i think donating blood is a noble thing to do. i’d encourage anyone to do it and i still do. i’ve donated loads of times in all kinds of hospitals. so when there was a call for donors last week, i had my mee goreng and registered right away.
and you know, this is supposed to be a voluntary thing, right. its donation, after all. seriously, no one does this for the fame or fortune. there is nothing glam about being pricked by needles at least twice, sometimes trice or come, throughout the process. and so because of this, there is always a shortage of blood and we all know this.
so anyway, the people from the blood bank came over and did the whole deploy and all. but hey, here’s what made this experience a universe of difference from the other times i donated: the nurses.
i met all kinds of nurses over many years of blood donation. i met the nicest ones at sjmc last year. they really really made me feel comfortable and safe and good about the whole thing.
but yang i met last week looked like we are the ones getting in their way. in the temporary donor clinic, koleksi lagu-lagu punk metal melayu were playing in the background. imagine amy search with a sore throat. i mean, the guy already sings like his throat is made of concrete, but let’s add some pot holes to it. i really cannot tell what kind of music it is. but it sounded devastatingly angry and screechy. like running long fingernails through the blackboard kinda bising.
and the place was cold. air conditioning was set to accommodate polar bears. that kinda cold. and you know, walaupun i have done this banyak kali already, i still get a little nervous because you know, the prick and all. that, plus the cold. plus the nervous. i was getting stiff even before the blood flowed.
but the nurses. of sigh. maybe because they do this all the time, they are bored already of this. no smiles. no – hello, how are you today. no – don’t worry, everything will be alright. no – this won’t hurt a bit. just like a teensy weensy mosquito bite. nope, none of the above.
my blood pressure was a little low. no worries, it has always been on the slightly lower side. that’s just me. but i was so uncomfortable sitting on that chair, my pint bag took the longest time to fill. seriously, i went with a friend and he took like ten minutes? twenty minutes later, i was still there. and the nurse got tired of waiting for me, i guess, and just unplugged me. i really did not do all that bag. the bag as almost full. just not round and fat like other people’s. just a little soft. she went to show the other nurse my bag and squeezed it. it really is almost full and if you put it next to another bag, you really can’t tell :_(
and then she comes back with three test tubes which i’m supposed to fill with blood for their testing. every else fills this in seconds. five minutes later, the nurse calls the other nurse to come over. after only two tubes, the blood has stopped flowing. they keep on telling me to clench my hand and release, but what came out was just a trickle.
one week later, my arm is still a little bruised from the experience. i have donated many times before and i’ve never gotten bruising before. but this one turned green and purple and i look like a druggie. i’d like to say that it’s hilarious but i cannot really tell which part is.
so here’s my take on things. don’t let this story turn you off blood donation. it really has not done that to me. just have a look at the nurses before you do. make sure they look happy. i think happy nurses is of utmost importance here. happy nurses will make sure that the experience is comfortable and safe and quite rewarding :)