Red Cross Bus

Blood Donation Sign

My view while donating blood

Pint of my Blood!

Last weekend the Silicon Valley Roller Girls (the roller derby league that I coach and skate for) teamed up with the Red Cross to do a blood drive. The Red Cross parked their blood donation bus in the parking lot of San Jose Skate (our practice/bouting venue). This was going to be the first time that I have donated blood and I wasn’t too sure what to expect.

The whole process was pretty easy here is how it went down.
1. A couple of weeks before our blood drive, I signed up for an appointment to donate blood through the Red Cross’s web site.

2. On blood drive day I showed up to my appointment and met with a member of Red Cross to get the process of donating blood started.

3. They first had me read through a folder of information and questions. The folder was pretty much a FAQ of donating blood and also had the requirements to be able to donate blood.

4. Next they took me to a small room in the bus with a staff member where they took my blood pressure, ricked my finger for an iron test, and had me fill out my information and a questionnaire. After everything was confirmed that I was good to go, they then took me the middle of bus where they had tables to lay down on.

5. The staff member then started prepping my left arm and set up the station of the blood draw.

6. After everything was cleaned up and the station was set, they started trying to get a good vein for the draw. Apparently I have “rolly” veins and the staff member dug into my arm for a couple of minutes trying to get my vein to behave (which burned and hurt!!!!). It reminded me of this (start @ 0:09):

7. Left arm fail! Despite it really hurting and kindof freaking me out, I still wanted to donate blood. So we switched staff members , go set up, and got me hooked up to everything. It took about 10 minutes for an entire pint of blood to be drawn but I zoned out and listened to my ipod for most of it.

8. After getting unhooked from everything and cleaned up, I exited the bus and hung out with my fellow skaters. I was told to relax for about 15 minutes, sip on some juice, and eat a small snack.

Thoughts about this goal
Despite my blood donation fail with my left arm, I will probably donate blood again. Atleast I know that I have “rolly” veins and to request someone who is a pro at dealing with them.

Also, check out the blog posting about the blood drive on SVRG’s blog.

Why is this goal on my list?
When i was younger, I really hated getting blood drawn and the idea of donating blood really freaked me out. I was also ineligible because I been tattooed many times during my late teens to early 20’s. I haven’t been tattooed in almost 4 years, so I was ok to donate blood now (you only have to wait 12 month according to the Red Cross to donate blood). I really wanted to get over my fear of donating blood and I also felt that it was a really socially responsible thing.