I gave the gift of life today

I donated blood for the 8th time in my entire life today.  The last time was sometime in the year 2004, a few months before my wedding.  I normally make an annual blood donation whenever my workplace organizes a blood donation drive.  After that 2004 donation, I missed the following 3 years because I was pregnant in 2005, and was breastfeeding in 2006 and 2007.  In fact, I tried to donate in 2007  but when they found out I was still breastfeeding, I was unceremoniously shooed away.  Ah well.

So today, after I passed the “drop-a-droplet-of-blood-into-the-blue-liquid-and-wait-for-it-to-sink” test, and had taken my weight, the doctor took my blood pressure and inquired why there was a 3 year lapse from the last time I donated, at which I gave her the reasons as stated above.

Well, basically nothing much has changed since the last time I donated, except for the fact that the medical officers do not need to write the blood tag series and the name of the hospital in my blood donation booklet anymore.  It’s all sticker-based, which I totally dig.

Anyway, after that, I lied down on one of the beds and requested that they take the blood from my right arm.  I know the vein in the crook of my right elbow is more visible, and I didn’t fancy the idea of them poking around looking for it if I had offered my left arm.  Just in case.

About five minutes after the blood transfer began, I was done.  Just enough time for me to take a quick shot of my arm with my N73 too.  Clip here, clip there, and I saw a full pouch of my precious O +ve blood being carted away for good use.  I like to make the blood transfer faster by squeezing that sponge-like thingy they provide for us to hold real fast, just to let the blood flow faster.  Just cuz I am rather paranoid about having a metal object in me for a long time.  There was this guy who was lying there like forever, and complaining he was too tired to squeeze the sponge-like thing, so I think he was there for more than 20 minutes and the bag was still not full yet.  I couldn’t help laughing a bit when his colleagues teased him that his blood was so thick it was only good to make curry me. :P

So after the process was completed, I was given a cotton gauze to put over the punctured skin and asked to bend my elbow and close the area up.  Knowing me, after about 5 minutes lying there and not doing anything, I was ready to get up.  I gingerly opened up my elbow but just before I touched the cotton gauze, the medical officer said, “Jangan buka!”

Aiya…so lie down sammo lor….

Maybe they were concerned that someone who was able to produce a pint of blood in such a short time probably needed more time for the wound to close properly.  I’m sure it wasn’t because of “high blood pressure” as my friend jokingly commented.  I’d much rather like to refer to it as “high-pressured blood”. Hah.  Not the same thing, okay?

Had some very diluted chocolate drink after the blood donation and a curry puff.  I remember the food used to taste much better, but anyway, that’s not the reason WHY we donate blood, yes?

So if you are being wishy-washy about donating blood, ask yourself why not?  Some pointers for first timers though:

  • Go with someone, preferably someone who has donated before so you can ask him/her what to expect.
  • Have a light meal before you go donate.
  • Relax.  I find it helps loads if you don’t look at them puncturing your skin.  Hey, just look the other way la.
  • For ladies, it is advisable to wear pants.  Some of the beds tend to be positioned a little too high and it is not very “ladylike” to climb on top of it with a micro mini skirt on.

…and no, if you’re wondering, donating blood does not make someone put on weight.  Not if you eat normally after that.

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21 Responses to I gave the gift of life today

  1. ehon says:

    good work giddy tigress!!

    under normal circumstances, a pint of blood can save up to three lives, and lot of the blood are also used for us to do medical tests which eventually help us to work out new tools to diagnose diseases, find (better) cures and understand pathophysiology of diseases. no single drop of blood is wasted in the medical field.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Wow, thanks for that info Ehon! It brings me immeasurable joy to know that my blood will go to good use.

  2. rinnah says:

    I’ve always thought of donating blood but too chicken to do so, plus no one is willing to accompany me! *sigh*

    The Giddy Tigress says: I’ll go with you! Anytime!

  3. michelle says:

    Good on you. I wished I cannot donate blood but I think I will end up in the hospital after that. Hehehe….

    The Giddy Tigress says: No la, I am sure you won’t. I’ll go with you if you don’t mind (to the blood donation place, I mean)

  4. Jemima says:

    Well Done, Giddy!!! :)

    You’re a life-saver. :)

    I’ve tried to donate a few times but I always failed the pre-donation test. :(

    The Giddy Tigress says: Oh dear, why? Actually I failed once before – they told me I was anemic. SIGH. But subsequently I passed :)

  5. Susan says:

    My last blood donation was about a decade ago during uni time.
    After that I never qualify already…. below their minimum weight threshold wor.

