I saved three lives today. What did you do?
That’s right. 3 lives, saved, because of me. I don’t know who I saved. I don’t know what was wrong with them. I don’t even know when they will be saved. But I do know that because of me, three people will be able to live longer. How do I know this? Because today, for the first time, I donated blood.
I blame it on watching far too much M*A*S*H DVD’s. I like that show, and having received a few DVD’s for Christmas, decided to watch as many episodes as I could – which was all the ones I have. One almost constant theme in the episodes is blood. There’s too much of it. There’s not enough of it. A truck full of plasma arrives and stops Hawkeye and Trapper’s trip to Seoul.
Thankfully, these days, we’ve dealt (mostly) with the problem of too much blood – which were the boys getting shot at in the Korean War. However, there is always a shortage of blood, and the Red Cross is always looking for new donors.
I arrived at the centre, filled out the questionnaire, and waited my turn. They weighed me (which reminded myself that I need to get onto losing weight), and then took me into interview. After a few questions about my medical background, they took my blood pressure, and a thumb prick to test my blood haemoglobin levels – as a quick check of whether I was iron deficient or not. Then through to the area to give blood.
I had felt that giving blood wouldn’t be too bad, as I had gotten used to having needles stuck in me when I spent a week in hospital after my appendix burst. However, I discovered that there’s a difference between having a vial of blood taken for testing, which takes all of 30 seconds, and having a needle in your arm for 10 minutes. It didn’t feel too bad, and it wouldn’t stop me going again, but it was slightly uncomfortable, and the area around and above the puncture point did feel almost itchy. After I had filled the bag, the nurses grabbed me a juice, and made sure that I was feeling fine before moving me over to the refresher area to have another juice (wasn’t allowed a hot drink on my first time), and some bikkies, then off home.
It’s incredible to think who might get my blood. You never know what will be done with it, and when you receive it, you can’t go and thank the person that donated that blood. But by donating blood, I’m helping to give someone the chance to do more with their life. If you want to donate blood, head to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website, and you can find out more, sign up there, and have them call you to arrange an appointment.
Heal me, O lord, and I will be healed. Save me and I will be saved. For You are my praise.