Anyone out there ever donate blood???? Today I went to NYU Hospital to donate blood for Sam's surgery. Chances are he won't need it but if he does he will have mine. I mean can you imagine your child needing a transfusion and getting some complete wack-a-doo's blood.
I am ashamed to admit that I never donated blood before. But I have to say its a bigger deal than what I once thought. First of all I had to go through this long arduous process of filling out a very detailed and personal questionnaire. How many sex partners have you had? Have you traveled to Europe in the last 3 years? Have you had sex in Europe in the last 3 years? Have you had sex with a man that has had sex with a man? Whoa, TMI...
So after this long application you go into a sound proof room with a blood lab tech who then asks the same exact questions that were on the questionaire again, along with a very painful finger prick and a collection of vitals. After the screening you go into another room and lay on a pseudo lounge chair with random strangers around you going through the same thing. But of course I have to be directly across from this really bizarre women who would not stop talking to me. She starts off by telling me how bad this is going to hurt, then she tells me they are going to stick me with a gigantic elephant needle and my arm is going to really sting, burn and throb.
Now, I NEVER cared about getting needles or going for blood work. The process just never phased me as a big deal. So I was like whatever to this person. But then I saw the needle... It was HUGE! And yes it really hurt going in and was very uncomfortable for the 20 minutes I had to lie there and deal with my blood being sucked out of me. So while I am laying like a pin cushion whack-a-doodle accross the way decides to tell me her entire life story and continues to ask me personal questions about why I was there, all the while yelling at the nurses to get her more fig newtons and juice.
So I try and position myself out of direct eye contact and shut my eyes to relax as I only had about 2 1/2 hrs of sleep the night before. As I shut my eyes the nurse runs over and starts shaking me asking me if I'm OK. So I said yeah I'm just trying to rest. So she says well you can't do that here we need to monitor you and make sure you do not pass out so keep your eyes open. I tried to assure her that I was just fine and that if I pass out I'd let her know. Of course this did not go over well so I had to deal with the blood donar commentator from accross the way. And guess what, no one gave me a cookie or juice. I could have walked out of there and passed out in the parking garage and no one would have known what was wrong.
Anyway, I was fine but for sure know what you are getting yourself into when you donate blood. Of course its the right thing to do, but mentally prepare yourself first.