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Diary of a blood donor: a before and after account

Posted By Shayna Sage On April 14, 2010 @ 12:26 am In Features | Comments Disabled

I am writing the first portion of this article the night before I am scheduled to donate blood at the South blood drive. I have loaded up on protein, iron, water, and I’m all set and ready to go! I have eaten chicken, strawberries, a peanut butter sandwich, bread, frozen yogurt, and drank lots of water.

I am nervous to donate blood tomorrow, since I do not handle needles very well. However, I am willing to undergo 15 minutes of queasiness if I can help save a life. v
Several of my friends have asked me why I have chosen to donate blood and my answer is always the same. My uncle died of leukemia in November and there was nothing I could do to help him. The worst part of all: I never got to say goodbye. Even though I could not save my uncle, I now have the opportunity to save someone else’s life by donating blood.

A less serious reason that I want to donate blood is due to my obsession with medical television shows.

After six years of watching countless seasons of Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI: Miami, I have become fascinated by medical procedures. Donating blood will allow me to be a part of a medical cause, and further, indicate what my blood type is, which is a fact I have always been curious about.

I am nervous and excited, but must go to sleep now to make sure I get enough sleep for tomorrow!

April 8, 2010

To quote Borat, donating blood was a “great success! I walked into the gym and waited anxiously for my turn. I was surprised and happy that there were so many people there to donate blood.

All paticipants had to have their finger pricked in order to test their iron levels. For me, this was the worst part, but it was not as bad as I had anticipated.

I luckily passed the test, but others were turned away due to insufficient iron levels or other problems. After this, the nurses sat me down and began to draw my blood, and before I knew it, it was over.

Despite being a little dizzy and lightheaded after the donation was complete, I can confidently say that I will donate again whenever the opportunity arises.

I can attribute part of my success to the fact that I had my Ipod blaring music in order to distract myself. A friendly suggestion for the faint hearted: utilize your Ipod if you give blood.
Playing soothing music is very helpful and makes your donation experience more pleasant and enjoyable. The helpful nurses and volunteers around me constantly made sure that I was relaxed; they continually reassured me that everything would be okay. This made me feel comfortable donating blood and I felt completely safe. The smooth and stress-free process helped me concentrate on the positive outcomes of this experience.

I know my blood will be used to help save a life, somewhere in some way. This was one of my motives for participating in the blood drive in the first place.

After my bag of blood was filled to the brim, I got to lie down for a bit and recuperate. Once I was able to sit up for a while without feeling dizzy, I was given tons of cranberry and orange juice, water, and snacks such as crackers and shortbread cookies.

After enjoying my snacks and relaxing for a few minutes, I walked out of the room feeling accomplished and proud. Next year, I hope to volunteer for the entire day as well as donate blood once again.

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