    Actually your friend’s joke got some truth in it. U need to lie down and stabilize ur pressure as rapid movement when u got up and hv ur head elevated and ur heart cudn’t pump enough O2,
    u will feel “giddy” (ah ha, giddy)

    The Giddy Tigress says: What? Your weight is less than 45 kilos? *pengsans*
    Anyway, I was lying still la when I was donating. Only my wrist and fingers were moving :) So I wasn’t giddy at all :P

  6. kyh says:

    Well done!!! I wish I could donate but I’m blood-shortage LOL.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Huh? How do you know? :)

  7. Tine says:

    That’s great! I wanted to donate but they wouldn’t take my blood ‘cos I lived in the UK for over 6 months in the past 10 years. They’re paranoid I might have mad cow or something.

    Cheh. Psyched myself up to the experience of blood donation for the first time so much for nothing :p

    But good on ya! :)

    The Giddy Tigress says: Well, just wait till the 10 years is over then :P

  8. That is such a selfless act. One person at a time, can really make a difference ..

    The Giddy Tigress says: I agree… and thanks!

  9. huisia says:

    salute you, 8th time somemore :)

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yes, 8th time and counting!

  10. mott says:

    good job!!!!! I used to do it too…but like u, between getting preggie n bf…cannot liao! Hv to wait till everything habis and then start again!

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yala… good job, Mott!

  11. parisb says:

    Never given :( *slinks away in shame*

    The Giddy Tigress says: Well, there is always a first time!

  12. Bravo! Not many ladies dare to donate blood. I can’t because I’m anaemic. :(

    The Giddy Tigress says: Really? You don’t look anemic!

  13. cc says:

    Done it a few times before, but now I’m going through my paranoia phase. Will have to draw up enough courage to go for it again.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Why the paranoia?

  14. sasha says:

    a very cool thing to do!

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yeah, felt good doing it too!

  15. cc says:

    My clean freak / bothering a little obsessive compulsive disorder paranoia. It is not pretty. LOL

    The Giddy Tigress says: Awww…there there…hope you get over it soon. But then again, maybe that’s what makes you YOU :razz:

  16. Vien says:

    The blood bank always need O+..and it’s great to know a fellow blood donor. I’ve stopped donating since 2005 due to pregnancy and bf. Just never the right time. I will continue once I’m done with everything.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yes, O+ve donors are the most *generous” of them all, but also the most “choosy” :P

  17. Paik Ling says:

    well done girl! I’m also an avid blood doner (up to 3 times a year! haha) ever since I found out that in Malaysia, they administer LA before the needles goes in. In AUS, they don’t and it’s darn painful!

    The Giddy Tigress says: The LA is just a swab of alcohol though!

  18. KittyCat says:

    Erm…anyone from Corp Comms wielding a camera while you were there? I knew I *loved* taking those photos :-)

    The best shot has to be this young, handsome engineer who smiled bravely…I believed he charmed some ladies into donating and challenged many guys to do the same too!

    Me? I can’t because a) I’m anaemic and b) I really hate needles.

    You are right about O being the most generous – my late father and Hubby are regular heroes too :-)

    The Giddy Tigress says: Noone was taking any photos, at least not that I was aware of…

  19. zara's mama says:

    Well done..

    I used to do it twice a year.. then I was pregnant, and breastfeeding etc… so not, it’s time to go back.

    You stopped breastfeeding Ethan totally already? I thought he was still nursing occasionally.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yeah, Ethan was weaned off the breast a week after he turned two.

  20. health freak says:

    Wow, you are a real samaritan and SO brave! I still don’t have the courage to do it :(

    The Giddy Tigress says: You should give it a shot!

  21. Ted says:

    Hi Girls

    I’m a man from the Uk and I’m so pleased you are all talking about donating blood. There is no poblem with Mad Cow over here (as we are all mad already).

    I would think that the girls who can’t donate because they are anaemic should get checked out as they need to build up the red cells for themselves, after that they should be able to donate.

    Susan: How lucky you are. Just put on a few more pounds and you will be able to donate and still be a Size Zero.

    I’ve donated lots of times, and it has never been painful or even bruised me. I really cannot understand how the thought of donating can put girls off as I know I couldn’t stand the pain of childbirth or even having a baby at my breast.

    Rinnah: Please find someone to go with. Like ‘Pay it Forward’, it will be as if you donated all of their donations – and all of the donations of the people they encouraged, and so on. Soon you will be responsible for most of donations in your country – for generations to come.

    It is like a ‘Bank’. Lots of interest (it feels so good) and you can always have a loan.

    Lots of love to you, wonderful people.

    Ted (London, England)

    The Giddy Tigress says: Thanks for the comment Ted! Much appreciated indeed.

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