Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blood Donation

Tomorrow morning I am donating blood.  No. Big. Deal.  Right?  Wrong.

A few months ago, I was going to donate blood but I ended up in Marquette Michigan for a co-worker and wasn't able to donate.  Tomorrow I will donate. 

I'm not sure how I feel about it.  A little sick to my stomach actually.  A little fearful.  A little apprehension. 

When I was in high school, we had a blood drive.  I donated blood.  I do not do well with needles.  I don't like the sight of blood or needles for that matter, but I don't pass out or hyperventilate.  I've actually done rather well with all the blood work that I have done over the past few years for a variety of tests.  I just have to breathe, a lot, and look away and think of flying unicorns and rainbows.  Well not exactly, but you get my point.

Why am I so squeamish about donating you ask?  Back to high school...I gave blood.  I felt dizzy and nauseous.  I made my way to the table and sat and ate chocolate chip cookies and sipped juice.  I was starting to feel a little better, but more importantly I was feeling inadequate and dumb and girly in front of my peers.  I didn't want to be that girl. I don't know exactly what that girl was or who she was, I just know that I didn't want to be made fun of for not handling donating blood.  I got up from the table to leave the library and head back to class or somewhere, anywhere.  I felt dizzy again.  I started to walk back to the table and realized I wasn't going to make it.  I collapsed, after falling into a free standing paper back rack and knocking it over. 

The Red Cross lady yelled at me.  All I remember to this day, some 18+ years later, is a woman yelling at me that "WE DON'T NEED OR WANT YOUR BLOOD!  DON'T EVER DONATE AGAIN!" 

I still hear her like it was yesterday.  I still have fear that I'm not good enough, that I'm not strong enough that my blood isn't needed, that I'm not needed.  I know that there is a shortage of blood.  I know that I have some I can donate.  I know that I'm not anemic.  There is no reason that I can't give blood. 

But in the back of my mind, I hear that woman.  I feel the emotions and I get the tingly sensations up my arms and the pit in my stomach as I recall and as I type this.  And for 18 years I have let that woman keep me from donating.  For 18 years I have allowed someone to tell me NO.  No more.  Not again. 

Tomorrow I will try to bury the skeleton in my closet.  Tomorrow I will put it to rest and know that I can do this.  That I can and will donate blood. 

And if not...I will lower my head once again and try again in 18 more years!

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