Twice a year my high school has four buses come for blood donations. In order to be able to donate blood, you must be at least sixteen years old and 110 pounds. Although I had just reached those requirements less than a month ago, I had not planned on donating for the sole reason of not wanting the fear of being in a few seconds of pain and the possibility of passing out.
While at a student government meeting, we students helped sort out slips of papers that would serve as a pass to get out of class to donate blood. After coming to the realization that there weren't a whole lot of students donating, the head sponsor of student government asked me if I was donating. Pressured, I lied and said that I hadn't signed up to donate but that I wanted to. With that, he wrote me a slip to get out of second period to donate my blood the next day.
The next day had finally dawned and I was prepared and ready for donating blood. Rather than skipping breakfast like I usually do, I ate a bowl of cereal and some fruit since I knew that I'd need it for strength during the donation. When second period rolled in, I showed my teacher my slip and walked to the bus loading area which was where the blood donation buses were located. After giving the lady at the desk my slip, she told me to eat a snack and to grab a drink from the cooler. She guided me to the bus where a pint of my blood would be taken from me for a better cause.
I walked up the stairs and I looked to my right where four students were giving their blood. I recognized one familiar face and waved to the junior who decided to give two pints instead of the typical one. He seemed completely fine. The boy next to him, however, was about to pass out. Seeing two nurses trying to keep the boy awake frightened me a bit, but I stayed. I went into a very small room where I filled out a form saying that I haven't come in contact with drugs or anything that would harm the person receiving my blood. When the form was complete, I received a prick on my finger for my blood type, a blood pressure reading, and was asked some more questions.
After chewing down all of my crackers, I propped myself up on a recliner-like chair. It was gray and leaned me back about 25 degrees from flat on my back. There was a black arm rest on my left which would be the resting place of the arm that the blood would be extracted from. The nurse that would be taking the blood seemed very nice and rather humorous. She put pressure on my arm and rubbed my arm with rubbing alcohol in preparation for the needle. When being told to look at out the window, I looked at the slight reflection of the mirror to get a slight glimpse of the procedure. It didn't seem too bad. I felt a little pinch, some pressure, and before I knew it the needle was in a vein.
The nurse covered the needle up in a basic procedure like everyone else just so that I'd be less likely to look pass out like some other students. I was given a red stress ball to squeeze every three to five seconds to help with my blood pressure. Occasionally, I liked to look over my seat and look at the pouch that my blood was being put into. After listening to some songs on my phone and texting some friends, the donation was over before I knew it. The whole process, including waiting, took about an hour. I thought to myself about how donating blood wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. I walked out of the bus and walked to the desk that I went to at the beginning and got my free t-shirt saying that I donated blood.
Looking back at the event, the fuss was really nothing. The needle wasn't that bad; it felt like a pinch and a few seconds of pressure. The blood wasn't so bad, but you can avoid it if you really want. And I even helped save the lives of three people, or even seven babies! How cool is that? The only regret about the blood drive is that I was pressured into doing it. I wish I was courageous enough to offer on my own. I'll be waiting to donate for the blood drive in the spring.
Author's Note: I personally feel like donating blood is a great thing to do. It may not be for you, but I would really consider doing it. You get to help save lives and that's one of the best things you can have on your conscience. It sure is for me. Happy donating!