Many years ago I added the little sticker to my driver’s license indicating that I’m an organ donor. I also made my wishes clear to my family.
What I hadn’t ever done, however, was donate blood. There were times in the past when I was anemic and just used that as a blanket excuse to never give, even my annual physicals said that that was no longer the case. I’m not sure why I didn’t give blood, but I suspect fear was part of it. I don’t have a problem with needles, but I got it in my head that I’d pass out or something.
Soon after the pandemic hit Canada the Canadian Blood Services was struggling to get enough donations so I decided I would go and donate.
I made an appointment, completed all of the paperwork, and went in to make my donation. They pricked a small hole in my finger and took a sample. I was soon informed that indeed, I was just a touch too anemic and I couldn’t give blood. A few months later I had a check-up and my blood work came back fine (the standard for donating blood is higher than when a doctor would say your anemic).
Two years passed. I saw an ad on TV from the Canadian Blood Services about donating and I immediately went online to book an appointment.
This time, when the pricked my finger for a sample, my hemoglobin was just over the required mark and I was good to go. They handed me a pin they give to new donors, which I put in my pocket and headed to the donation chair they’d directed me toward. I was a little nervous, but nothing major.
I sat down in my chair, they put the big arm on it down, and the young woman in the chair next to me who was in the process of donating passed out. As three attendants were reviving her, another came over, smiled at me and put a sticker on my shirt that said “I’m new, be kind.”
It all went fine for me. When I was done they had me wait for a few minutes just to be sure and then handed me a drink and some snacks to go eat in my car (still strict COVID protocols).
When I got home, I took my new donor number and booked my next appointment to give blood.
If you live in Canada, you can find information and book an appointment on the Canadian Blood Services website.
If you live in the U.S., see the Red Cross website.
Featured image courtesy of Big_Heart under a Pixabay Attribution license.