two days ago, lumapit sa amin yung kasama namin sa office, asking for help. he gave us the low down (jeez, this isn’t helping my street cred, is it? :P) regarding his sister-in-law being operated on in giving birth (i assume C-section siya). unfortunately, there was lots of blood loss and they had to I.V. her 15 bags. the repayment scheme of the hospital’s blood bank is not cash but to double the supply you obtained from them, i.e. 30 bags of blood or 30 donors willing to donate blood.
my last blood donation was in 2004. was still in college then and was sort of “forced” to donate blood. no, i wasn’t paid or given any grave threats. i thought that giving blood was a really nice thing to do and this blood-letting drive by an org-mate’s fraternity together with the Philippine National Red Cross was a great opportunity for me to practice what i believed in. but my fear of needles was always hovering and whispering in my head not to do it. eventually, i forced myself to ignore the fear of pain and needles and just go through with it.
i told myself i wouldn’t look at the needle to avoid getting frightened or letting my imagination fly. but it was too late. i saw the needle with the girth of a Zest-O straw and 1/3 it’s length. i just braced myself, looked away from my arm and tried to bottle the impulse to scream and imagining the pain (yeah, i’m a little sissy that way. i whimper and make sounds at even the slightest feel of pain). i made the same mistake when i donated again last wednesday! the nurse was laughing at me because i was sweating after she stuck the needle in. well, i just laughed it out, trying to defend myself saying, “takot talaga ako sa karayom eh. kinakabahan talaga ako.” it was pathetic! i could almost hear her mind saying, “sure, sure… sige na sir, matapang ka na. sa presinto na kayo magpaliwanag.”
unfortunately, with my size not getting any smaller, my veins were harder to locate under all of that fat. the nurse settled for a vein to the left of the preferred vein. the blood i gave wasn’t sufficient to fill the bag and the nurse explained that it was common since the punctured vein was not really ideal. after pulling the needle out of my arm, she threw the whole thing into the Yellow “biohazard waste” bin inside the room. 5 of us went there willing to give our blood. 2 of us got rejected, and only 1 of us filled a bag of blood. it was slightly depressing knowing you wanted to help but you didn’t “help enough”. one consolation, though, was that they still counted us three qualified donors even if only one produced 1 usable bag of blood.
just like my thoughts in 2004 after giving blood (i filled a bag that time! woot!), i said to myself that it would be nice to do this regularly. i heard that in the olden times, blood-letting was actually considered a cure. today, i’m not sure if the rumors are true, some advocates of blood donation say it has its health benefits. i put that up for you to decide though. what’s important to know is that if you donate blood, you could save a life. and the more blood you donate, the more lives you save.
image from here.