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Author Topic: Blood Donors!
dailicious
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Well, I'm happy to say I am a first time blood donor as of this afternoon.

I'm sure they're so happy to have my blood, along with the tons of other A+ they have (haha I'm kidding, of course they're appreciative of *almost* all blood)

But it really made me feel good about myself.

Mostly, actually, for selfish reasons, because I have a huge discomfort when it comes to having my blood drawn. I've had it done a number of times, as my immune system used to be really poor and I was really sick for no good reason a couple of years ago. I had so many blood tests that year and I hated it.

I think I manifest the fears all in my head, but I can always swear I feel the needle going up into my arm and it always makes me feel very disgusting and uncomfortable.

So when the Donor-mobile rolled into town I thought about doing it, but was really scared to because of the issue with the needles. My fear/dislike of needles doesn't really strecth past blood-drawing needles. I'm fine with shots, for example, I think it has to do more with the bigger needles that either take things out or pump things in (when I had an IV for getting my wisdom teeth out my heart rate went up so high when the nurse put it in). It just seriously bothers me. I'm completely fine with seeing my own blood, even, it's just the needle part.

Well anyway, I talked myself into it, and along with my mommy went down and signed up and donated blood!

Since I was shaking pretty badly before it started I got a special precautionary treatment of sitting with my leggs propped up and ice packs on my chest and back of the nexk to control any panic attacks or in case I blacked out or anything, I was the only one in the room like that as well, heh.

The only really bad part was the needle itself going in, that made me feel really sick to my stomach but I didn't watch and took deep breaths and did just fine from that point.

So, I'm proud of myself. Not only am I helping a good cause, in my mind, but I think the experience helped me become a bit more comfortable with my fear and discomfort of that sort of procedure. The woman who was working with me was really helpful too, she talked to me and was very cheerful and told me I sounded a lot like how she reacted to getting her own blood drawn.

I think, as well, that the fact I was having blood taken out to donate made me feel better about the situation than when I've had blood taken out to test to see what was wrong with me.

But I'm happy. And a blood donor!

Anyone else have (maybe not so long-winded kind of boring) blood donation stories?


Posts: 3382 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkChild717
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Not so much a story. Heh. Props to you for getting over your issues. I doubt I'll ever get over mine.

See, I'm almost guaranteed to pass out when they take my blood, precautionary measures aside. In fact, I'm getting light-headed just thinking about it.

I've learned that when I go to my yearly exam, I bring my own apple juice and lots of it, and warn the nurse or tech about my possibility. Eyes closed, breating, head up, head down, doesn't matter for me. I just can't take it!

That said, I'll probably never give blood. I might have when I was younger, but not now.


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LilBlueSmurf
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I gave blood for the first time about a year and a half ago ...

I went to a community college and the Canadian Red Cross had come for a visit. A friend of mine gave blood together ... It was a bonding experience ...

We signed up with two volunteers who were sitting at the entrance of the gym. We gave them our names, ages/birthdate, address', and two pieces of ID (if i remember correctly ...?). We were given numbers and told to sit and wait to be screened.

When our number was called we were to go up to this long table of about five staff and ask more questions and get our fingers pricked to see if we were eligable to give blood. I forget what they were testing for (iron, i think?), but they put the drop of blood into this blue solution and if it sinks you're good to go. If it floats, it's not safe for you to give blood. They also told me what blood type i was. (I thought i was O -, but apparently i'm O +)

We had questionnaires to fill out and hand back when we were done, and then we had to sit and wait some more. Due to the number of students and staff giving blood, we waited a good hour just to get in, ... Then more time to actually donate and wait the ~15mins to make sure you're not going to pass out.

I gotta tell ya ... I'm not scared of needles typically, but the needle used to take blood is pretty big. I believe this is so they don't damage the blood cells on the way out. I was pretty impressed ... My friend was in before me but i was done 'giving' before she was. I'm a bleeder The technician put a pressure dressing over the site and we were sent to wait some more.

We drank some juice and ate some cookies ... And read some pamphlets on how our donation would help those in need. I learned that my blood type is the most common.

It was a really really good experience ... And i keep meaning to go do it again.


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Jenna D.
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Woohoo! Awesome for you!

I donated blood last summer for the first and what would turn out to be the only time. It was my second try. The first time I went in with a friend, she got a low iron deferral and got really upset - she has an ongoing condition that doesn't affect her eligibility, but she really didn't need to hear that 'something else was wrong with her' - so we left together.

