I donated blood for the first time ever on Saturday with Rachel. So happy I didn't pass out like I nearly did that one time as a kid. I got to wear a sticker that said "1st Time Donor" so that all the staff knew to treat me extra nice so as to not frighten me off from ever donating again.
I love my pink bandage!
It was pretty easy going, for the most part. I had to answer a bunch of questions like whether I had ever handled the bodily fluids of monkeys (which I have not) and got my finger pricked to check my iron levels, which I only passed on the second try. How odd. I always assumed I had lots of iron, because I don't know how else my teeth can be magnetized to the ground.
At any rate, they laid me on a bed thing and stuck the needle in my arm and asked me whether I had come with a friend. This is the point where I noticed that Rachel was missing. If you want to know where she went, you can ask her. Suffice to say, as my big blood buddy, she did a good job of hiding her nervousness from me.
I laid there for a while, draining my blood and texting a friend that had seen me come in while she was donating herself. And then Rachel eventually reappeared and got hooked up to a machine herself. So all was good. Until, that is, a staff member saw me from across the room, walked toward me and started asking me whether I felt ok. "Yes," I said, genuinely feeling almost as normal as ever, but with a needle stuck in my arm. Then she wanted to know if I felt at all weird. "No," I said. Then she asked whether I was feeling faint (no), dizzy (no), light-headed (no), in pain (not really) or warm (not particularly). She readjusted my pillow and glanced at the counters on my machine. By now I was getting nervous, so I asked her whether I looked pale or like I was about to faint or something. "Oh, no!" she exclaimed. "You look perfectly healthy! I just wanted to check." So then I felt better again.
After my blood bag was full and I was done, they wrapped me up in that cool pink bandage thing and a nurse person told me to try to keep my arm straight for a while so as to avoid breaking the clot. So both Rachel and I left walking around with limp zombie arms, despite the fact that there was no pain. When we were in Co-op half-an-hour after donating, my hand suddenly felt a tad odd, so I looked at it. It looked odd, too - kind of like it does after I squeeze my hand into a fist and pinch off the blood vessels in my wrist to do that funky little "electricity coming out of my hand" trick. I pointed it out to Rachel and she started freaking out, threatening to make me sit on the floor of the grocery store if I felt the slightest bit weird. But I shook my hands around a bit and stopped being so zombie-ish and then my hands fixed themselves.
After that, Rachel and I went home and watched Batman. It was a successful day. If you haven't given blood before, you should do it. You get free snacks!
Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
Bruce Wayne: That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.