Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SOL Day 19: Giving Blood

This evening, my school hosted a Red Cross blood drive. I wanted to make an appointment, but I wasn't able to schedule before they filled up, so I decided to just walk in. When I arrived, there were quite a few people in front of me.

After waiting for almost an hour, I was finally taken for my questioning process. When the representative discovered my blood type, she asked if I would be willing to be a "double red" donor. What that means is that they draw my blood through a machine that separates the red blood cells from the platelets and hemoglobin, then collects the red blood cells and returns the platelets and hemoglobin. The blood, being separated during collection, is able to be distributed to hospitals quicker than whole blood that is collected.

The bruises on my arm from the first
 attempt to insert the needle.
I thought that, since I was already there, and the process would only take about 20 minutes longer, I might as well do it. I could help twice as many people even faster. And since I have one of the rarer blood types, it was in even more demand.

Unfortunately, it wasn't as simple as I would have liked. When the phlebotomist attempted to insert the needle into my arm, it went in wrong and basically collapsed my vein. She was incredibly apologetic, but it was just one of those things that happens. But, since I was already there and had already gone through the process, I decided to let them try the other arm. After everything was re-set and re-labeled, a different phlebotomist came to give it a try. Success! I barely felt a thing (and I HATE needles!)

It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but in the end I knew it was worth the time and trouble. At the beginning, I had posted on FaceBook that I was waiting to give blood. A friend of mine who has had two kidney transplants replied, "Having received a few blood transfusions myself, I thank you for what you are doing! You are about to change someone's life!"


  1. Thank you for sharing your slice of persistence in doing good, even after a long day of teaching. I know that your decision today will impact someone's life.

  2. I'm glad you shared this--because sometimes doing good really hurts and requires significant sacrifice. What a relief to know that there are people out there who still commit to doing good despite the time and pain required... Thank you!

  3. Carolyn, I know that you feel proud helping others! You're so good at helping all us and your kids I am glad your stepping out!