It was scary. It was nerve-wracking. But at the end of it, it was a self-fulfilling experience. All the way. :)
They even gave me a shirt:
I will now give you, readers, a play-by-play account of what it was like.
It starts like this:
We have known about the blood drive for a few weeks now. I am seventeen, so I can legally donate whenever I feel like it, apparently. But I am, as those of you who know me can attest, a bit of a wimp. I've heard many terrifying horror stories where the nurse didn't know what she was doing and dug around in someone's arm looking for a vein. People pass out if they haven't eaten enough. Even my Dad, who is a giant at 6'4" and the last person you'd expect to freak out, faints when he gives blood.
So I have my reasons, right?
But then there are those reasons why we should. Donating blood does amazing things like saving people who are dying from blood loss. When you donate, you're basically doing your part to help save the world. Not to mention that I have O Negative blood, which I kind of consider my personal mandate from the universe to donate blood as much as possible. (O Negative can donate to all blood types)
But anyway, all day I was asking people whether they were going to donate. I decided that I would go fifth period, since I could eat and stuff at lunch and I would be less likely to have a bad experience. So, at lunch, I ate some chips, which was really not enough, and then when it was over, a bunch of friends and I went to the Mini-Gym at school and began the process.
First, you sign in. This is so that they can attest that you missed class for legitimate reason. They ask you a bunch of questions about whether you have donated before and stuff. Then, you fill out this little form, and if you forgot your ID like I did, you get a temporary one printed out in the counseling office. Then you go back. They made me eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and drink water since I hadn't eaten enough. Then I waited in a line of chairs, after which they enter you into their program. Then you wait in another line of chairs. All the while I am talking to my friend Courtney and my other friend Caitlin and saying positive things like "I am not scared. At all."
When I was next, this lady called me into this little booth and asked me all sorts of questions about my health and weird things about who you've had sex with. I should have just said I was a virgin right off. I could have skipped so many of those. :) The only question I answered yes was whether I have been out of the country in the last 3 years. You know all about that. Then she took my blood pressure and stuck my finger to see if I'm anemic. I'm not. Then I went and sat in a chair and waited.
Eventually it was my turn and the nurse who was with me took my blood pressure again and put this tourniquet thing on my arm. You know what I mean, probably. Then she rubbed my arm with iodine on this giant q-tip, which tickled a lot. Then again, I'm ticklish pretty much everywhere. Sometime in there, she had me squeeze that little stress ball so she could find my vein. My veins aren't really visible from the surface, but she found them okay. Phew. :)
And then I looked away and she stuck the needle in.
It didn't hardly even hurt! At first, when I was squeezing the ball, I flexed my wrist upward, which hurt because I could feel the needle, but if you bend your wrist back, the needle stays straight and it's okay. :) Then the lady noticed my trip on the question paper, so I told her about it and she talked about how her grandma went to Vienna. And pretty soon it was over and she took the thing out and wrapped blue gauze stuff on my arm and then I was drinking water and eating cookies. You have to stay in the waiting area for about fifteen minutes and drink juice or whatever. I went to the bathroom and then I came back and hung out with my friends.
We got T-shirts, even though they only had large and extra large left, and we stuck stickers on ourselves. They said things like "I survived the blood drive," "Done Sangre," which is Italian, and "Kiss me; I gave blood today." Courtney and I went back to English together, eventually. In English we talked about a poem. After class, my friend Scott was so proud of me for donating blood that he gave me a giant hug. :) And then I got my Passive Voice quiz back and I got 100%! Mrs. Marshall even put a sticker on it! :) Ha ha ha.
So that's the end of donating blood. Everyone should do it. Especially me. I live right near the hospital here, so I will be. I might have just been really happy because it wasn't a catastrophe, but I really felt like some kind of superhero. I kind of didn't want to take the gauze stuff off, except that it was bugging my arm.
Hmmmm. The End. :)