that I eat something more. I am not happy. I don't want to go back. I want to wimp out here and now.

Yet, I return.

They call my name, test my finger for anaemia. I am about to turn and run when before I know it she has stuck this thing in my finger and told me that I am not anaemic. Step one over. And I'm smiling to myself. I have done it. I am one step closer to facing my fear. To saving a life.

Soon, within ten minutes, I am lying on the chair, a nurse comforting me every step of the way. She can tell I am nervous - and I could hug her for it. She takes my mind off it and tells me what she is doing every single step of the way.

Great - she can't find my vein because they are 'so small'. Another colleague comes over, for a good five minutes they are poking at my arm trying to find a vein. I am told my donation may be unsuccessful because of my small veins, and asked if I still want to try.

What the Hell to it, I'm here to save lives. Yes I will try.

The needle goes in. I don't cry as I normally would. I whimper but I could save a member of somebodies family. I hold still.
They struggle to take my blood, the silly thing is in my arm for fifteen minutes and the nurse is having to hold the needle in (instead of strapping it down) to increase blood flow. They just get it in time. I feel fine. I just feel sick at the thought of them taking it out.

Before I can blink, it's out. I have done it. I have given my blood. I smile, and the nurse tells me that I should be proud. I am led to the table. Offered a drink and biscuit. And sit smiling at my success.

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An hour later

I don't feel faint at all. Just a sense of accomplishment. I have booked my next appointment for April. I will face the needle again. I am still scared, but not as scared as I was before.

It helped having my mother there too.

And a nurse with such a brilliant calming technique. She was truly amazing. I will now do it for as long as I am healthy too, and I would encourage others. It is vital for testing illnesses, science, blood transfusions - all sorts. And I am thrilled that I can be a part of it. I will do my bit, even if it means facing my fear.

I am still breathing. Fighting. Smiling - more than somebody bleeding to death from a car accident.
The initial needle is terrifying, but I have my life when I leave that building.
Hopefully somebody else will have one too.

Boneata Bell
22/11/2012

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