Monday, April 2, 2012

An Exciting Donation

Every two months I donate blood. This past Saturday was my tenth time, which still makes me a bit of a newbie in the blood world. The blood clinics are interesting places and the people that are there are super nice. If you don’t mind a needle poke, the whole experience is actually quite relaxing. The couches are reclined and your feet are up. TV’s are strategically positioned for you, you can read a book or a magazine, or you can chat with the blood lady (not sure if that is their exact job title). When you are done donating, you can go to a little cozy seating area and have a beverage of your choice (no daiquiris or anything like that) and some cookies, all while reading the newspaper or chatting with the nice cookie lady (again – not sure if that is her exact job title).

My last donating experience wasn’t exactly one of those serene warm fuzzy donating experiences. When I got there, I was seated next to a big fellow who wasn’t doing so great. His couch was in the laying down position and he had cold towels covering his forehead and neck. He is what they call in the blood industry a ‘fainter’. Fainting wasn’t enough for him though. His stomach wanted in on the action which prompted a blood lady to run and get a bucket. Thankfully nothing came forth, otherwise more of us in the room would of have needed the same treatment. He did have a couple good dry heaves.

After that drama beside me subsided, more excitement erupted across from me. When the blood lady pulled the needle from the guy’s arm more than just a cotton swab was needed. After a couple of minutes, the blood was cleaned up and he left.

After all those happenings, my blood saw what was happening out in the room and decided to stay in my arm (it might have been because of my low blood pressure too). The kind blood lady commanded me to squeeze a stress ball while she jiggled the needle (ouch). Finally the deed was done, and I left with my throbbing arm in tow.

A few hours later I was home and snoozing on the couch while watching Mansfield Park (yes – shocking that someone could fall asleep during such a thriller). When I woke up, I noticed that my arm was sticking to my shirt sleeve. I stood up and saw with horror that my whole sleeve was covered with blood. I then looked down at the couch (which is light beige) and saw a pool of blood on the couch cushion. A couple of pictures went through my mind:

1. The couch sitting on the curb waiting for the garbage truck

2. Courtney coming home and seeing the couch cushion

3. Me on a flight to a faraway country

To make a long story short, the blood did come out of both my shirt and the couch cushion (phew!).

The moral of the story? Donate blood! (and make sure you have a bottle of Oxi Clean in your house).


  1. I was told that donating blood helps clear up acne; so I told our girls this when they were teenagers. They could hardly wait until it was time to donate again - they were like horses out of the starting gate. Whether it does clear up acne is still debateable, but in the meantime, many people needing blood have benefited from our girls believing that. Remember, it's in you to give! As an aside, I'm sure the "fainters" are all men.

  2. You make it sound so appealing! But really, donating blood is a wonderful thing! My hubby is getting close to 50 donations. Me? I did it once. I was what you call a fainter. I have tried a few times since, but my low iron and blood pressure are not desirable for donations. Oh, and pregnancy isn't allowed either!

  3. I do love donating blood too - especially when something dramatic happens.

  4. I feel like I should introduce myself so that you don't feel stalked! My name is Rachel Sjaarda (was Rachel Sikkema, married Dave Sjaarda), and I went to Heritage Christian School with a bunch of your relatives. I don't really know you, but I know who you are. Ok, maybe that is a bit creepy! :)

    1. Hi Rachel - I had assumed you were my cousin Rachel Vandyk. Great to 'meet' you though!