As I was coming home from work yesterday I passed by a sign on campus that announced a blood drive.
I’ve always wanted to donate, but a few things worried me about it.
I take antihistamines for my allergies, so I’m constantly getting a little sick. You can’t donate within three days of being sick.
I used to be freaked out by my blood being inside another person’s body, but the Lego arguement helped me get over that problem. It’s not really my blood once its outside of my body. It’s just blood. And I might need blood someday when I’m in a hospital, so I should give some now!
It’s also a little difficult to schedule when you donate blood because they’re open at the same time I’m working or at school.
So as I was biking past this sign for the blood drive I was thinking about my sister as yesterday would’ve been her 27th birthday. I had some strange compulsion to get her a present. The sign and the present idea lined up and I decided giving blood would be my present to her.
The process was fairly smooth, mostly just a lot of waiting.
I got a card to fill out with my address, name, and phone number. I talked to some people about having them sponsor my donaion or something so they could get a grant for supplis at their student-run clinic in Sacramento.
I then sat in a line or people waiting to go into the five buses lined up along the UC Davis quad.
Eventually one of the buses called me and the exchange student next to me up. I then sat in the bus while they entered my info into a computer and confirmed that everything was right.
After that I went into a tiny little closet (slightly bigger, but it felt like a closet) at the back of the bus to answer questions about my sexual, travel, and penal history. Basically anything that puts you at risk for HIV.
A guy came into the closet to test the hemoglobin levels of my blood and my bsic vitals to make sure I could donate. Everything looked good and he sent me into the main part of the bus.
The bus had several reclining chairs set up all along it. The perfect ergonomic position for holding your arm out and letting people drain blood from it.
One of the two women working in that section explained everything to me, set up the IV, and started taking the blood out. The actual process of being drained took about six minutes.
While the IV is in I didn’t look at it. I find that needles only creep me out if I look at them.
They gave me a little squeeze ball to roll in my arm. Keeping my hand moving kept the blood flowing into the IV.
At the end they bandaged up my arm and sent me to the front of the bus to get cookies, water, and Gatorade. I got the sticker in the picture above as well.
It was pretty fun for a first time. I’m planning on going again in June. I’m sure my sister would’ve liked her present!