21 June 2010

Mission #17: Donate blood at least once a year

Goal completed on June 2, 2010.

This goal has certainly taken me longer to complete than I anticipated when I had first made it. After moving to Stettler I only had a very limited time frame as to when I could donate. One of two situations would arise: I was either working when Canada Blood Services would make their way from Edmonton or I ended up working the day after a donation, which I've discovered is a big problem for me.

Losing 610ml of blood (a pint) really lands me on my ass, and increasingly so the more often I donate. I feel weak and tired following a donation, especially the first day, and then for the next seven days. When I try to go back to the gym I feel like I've thrown myself into oncoming traffic, never mind what it feels like to work a 12 hour shift.

I find myself waiting longer and longer between donations because of this, and because the experiences I'm having donating blood aren't nice. OK, being a little dramatic, they're not awful, but I feel like it's a sign to slow down or stop (you know, because feeling ill isn't a big enough reason to stop). Clive has come with me for two donations, both in Stettler and both times something has gone wrong. The first time, a nurse missed my vein. Yes, missed my vein. I mean, really? Me? My big and juicy veins?

OK, when my hands are warm and I'm not nervous I have big and juicy veins. 

The second time Clive is with me somehow I don't manage to tolerate the blood loss at all. Apparently I can look paler than my already pale self and I had about four nurses come up to me and ask how I was feeling and constantly reassess me. I felt fine the whole time. One nurse, obviously older and experienced, was more forceful assertive than the rest and made some executive decisions.

Experienced Nurse: How are you feeling? You look a little pale.
Me: I feel fine.
Experienced Nurse: I'm just going to put your feet up. [to Clive] She looks pale doesn't she?
Clifford: A wee bit, aye.
Young Nurse: Why don't you grab her something to drink. I'll just bring some cool clothes over for your forehead and neck.
Me: Cool clothes? I'm cold. [whispering to Clive]Thanks for the support.
Clifford: [laughs and kisses my hand]

What a sweet man... I am never taking him to a donor clinic again.

So while I maintain that donating blood is a really noble thing to do and that everybody should do it, I think I will give it a miss for a year. 

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