Monday, August 30, 2010

Freaky Friday

Warning: This is NOT a crazy comedic tale about a mother and daughter switching bodies in order to learn more about each other! Think less quirky antics, and more blood and needles.

For quite some time I have held to one firm and unwavering belief.

If my blood was meant to come out of my body there would be a tap in place for it to come out of.

I think this belief stemmed from the first time I consciously remember having my blood drawn. I was seven years old and I guess I was pretty sick. I remember being in the hospital, and my Mom being told they needed to draw some blood. Lying on the gurney, a nurse put the rubber tie on my arm, and said, “Ready? It’s just going to be a little pinch.”

FYI PEOPLE!! A mosquito bite is a little pinch, a tangle in your hair is a little pinch, ripping off a bandage is a little pinch… a needle poking into your arm when you are seven years old is A LOT more then a LITTLE pinch!

The “little” pinch was way more then I was ready for, so it shocked me! It shocked me so much in fact that I jerked my arm away in outrage, thereby causing the needle to wrench in my arm.


Naturally then, ever since that fabulous introduction to the world of blood letting, I’ve been less then keen for any repeat experiences. I suffered through whenever it was necessary, but usually with a ton of psyching myself up beforehand.

Then I got pregnant and I had to get real friendly with the bloodsuckers in white. What’s the prize for the girl who’s not fond of the needle?

Blood letting to the EXTREME, but of course!

They took my blood at my first prenatal appointment, twice during my first glucose test, four times after I failed the first test and they had to do a second extended one. Not to mention the multitudes of IVs etc that I had while in labor.

Jeez, I know while I was pregnant I resembled a pin cushion, but really!

The upside? My fears were CURED.

So, when we were at the local Farmers Market the other weekend and the Red Cross lady gave us a flyer for a “Life Saving Luau” they were holding, it got me thinking. Maybe I should give blood. Being O+, the universal blood type, it would really be the most responsible thing to do. My Hubby, being a blood donor already, was planning on going. We could make it a fun family outing. Well, as fun as needles, tubes and blood bags can be.

What a great way to serve my fellow man, give back, be a part of the solution…

Yup, that’s me, always thinking of others. The thought of something new to blog about didn’t even enter my mind… honest.

At 5:00, we arrived at the local Red Cross. We were greeted with leis, there was music and dancing, decorations and festive food, and of course people in white lab coats collecting blood. Nothing says luau like rusty nail sized needles and disinfectant!

Here I am, waiting for my turn. My face is all smiles, but I ain’t gonna lie, my stomach was definitely nervous.

The Hubby went first. Away into the little room where they ask you all the personal questions about sex and drugs, then into the comfy chair, to face the really big needle. It all looked like no big deal. Piece of cake. Luckily, I was in the room answering my own set of questions when his vein stopped producing and they had to try his other arm. YIKES! I might have changed my mind IMMEDIATELY!

Finally, it was my turn. I answered all their questions and climbed into the big comfy chair, ready to get started. Across from me there was a young man, who I think was also a first timer. He seemed very interested in the whole prep process. Watching everything they were doing to me. Finally the moment came for the “little pinch”. He was all, “Do you mind if I watch?” I was like, “Buddy, go ahead. I’m not going to watch, so someone might as well!”

See, my fear of having blood drawn may be cured, but I still have so desire to watch myself get stuck. I turned my head to the right until the big moment was over and this is what I saw,

It’s not enough I am giving of my time and precious elixir of life; you want me to join too? Dude. But at least focusing on her got me through the pain. That needle hurt! It was way bigger then your average needle used to draw a blood sample! But at least it was over fast, and after that first uncomfortable stab, it was totally easy. Enjoyable even.

I know you’re thinking, WHAT? You enjoyed having someone pump the blood from your arm? You might consider seeking counseling! But, it was just all so relaxing. The chair was comfy, my hubby was watching the Munchkin, it was quiet, I was tempted to try and get a little nap in. Here I am, doing the deed,

And that smile is 100% authentic. No nervous butterflies now.

Sadly, it was all over in about 15 minutes, (apparently, I am a very efficient bleeder) and my mini holiday was over. Here I am in the canteen waiting around for the allotted amount of time to make sure I wouldn’t pass out or anything.

While I was sitting there, I decided to take a picture of the sticker they gave me when I was done. Yes, just like when you were a little kid at the doctor, at the Red Cross you get a sticker if you’re a good little bleeder. So as I sat there trying to line up the camera just right, while munching on cookies, and sipping on juice, a young girl who was also waiting looked over and said,

“You know what it looks like you are trying to take a picture of, right?”

Yup, I knew.

So here it is.

The picture of my boob… I mean stickers.

Hoping you will all make a visit your local Red Cross soon,


1 comment:

Dawn said...

Great job Mandy. I almost passed out the last time I gave blood, so I haven't done it since.

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