I was reading Suranga’s post on Blood Donation
Have you ever donated blood? I have…only three times, but I remember the first time I did it very vividly..
I was a kid when the Latur earthquake took place…I remember rushing out of the house with the entire society gathering to discuss what can we do to help…One of the uncles suggested blood donation and I remember everyone going to the donation place without any issues, all of them trooped, all the uncles and aunties of the society…no one thought of ‘not donating’
And then again, I remember my youngest mama was a big donator of blood for a long time...I think there was this phase when he used to donate blood once in three months..religiously without any reason…just go donate and get to work..
And then I was in college…the Bhuj earthquake happened…we reached college the next day and one of my classmates went missing…we knew he was from there and just got to know he had gone there..for 20 days, we had no clue of his whereabouts and we werent the batch in which cell phones had made an appearance..very few people in college had it..our batch, I dont think anyone had it at all..
anyways, on the notice board, we saw a blood donation camp in the main campus commerce faculty area…
My friend N (the one who I wasnt in touch with and wrote earlier about here ) and I decided to go and donate blood..our parents were okay with it, as long as we ensured that the syringes used were new..
anyways when we went there, there was a long line of students who were waiting to donate blood..yes yes, long line..the thing that struck us was, we two were the ONLY girls..yes, about 100 boys but ONLY TWO GIRLS!! Dont ask me why? I have no clue…it stuck us a bit odd, but both of us were clear that we WERE going to donate..its the LEAST we could do..
So, we went and stood in the line..a volunteer came to us, the whole line looked at us…we were a bit embarrassed being the centre of attention, but we were still sure we would donate…anyways, so this volunteer comes to us
V:so want to donate blood
V:Are you sure
N: yes ..why?
V: no, just asking
RM: yes, we are sure..
an older doctor came and he took us ahead first…obviously the guys in the line grumbled..both of us said we dont mind waiting, but he was like no I think you should just skip and go ahead..we tried hard to stop him from giving us special treatment..I mean everyone were students right? and everyone was waiting to donate, so why special treatment to us?? it never occurred to either of us, that may be it was because we were the only girls..we kept protesting but three of them practically wrestled us to lie down on the bed…hehee 🙂
anyways, we were not given adjacent beds..and this was the first time I was donating..
So I lay down…a very sweet lady came..
RM: Will this hurt?
L: not at all..just relax and let me find the right place to insert the needle
and then she searched and searched and searched..she couldnt find it..then she called a doctor..he too searched,…it was getting hilarious honestly…since it was not exactly a closed place (It was held in one of the classrooms) the whole crowd was looking at me and smiling…I was like gosh!
I gave them my right hand and said ‘Acha search here, perhaps you can find some blood’
Doctor: oh you have a lot of blood, we are just trying to find the right way to extract it!
RM: yaa right (I was overweight even then! though weight had nothing to do with his statement, but the cynical me took it that ways!)
Finally they found the right place, and started the blood flow into a bag
and this was the Eureka moment for me…
RM: OH MY GOD! MY blood is RED!
I actually said that so loud…that everyone started laughing..so loudly that one of the nurses had to tell a volunteer not to move as she was inserting a syringe 🙂
Anyways, the process didnt even take like 10 minutes…just as the lady finished removing the syringe and all…I heard a huge thud! I got a bit scared wondering if my heart was wanting to do some extra loud pumping for the lost blood, when I realised someone had fallen down…
Gosh! what funny people, they faint as well I thought..as soon as I thought I should get up and sit, I had three people rushing towards me, asking me to continue to lie down..
RM: but but, I already donated once…you want more blood???
As if the guy was a vampire asking me for blood..but then on second thoughts, a vampire wont ask me, it would just take it directly na…
Anyways, I digress.
L: no no, just lie down
RM: but I am fine
L: no no you are not
L: Please lie down for 2 more minutes
Which I did..now remember that i was lying down in public so its not a very comfortable sight..but anyways,…as soon as I got up, I had someone hand me glucose biscuits in my hand and tea in my hand and I am like everyone else is going to the eating area, why are they giving me on the bed it self…
Uncomfortable with all the attention, I tried to refuse, when one guy practically pushed the biscuits into my mouth..I was like ‘What???’
are you fine, are you fine, are you dizzy and all that they asked me…I felt perfectly normal…I mean seriously, my mind didnt believe that my body lost blood or something…I was totally okay!
I assured them I was fine..when one lady came to me and asked ‘you know the other girl who gave blood’
RM: yes, she is my friend
Lady: She fainted..
That was the thud I had heard…apparently my friend got up without warning, not heeding to the guy’s advice to lie down till the pressure came to normal and got up like a hero only to fall down all over again…
I couldnt help laughing loudly…
N: Oye dont laugh
RM: You are so funny
N: Arey because I fainted, they even gave me orange juice
RM: lucky girl
Anyways, thats when some myths of blood donation were dispelled for me
1. Its not at all dangerous..
2. Never get up immediately after donating blood, slowly raise your body, ensure that you get your orientation right…some people have no issues, some people may not be able to take the sudden rising..you dont know what is your category, so just take it easy
3. It doesnt hurt AT ALL
4. Your body regenerates that blood is about 2 hours or so..so you are not going to feel faint or weak at all..also, mostly after donating blood, people do give you biscuits, chai, juice to make you feel better..and bring your body to normalcy so dont avoid that..drink and eat properly whatever they give you
5. Human blood is always red in colour, whether it oozes out of a wound or gets extracted into a blood bag..what made me think it was any other colour when it got donated is beyond my understanding!!
6. Girls can donate blood as well, if the minimum criteria is satisfied..the only thing the doctor asked both of us was, whether we were menstruating…which we werent
Apart from this of course, please read Suranga’s post for more knowledge
Anyways, after the donation drama, both N and I took our scootys and went home with no issues at all..she didnt faint after that…and me..well, all that poking and prodding in my hands, led to a greenish tinge and slight swelling and I had to take some pain killers for a couple of days…but boss, I was in college, so I just showed off the swelling saying ‘I donated blood’ and I am so proud of myself..
I did donate blood twice after that..once again in college and one more time, more recently, last year or so when RD was with me…
I surely think, I should do it more often..
So, go on, and donate as much as you can!