Many years ago, I went for a routine physical and passed out after giving blood. The last thing I remember was drinking at the water fountain, and then waking up lying on the floor in the doctor’s hallway to the site of my (then) boyfriend trying to revive me.
Since then, taking blood has always been a bit of an ordeal. I’ll never forget the time when a nurse couldn’t find my vein and kept poking around. On the sixth attempt I told her where to go, got up and left. Naturally then, when my colleague invited me to join her in giving blood, I had mixed feelings.
I have the utmost respect for those who donate blood. In fact my colleague has done so nine times – each time potentially saving three people. When she asked me to join, my immediate response was no, followed by an explanation of the trauma I’ve endured over the years as a result of small veins, low blood pressure and generally just giving in to my fear.
Then, I caught myself.
I want to be that person I admire. What a wonderful opportunity to confront a fear and finally turn it around. If I believe that donating blood is awesome, then I should do it - despite my fear and because of it. With that in mind, I joined her in the hopes of launching on the road of helping to save lives.
I was impressed by the thoroughness of testing, the friendliness of volunteers and the systematic rigor with which everything is handled. Unfortunately, I was not able to donate that day as I was in Belize under 12 months ago and potentially exposed to malaria. But, I should be eligible in December.
So I will check back in on this one and let you know how it goes. Lying for 20 minutes while my blood is slowly being sapped will be tricky, but remembering the cookies waiting when it’s all said and done should be a little (much-needed) nudge.
To learn more about donating blood or to make an appointment visit Canadian Blood Services.