A Giving Experience

This week I decided to take part in a blood drive by the American Red Cross. It was the first time that I had to donate blood although I’ve had blood taken for sampling numerous times previously.  I was delightfully surprised yet somewhat agitated that I had to wait an hour in line before I could donate. After the wait, I was corralled back to a sectioned-off area with one of the workers who proceeded to take my pulse, blood pressure, and the other usual tests before you can donate.  She left me with a questionnaire on a laptop that I had to fill out before I could go forth with the donation.  I quickly finished the questionnaire answering “No” to a barrage of prodding interrogatives that covered everything from sexual orientation to drugs and my travel history.  I then flipped a red sign alerting the next person that I could move forward to the donation tables.  The man that came back appeared to be in his mid to late 20s which was younger than most of the workers.  He led me to a table in the middle of the room where I was to lay flat and relax while my donation was made.  Before injecting the needle-like projection into my right arm, the man joked saying, “You are lucky you came when you did.”  He continued, “Another hour or so and I would start missing veins.”  I politely laughed with some apprehension.  Being in a medical setting has always made me feel uncomfortable.  I laid still and waited for an uncomfortable few minutes.  The seconds at this point seemed to stretch into minutes.  Finally another lady came over to remove the projection from my arm.  I could tell that something wasn’t right, because she sat the warm packet next to me.  She attempted to remove the projection from my arm with no luck. Another lady came to assist her, and I was told that I could sit-up.  I did, which was immediately followed by lightheadedness and dizziness.  She instructed me to lie back down until it went away.  The feeling reminded me of the last time I passed out at a hospital.  After a few minutes, I started to feel better and was walked to the snack table.  I forced down some apple juice and cookies in an attempt to return to normal.  The whole ordeal lasted much longer than anticipated and caused me to miss a class, but I was okay with that trade-off.  I think that missing class to donate blood is a valid excuse.  I hope that my philosophy professor will agree.  Although donating wasn’t a pleasant experience, the intrinsic rewards are well worth it for me.  And who knows; my blood may help save a life.

Gladly donated,

Chris Kite


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