30 Before 30: Donate a Gallon of Blood (Part 1)

“You’re cruising along! You’ll be finished in no time,” tech Shannon said to me.

#23 from my 30 Before 30 list: Donate a gallon of blood (8 pints = 8 donations)

This afternoon I went to St. Joseph’s Parish in Mechanicsburg, where the local boy scout troop was hosting a blood drive for the American Red Cross. When I pulled up to the church, there was a kid on the sidewalk dressed up as a giant drop of blood. I hoped he would still be out there afterward so I could take a picture of him. There were a bunch of people waiting in line and a bunch of parents waiting to take their boy scouts home. Though I signed up for a 1:30 appointment, I had to wait about an hour to be seen. That allowed me to make quite a few observations.

1. Even big, burly men are afraid of needles. This one guy flinched with his whole body when he was stuck with the needle.

2. It must have been a while since the last time I donated blood. I had forgotten how gigantic the needles are!

3. Blood donor: “OW! Does it have to be so tight?”
Mean tech lady: “Yes. It’s a tourniquet. How are you going to handle a needle when you think the tourniquet hurts?”

4. I wasn’t the only one who thought the tech lady was mean. I overheard the couple next to me remark about how scary she was. I was glad she wasn’t the one who ended up sticking me with a needle! My tech, Shannon, was much more friendly, and the needle didn’t hurt a bit when she inserted it.

5. The mean tech lady scolded tourniquet lady’s husband for asking questions during the pre-screening questionnaire. He got to “Are you pregnant?” and either wondered why he had to answer it or what his wife put down as her answer.

Only 7 more donations to go until I meet my goal of donating a gallon (8 pints) of blood before my 30th birthday. I can give blood again after 56 days, which is sometime in March.

Each pint of blood can save up to three lives, so visit redcrossblood.org to make a blood donation appointment!

Part 2 – May 28, 2012

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