I'm donating #blood once every year since the past 8 years. Today was my 8th time. Why am I talking about blood donation? Well, I always have a tale to tell...
Many years ago, a friend of mine told me that he donates blood and I was inspired by his gesture. Something which is mine and I can #donate it. But there are always blockages. I was this girl always worried to ask my parents if I could do something out of the ordinary, even though only things that would be running on my mind would be out of the ordinary[crazy! some may say so]. Always would get a NO for some reason and so half the time would never ask them.
2nd blockage: I was super skinny most of my life, underweight that time. So it was anyways a no-no.
3rd blockage which wasn't there coz I never reached that stage of searching where to donate or looked for a blood bank.
Just like other things, when life unfolds, you start realising everything happens at the right time or should I say at its own time. Now that all the above blockages are not there, I am able to donate every single year.
Long things short, my friend shared his story with me and I got motivated. Every single year I tell everyone that I donated blood in hopes that someone will get motivated by me also, which in turn may help someone in need.
I don't understand the #politics and #malpractices happening in this field but all I know is, I go to a neat and to a considerably hygienic place as per my understanding, in faith that it would reach someone in need... well vampires also need blood but oh well... that's another topic for some other time...
So for first-timer #donors, let me try to explain in short[never is ;)]
You need to make sure that you are #healthy, not on any drugs and there are many other columns one needs to fill e.g. when was the last time you consumed alcohol, when was your last menstruation, did you do any surgery lately, do you have sex with multiple partners, tattoos, piercing, etc.
I have been rejected 1/9 times that I went to donate blood and I take it as a personal insult or something when I am not selected. It's like, out of all the things in the world, I couldn't even take care of myself? hmm... well anyways there are many other things also... let's not deviate[always]...
So about 350-450 ml blood can be donated at one time as per your weight or I use to think as per gender. One can donate every 3 months. Platelet donation can happen every week or something like that. Best to check with the Blood Bank.
#Hydrate yourself very well especially on the day of donation[before and after]. In fact, before donation, you are asked to drink water as if they are going to run a #sonography to see a baby. I just keep weeing [all the time]-2 plus the air conditioners are running at minus I feel.
So yeh take-in lot of #fluids, iron-enriched food, etc. Ideally, leave a gap of 30-60 mins between a heavy meal and donation. Of course, it is understood that if you are fasting or haven't eaten much, you should not donate.
Moving on... so you go inside the donation place, they ask you to sit in this weird looking chair, check which #nerve is ready to be pricked. Give you the yellow smiley ball to press and not press[just follow their lead] and then 1 big needle is poked in to extract the blood. There's this machine which calculates the weight of the blood and I noticed today that it even beeps few milligrams before it is going to reach its limit.
They pull out some initial blood from a detour opening pouch to do initial tests to check if blood is really good enough to be used. It is said that they call you if there is a problem in the blood so getting NO CALL is a good thing, which would mean your blood is fine and can be used. Otherwise, even after your entire donation, the blood has to be trashed.
I don't know if it is a good thing to do or not, but I don't do any other blood tests even yearly unless it is required, thinking if there was a problem, #bloodbank would have called me to inform. Someone, please let me know whether I am on the right/wrong path ;)
SIDE EFFECTS: Not really!
So, blood is taken, sometimes you feel cold, they give u blanket, sometimes u feel unwell you must tell them and they would stop in between or try to make you comfortable, sometimes after donation, you may feel a bit dizzy which is normal. They ask you to sit 5-10 mins after they remove the needle and then give you tea/coffee with few biscuits which is another 5-10 mins. If you are fine, you go home. If you are not, well... all the best to you... haha... just kidding...
It is said, one can use that unit in that one year if there is an emergency and someone needs blood. Of course, one has to pay but would not need to donate at that time. Now I haven't asked all that in many details.
So yeh, just take care of yourself a little bit more than usual after donation and that's about it!!
This was the process part. Why do I do it? No idea! Just feels right. Nothing to lose, only to gain. In my case, I think my ego gets boosted a little bit. Not a good thing but it does, I am aware.
Also, it is said it is healthy to donate blood. Go find that out how!
Another thing I would like to mention is, not all countries and centres in the same country/city would have the same facility but more or less process would be the same because well we all are humans after all.
The 1st 2 times I donated in a blood donation camp. I stopped going there because of hygiene factor and because if something happens to me while donating I want to be in a proper hospital which is prepared to take care of me with ease.
Just a personal choice. Nothing wrong in donating in temporary camps.
Now comes the fun part. I go to #KokilabenHospital for blood donation which is a famous hospital of #Mumbai. [Funny how I say famous, #TajMahal is famous lol] The hospital has a mini-mall on its ground floor. Salon, bookstore, subway sandwich, Starbucks, gift shops, etc. There is a restaurant which serves a decent mainly Indian cuisine buffet for a really low price, Rs. 270 approx. I go and lunch there every year for fun, before donation.
Will be attaching pics of the food I ate there today. haha... Just for fun!
Rest is all good... today I felt completely fine, went out for a 2k walk and then lil bit more with someone after donation.
I feel the key for a successful, non-dizzy donation is to start eating beetroots and pomegranate 7-10 days before and weight a bit above borderline if you tend to be on the lower side, like me.
I get a tiny bit nervous every time but then all goes well.
I would be happy if I am able to encourage someone else. If you are healthy then why not? I mean, #scientists haven't yet started making blood in the labs, have they? So might as well do our little part. And believe me, if I can do it, so can you. Best wishes to all.