Second time I went by myself and it was fine. I actually really enjoyed it. I, too, loathe needles, but though it hurt and my arm was sore afterwards, I was fine.

I can't donate again though. Canadian Blood Services doesn't allow people who have spent more than 3 months in England to donate because of CJD/vCJD (Mad Cow Disease) - I did my entire first year of uni in England. Permanent deferral for me. If it weren't for that, I'd be donating as often as I could!


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FoolishChild
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CJD? That's interesting, I think it's all gone now. Well there's none reported on the news any more.

I reached the minimum age last week, and I'm looking forward to the next time I can go and donate some blood. Hate needles, the bigger the worse they are. But hey, I'd feel better afterwards.

I hope. Hehe.


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Heather
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Unfortunately, I am not able to donate blood because I lived in the UK for a little bit during the peak years for Mad Cow, at the very start of the 90's.

Explaining one is and was a vegetarian at the time, oddly, doesn't seem to sway them any,

But good on you folks who can for donating!


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JamsessionVT
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I can't legally donate yet, (got a few more months before I get to that point...isn't the legal age 17?) but I planning on it. The Red Cross comes to our highschool every year for blood donations. We invite the all the towns around us to come, and make a huge hoopblah out of it. It's quite awesome.

I've been given two pints of blood in my life, and I plan on returning those by donating myself. I'm sure the people will be happy when they hear about my blood type, AB negative, since I guess that's about 1% of all the people in the world.

I found an interesting tidbit after googling the rarest bloodtype: www.metlife.com gave a list of who should not give blood, giving several conditions that could permenently exclude someone from ever giving blood: on the list was "A man who has had sex with another man since 1977"...can anyone tell me why this is? I'm very curious...


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wobblyheadedjane
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Jam, my guess would be because of HIV/AIDS cropping up around that timeframe - since it wasn't identified until the early/mid-eighties, and was up until recently classified as a 'gay' disease, they want to rule out the possibility of HIV infected blood.

Quite a few of my friends (including a hale and healthy gay man who would love to give blood if he could) think that the list could stand to be updated.


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Heather
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...and yes, that is bias, especially considering that HIV transmission, globally, at this point, is more prevalent in heterosexual women than anyone else.

(Which is no shocker to anyone who understands the basics of STI transmission: women are always hit hardest and always contract more easily.)

For that NOT to be biased it'd have to say "ANYONE who has had sex with men since 1977," actually. Quelle surprise it doesn't.


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JamsessionVT
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I was thinking about that before, but it didn't make sense to me since I'm sure there were plenty of lesbian couples in the 1980s as well.

Merci, Miz. S and Jane!


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dailicious
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Since AIDs struck the gay community very hard when it was first showing in the United States, and because unprotected anal sex is a very easy way to spread disease, that's (although bias) why that group is targeted.

And actually, Jam, you may be surprised...

People with AB negative blood are more often turned away from blood donating BECAUSE the type is so rare. A woman who works at my school is turned away every single time. She's been a plasma donor (though that whole process sounds awful, they basically take out more blood and then cycle the plasma-free blood back into your body after they get the plasma out, egh) but has never donated blood.

A lot of hospitals actually have AB- donors on call, so they can get the blood right from the source if it's ever needed.

This isn't to say you'l be turned away, but it does happen to people.

O- on the other hand they LOVE.


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Jenna D.
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Yup, CJD. It was a real downer when I read that, I'd forgotten it from the first time I donated. I was actually really upset.

Yeah, if you have O-, they will love you to donate because it's the universal donor. If you've got AB+ (I think it's +) on the other hand, should you ever need a transfusion, you should be stoked since you're a universal recipient. Yay grade 11 Bio!

Fun fact: The entire city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, is only used for plasma donation. Random thing I learned from the nurse who took care of me when I donated.


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summergoddess
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I started to donate blood in highschool, when I was 17. I donated my last 2 years of highschool. I felt great about doing that, and I wanted to carry that on into university, but i haven't had time during my 3 years there so far. So hopefully, during my last year this September, I will donate again. It feels good, giving something to the community when in need.

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~Jules


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HumanTornado
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I'd love to give blood but sadly, I am not allowed because I am both underweight and have a chronic disease that, amongst other things, causes the iron in my blood to be veeery low.

