My First Experience @ Donating Blood!

Early morning, yesterday, KG got a call from a friend to join him and his club for a blood donation drive and he readily agreed.

Soon, we were ready and without having our breakfast, (yeah, we are like that only!) rush to the blood bank which was located in a major hospital of the city.

We meet our friend and happily he guides us to the registration counter where some kids in white coats check our blood pressure and weight. KG is cleared first and he gets into the donating blood thing, real quick. The process is a bit long for me as I am guided to a room where my blood group and haemoglobin content is checked.

Now, for a person who once…

  • aspired to be a doctor
  • had studied biology for 6 years
  • had no qualms in dissecting frogs, fishes, molluscs, cockroaches etc
  • even boiled dead frogs on the terrace to get neat and clean bones for making a model of ‘the skeletal system of a frog’…

… a prick on the arm to derive a syringe full of blood was way too much. This made me think as to how we change as a person over a period of time and how our priorities change too.

So, while the lab technician wiped the arm clean and was preparing for the onslaught on my arm, I decided to look the other way and read all the posters on my right thrice!!! It was not so painful but yes, a stinging sensation prevailed for a while.

My blood group is detected and the haemoglobin is just right for donation.

Next, I am guided to a relaxing chair. Another technician starts the process of cleaning the arm and finding the blood vessel, and suddenly he has a brain wave and asks, “Did you eat any breakfast?” I said, “No”. This is heard by the club members and there is a flurry of activity around. I am guided to a refreshment counter where there are cartons full of samosas, bags of potato wafers, boxes of sweets and bunches of bananas.

Now, the cleanliness freak in me is not keen to eat anything in a hospital, so I make a few noises which are audible only to me. Panic stricken I look at KG and am greeted with a wink and a smile! When I see, all my protests for not eating would not be heard, I resign myself to fate (and germs), and take out wet tissue from my bag to wipe my hands clean. What I see next gave me a mini heart attack. I protest finally and say, that I’d prefer to eat a banana. But no, our friend ‘handpicks’ a samosa with a generous helping of wafers and a sweet and thrusts the plate in my hands. I had seen that he had shook hands with so many guys, had seen him handling the various boxes, blood collection bags, opening and closing doors… so eating a samosa that was served by those ‘hands’ was a big ordeal for me. Anyhow, I swallowed all in my plate and rushed to donate blood.

Seeing me donate blood, made a lot of people happy…

  • The Organisers : They got the first woman to donate blood for their camp that day. So, like a celebrity a lot of mobile phones were focussed on me to capture the momentous occasion. They said, it was for Facebook!
  • The Blood Bank : They got a rare blood group in their kitty.
  • KG : He believes that usually I suck his blood with a straw, so, it was a happy moment for him that somebody was sucking my blood!

With 300 ml blood out of my system, I am made to drink coffee.

And we are presented with these mugs, which will be never used by us for tea or coffee!!

A few learnings from this day…

  • A blood donation truly is a “gift of life” that a healthy individual can give to others in their community who are sick or injured.
  • The ‘so called/imagined germ laden samosa’ didn’t kill me! I am hale and hearty. Letting go of a few idiosyncrasies is good for us!