A good incentive to save lives

Friday, May 18, 2012

I've donated blood to the American Red Cross a few times in the past, so when their giant donation RV parked itself in our office's parking lot yesterday morning, they made it almost impossible for me not to donate again.

But I didn't have any intention of donating blood yesterday because I didn't think it would be a wise decision when I was expected to play softball later that evening. (In addition to athletic prowess, it's also very important to have all of your blood inside your body during the game.) However, I couldn't ignore the siren song of HR's email that morning exclaiming, "Free t-shirt with donation!"

Crap.

People (and by people, I mean "me") like a good incentive. 

I'll do anything for a free t-shirt.

Example: I considered running the Bulldog Dash 7k this weekend in Patricksburg, IN simply because I couldn't stop thinking about the prospect of having a race t-shirt with a dog on it. (But I ultimately decided against it because the race starts at 9:00 a.m. and it's about a 40-minute drive from my house. And the only thing I like more than free t-shirt is sleeping.)

But I have zero qualms about having blood removed from my body in exchange for some free swag.

The initial prep before my donation went swimmingly and I became BFFs with the blood tech when she guessed my weight to be about 7 pounds lighter than I actually am (why thank you!), but things kind of went haywire when she discovered that my "juicy" vein was buried pretty far beneath my skin. The solution to a buried vein? Lots of forceful jabbing and thrusting of the needle. The insertion site on my arm instantly swelled to the size of a marble and began pulsating with sharp pain.

I wasn't sure if I was going to start crying or kick her in the stomach because donating blood has never caused me any sort of discomfort and I started having a mild panic attack. My anxiety was further escalated when I thought about the needle being ripped from my flesh as dozens of people tried to navigate through the cramped trailer.

And on top of everything else, I'm apparently a slow bleeder.

Two people were prepped and finished donating before I managed to fill my own donation bag. So naturally, I assumed I had a blood clot and reacted accordingly. Another tech assured me that bleeding slow was common and that I just need to take a few deeps breath and keep squeezing the red stress ball in my hand.

After about 10 minutes, I had finally leaked enough fluid to fill the bag and after a thankfully painless removal of the needle, I was handed a t-shirt and sent on my merry way.

I got back to my desk, arm throbbing in agony, and held up my new t-shirt to admire.

2XL.

Apparently the Red Cross thinks I'm fat.


But not to worry, a true fashionista knows how to be resourceful.


Have a great weekend!

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