However, I have volunteered at blood drives before. Handing out cookies and juice and holding hands of the frightened. I figured I should contribute in *some* way.


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JamsessionVT
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Dailicious, where did you come by that bit of info? I find that very odd...while I understand that hositals wouldn't take it because it is so rare, I find it funny that they can have donors on call. Care to shed any more light on this? (I just hoped I won't be turned away...that would just make me sad...)
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dailicious
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Sorry to bring up sort of limited and somewhat confusing information-

I was probably too quick in saying AB- blood is not always wanted as eagerly as other blood; on thinking about it I'm sure blood drives in larger states welcome any and all blood including AB- if the blood type is known.

The reason I have this information is through a woman I know who has AB- blood and is actually limited only to the blood drive that occured in my state, much of which is used only in the local hospitals.

I live in New Mexico, there are about six or seven cities that have larger hospitals, many of the hospitals will transport people in need of blood or better emergency care/operations to the Albuquerque hospital; this is where much of the blood from the local blood drive is taken to.

In Albuquerque, the hospital has a few on call volunteers (or possibly hospital related people, like ones who would work in emergency response care maybe? Something to that extent, I'm not exactly sure on it) to receive AB- on the spot when it's needed. Though that in itself does seem somewhat strange now that I think more on it on the issue of clean blood, even if they'd used them as donors before, they still perform all the same tests on blood bank blood.

A woman who works at my school that I know fairly well has AB- blood and has been turned away from the New Mexico blood drive when presenting her blood type, though they are very eager to have her donate plasma (which she has done twice and claims she will never do again after how sick it made her the last time)

There is also the possibility she exagerated the whole thing in which case I apologize I threw in false or possibly false information.

And because they don't test for blood type until after they have collected your blood, an AB- donor could certainly donate and then they'd have the blood no questions, anyway.

I wasn't even asked for my blood type when I donated and I do know it, so.


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LilBlueSmurf
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quote:
Originally posted by HumanTornado:
However, I have volunteered at blood drives before. Handing out cookies and juice and holding hands of the frightened. I figured I should contribute in *some* way.

I just wanted to say that i think that is so freaking cool You rock !!


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Gumdrop Girl
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I'm not donating blood. I probably will never get aroundot donating lood because something about it just makes me squirm.

HOWEVER, I just joined the bone marrow registry. Call it peer pressure. The bone marrow registry is SEVERELY lacking in non-white donors. The Asian registry is especially small, so my friends and I signed up. In this politically correct world, it'd be nice if race didn't matter. But in the world of genetics, it's just a simple fact that an Asian person is most likely to have genes similar to another Asian person.

Anyway, they made me fill out a bunch of forms. I stated my risk factors (no MSMW, no tatts, no new piercings, yes vaccinations for Hep A&B). Then they stuck my finger with a lancet and bled me onto a card. They gave me a sticker and some candy and sent me on my merry way.

Yes, i know bone marrow donation is more invasive than blood. And I didn't need that explained to me by some guy who had memorized a script since my friends and I are all public health grads. I can deal with anesthesia and flu-like symptoms, maybe a little butt pain. I can deal. But I rather not have the blood sucked out of my arm while I'm watching it.

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froggy_dear
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My high school ran twice yearly blood drives - you could get out of class to donate. I actually really enjoy giving blood. I've never had the lightheadedness that others sometimes experience and it makes me feel good to help people.

I started donating when I was 17 (the HS drives), but haven't in the past several years because - since the Red Cross switched from pricking the ear to pricking the finger for it iron test - my iron is too low. Always near the border, but too low.

If I was planning ahead I'd try and beef, er, iron it up, but I usually don't plan days in advance for it. Sigh.

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There's some tomatoes Chemically engineered - They come out square to fit in boxes.

There's some people chemically engineered -
They come out square
to fit in boxes. -Dan Bern


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Jenna D.
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Awesome news - I can donate blood again! A while back they called me to remind me about an upcoming clinic and I mentioned the 'indefinite deferral' because of the CJD risk I'd apparently picked up from being in England for eight months. The caller transferred me to a nurse who said that they had actually been reviewing their policies and that they were changing the CJD risk guidelines, limiting it to people who spent more than 3 months in the UK between 1980 and 1997. Sure enough, a week later it was officially announced.

I was stoked, and can't wait for the next clinic to come around.


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