Mike and I made our appointments to give blood approximately 3 weeks ago. On Tuesday's news, there was a segment which declared that Canadian Blood Services was very low on their reserves; approximately 40% below. As a result, the clinic on Oak was quite busy with people hoping to help out with the need for blood donations. I was quiet excited to give blood as it would be my very first time and I was sure I was eligible this time.
- No tattoos in the past 6 months! (that was a biggie for me)
- No dentist appointments in the past 3 days.
- I was sure I was over the weight limit.
- Had my fingers crossed that my blood wouldn't test positive for anemia.
We enter the clinic, fill out our forms. I step up to register and give my personal informaton. She needs to prick my finger to test my iron levels. A drop of blood is extracted and dropped into the copper sulfate solution to test for iron. I failed that test as my blood did not sink to the bottom. She takes another sample and places it into a machine assuring me that it is more accurate. It beeps 'Finished' and I jokingly ask if I pass the test. She says yes, but just barely.
Confidence levels soar!
I fill out the questionaire and wait to be taken into the screening room. Mike and I are both grinning ear to ear. Once in the screening room, the woman asks me several personal questions about my sexuality, drug use, etc. She asks me if I am over 110lbs. I momentairly stall thinking to myself 'Shit, I thought the weight limit was 100lbs which I was sure I was over'. I slowly reply yes, and she raises her eyebrow. She asks if I am sure and I say, 'Well, I think I am - I don't own a scale'. On my sheet, she writes:
'Donor claims to be over 110lbs'
I chuckle to myself and exit the room to wait for the action portion of the evening. Mike's number is called first and he hops up into his chair. Anyone who knows Mike and his workout habits, would know that Mike loves the look of pumped up veins. I knew that he would have no problems with giving blood. I, on the otherhand, was a bit nervous.
I've had numerous blood extractions over the years and know that my veins are quite small. I used to end up with the nurse jabbing me repeatedly until I discovered the secret butterfly needle which is generally used with children. Now, as soon as I hop into the chair, I request it. Of course, they do not have these needles at the clinic and the woman checks both arms for large enough veins.
"Well, I think this one will do"
She pumps up the arm cuff and tells me to look away. After the familiar sting of the needle entering my skin, I turn to look over to watch the rest. I've always liked watching the blood rush into the collection tube. This time, however, no blood. She wiggles the needle a bit to see if it will flow. Nothing. Then, she tries to adjust the position of the needle while it is still in my arm. I immediately felt woozy. I couldn't get over the paining sensation that her adjustments were causing me. She looks at me and ask how I feel. I tell her that I feel woozy cos it hurts. Immediately she yells 'Code 10' which I'm assuming means 'We have a pussy-assed fainter'. The next thing I know, my chair is tilted back, I'm given two cold cloths and told to keep my eyes open. I ask if we can try again but the woman declined and said that my veins were too small.
After bandaids were applied to my wound, I was given some peach drink and rested for a while, embarrassed. Mike had almost completed his donation session (which he brags about how he won at giving blood because it happened so fast) and we were told to sit down, have some more juice and a cookie. My ego was bruised, along with my arm. I think I will try one more time, in 56 days, only this time, I'm going to drink massive amounts of water to pump my veins up.
I may fail at giving blood but you won't! Please give! Go to the Canadian Blood Services website to book an appointment today!