Blood for the Blood God! (Not really…)

All Chaos references aside, a certain special someone finally convinced me to donate my blood after insisting about it for half a dozen years.

Sure, why not. I hate to get up earlier than usual, but I guess I can do it at least once in my life. I have given that excuse for the previous times, and I guess that my adventurous sense was at its maximum on the day that I accepted the invitation.

It’s a good action from my part, so while I cross something off my list of first time experiences, I’m also helping those in need. But first, let me tell you while I always felt reluctant in donating my blood, besides the “wake up early excuse”, since this kind of event usually happens on a Sunday.

So I was born with flat feet, a condition that does not require any further explanation once you hear it. Human feet must have a small curve upwards from the heel to the toes. Mine did not have those curves, and at the age of six and eight, I went to the surgery block in order to get that small issue treated. The first time to get some “screws”, as my parents and doctors told me, into my feet so that they could bend during the period of two years. The second operation was simply to remove those same “screws”.

I don’t remember which time it was, but in one of those two, the nurse who pierced my skin for an intravenous therapy (I believe this is the current term in English) had also pierced my bone in the wrist… Of course that I screamed and with good reason. Someone had to agitate the people in the room right? Why not me? (nervous laughing). From that point onwards, I was always reluctant to get an injection.

Luckily, I did not get sick enough in order to get any injection in the later years, so I avoided a lot of them and took only the necessary ones. Although I think I’ve lost the panic from getting an injection, there’s always something that makes my heart race at the sight of medical needles.

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Now back to the present, the procedure is quite simple. You arrive at the appointed place, in this case, it was an elementary school, and you check in by stating your personal data and registering as an associate of the local blood givers association (in this case). Then, it is required of you to fill a form about various aspects regarding your life, up to the present so that the medical team can confirm that you’re really in the perfect condition to donate blood and that others will not get harmed to receive what you’ll give.

Once that’s done, you get in line so that the doctor can examine you and the authenticity of your answers, and he’ll also analyze your tension and cut your fingertip for a drop of blood. After a swift exchange of words, I walked out the room and got to the place where the machines and fancy seats were. The nurses then explained the whole procedure while preparing me for it and voilá, I had a needle in my vein, pumping my blood into a plastic bag for someone who might be in need of the same type of blood that I have.

It took me twenty or so minutes for me to reach the quota of half a liter, it seems that my blood was being stubborn to get out. I felt a little light-headed, but it was nothing new to me since I already had experienced the same feeling in other situations, and I had not given 10% of the supposed total blood that I have… Once the needle was out of my vein and some pressure was applied to the entry point to stem the hemorrhage, I was offered a sandwich and some juice so that my metabolism could begin its work right away after the blood loss.

All in all, it wasn’t bad. The nurses were kind and I barely felt the sting of the needle. I got something to eat, met some people here and there and I’ll get to know my blood type, and have free access to the parking lot of the São João Hospital at Oporto by being a part of the association. I’d get a free tax for consultations if I had a job too, but since I’m currently unemployed, I don’t have to pay it.

In any case, despite the country where you live, you should donate blood if you’re in a good condition to give it. It does not cost you much, but it might make the difference for someone in need.

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