Seven more pints to a gallon
I did it! I donated blood for the first time today! What an experience!
I read last week that the New England Region was holding their regular blood drive in Brattleboro, VT, so I made sure to mark it on my calendar.
Using the Tips for a Good Donation Experience, I had a filling breakfast of eggs and toast and stayed extra hydrated (which also made my veins nice and plump!). I had my partner, Aaron, who I actually met during a Red Cross hurricane relief assignment – that will have to wait for another time – join me in the new experience and for loving support. We signed in and waited some time. During our wait, we met this older gentlemen who was about to donate his 50th pint! How exciting!
Did you know that you get a Red Cross pin for every gallon you donate? (that’s 8 pints) I did the standard history and informational sign in. I was so excited, but then I started to get nervous once I got into the drawing seat. The Red Cross staff really made me feel comfortable identifying the best arm to draw from and always checking to see if I was feeling okay. After a while, I could see my blood fill into the bag, it was crazy. Afterwards, we were walked to the canteen for tuna salad sandwiches and apple juice — yum! I can’t say that the experience was painless; however, even with a couple minutes of discomfort, I knew that my little pint could save three lives. That made it even more of a fantastic experience.
I have seven more visits until I can make it to a gallon!
Anna Gail Caunca, Vermont