Last Tuesday at the school blood drive, I donated one pint of blood.
I’ve always wanted to donate blood. This was the first year I was actually old enough to do so. While I didn’t enjoy needles, I knew that I could overcome that if it meant I could save someone’s life.
When I arrived to the blood drive, I was nervous. As I went through the physical exam, I was worried that something would go wrong and I wouldn’t be able to donate. After a scare with my temperature, I was cleared to donate.
People told me beforehand that it hurt more when they pricked your finger to test for anemia then it would when they actually inserted the needle into my arm. That was a big fat lie.
It didn’t hurt that bad, certainly not any worse than the Gardasil shot. I turned away when they stuck the needle in my arm, but turned to look before they covered it up. I was shocked at how big it was.
Once they got it rolling, my blood started flowing like a waterfall. It only took me six minutes to fill up my pint, apparently I had a pretty fast blood flow.
The worst part was when they took the needle out. It hurt more than when they put it in. After the pulled it out, they had be apply pressure and hold my arm up to stop the bleeding. When I brought it back down, I was still overachieving and the guy had to apply pressure for awhile to get it to stop.
Afterwards I didn’t feel lightheaded or dizzy, just weak and a little nauseous at times. I couldn’t run at practice that day which was probably for the best. Aside from a medium sized bruise on my arm that is changing colors every day, nausea, and a weak feeling for a day or so, I had no problem. It was a very positive experience overall.
I actually enjoyed donating blood. It was interesting to me as a future medical student (hopefully!) to watch the process. They let me feel my vein when they popped it up which was pretty cool. Getting to see the equipment and learn about what they do with the blood was really cool.
Another positive about the experience, was the natural high I had after knowing I had helped save someone’s life. Many people don’t donate blood because they fear needles, however, I overcome whatever I have to just to help someone.
I signed up to do the gallon grad program during the blood drive. The gallon grad program is donating a gallon of blood, or eight pints, before graduating high school. I will have to donate at least one more time this year and then four times my junior year and two times my senior year.
I am up for the challenge to save lives.