Everyone has a story, mine started with the Carnation Queen beauty pageant.
The thought of donating blood never crossed my mind back in high school. I knew donating could earn the school scholarships, but I guess I just didn’t care. I knew I hated needles; I knew I couldn’t stand the sight of that yucky red stuff in my veins; I knew I was not sitting in an uncomfortable chair while some person I had never met combined all those things into one unfavorable situation. No way! Donating blood was not for me.
The First Time
So why on earth did I try it? I did it for the reason that every young lady ventures out of her comport zone: a pageant. I wanted to impress my fellow contestants and the judges. As I sat in the chair, I suddenly got this “I can do anything” attitude that hid the fact that I was trying to jump out of my skin. The process felt like it took days, due to my fear. It wasn’t a great experience, because I hadn’t eaten yet that day. Plus, I still had to go to work at McDonald’s a few hours afterward. I ended up going home early and sleeping for roughly 24 hours straight.
After getting a job at Incept, I had a change of heart. After telling donors how easy and helpful donating blood is, I decided to give it another shot myself. I signed up for the blood drive at Kent State Stark, despite all my innate negativity. This time around, my experience was completely the opposite of my first one. I let the phlebotomist know that I was deathly scared of both needles and blood, and he made accommodations to help me cope with my fears.
His name was Bryan. Bryan was talking with me the entire time to ensure that I wouldn’t look down at the needle in my arm. At the end of the donation, I told Bryan that I really wanted pink tape for my arm, so he went around to every station to find it for me.
Happily a Blood Donor
It took me only eight minutes to fill the bag. During the entire process, there wasn’t one negative thought that crossed my mind. Moving forward, I plan on donating my O+ blood every eight weeks.
So tell me… If you are not a donor, what are you afraid of? What has your experience donating blood been like?