Today, Facebook, Twitter, and social media in general went red in support of marriage equality.
Today also happened to be the day of a blood drive I somehow became in charge of at the residence hall I work at.
It’s reeeeally odd that I would organize a blood drive, as a) I get very, VERY squeamish with blood and b) I haven’t donated blood in 6 years, as the first time I donated blood I became very VERY faint and almost passed out. I also have since been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, which means I don’t always have extra blood to hand out!
The blood drive was from 5-11pm, and the NY Blood Center arrived at 2:30 to set up. It’s been a longggg day of work. I ordered some delivery for dinner, ate a hearty meal, and decided to be guilted into trying to donate, even though I was very apprehensive about it.
I filled out the paperwork, checked my boxes, and had my various levels of everything tested.
Much to my surprise, I was the ideal candidate for blood donation.
I anxiously sat and waited to donate, feeling both happy and anxious that I was eligible to donate.
Then the needle came.
That thing was HUGE.
Yet, it didn’t bother me.
However, as soon as the machine turned on and it started sucking the blood out of me à la robotic Edward Cullen, I got dizzy, light-headed, apparently even paler than I normally am, and the room started to feel very, very hot.
Three nurses came running to me, telling me they were going to lay me flat and elevate my legs. Then I said, “WAIT. I’m in a skirt. This isn’t going to work.” An awkward man gave me a blanket so I could be more comfy… to which I started to make a joke about the fact that a paper blanket couldn’t be comfy, until I realized he was giving it to me so my lady parts and legs could fly into the air.
I was also given an icepack for under my neck. It helped, a lot.
It takes real talent to be the organizer of a blood drive AND be That Girl who gets faint, dizzy, and almost passes out when her donation begins.
All in all, the blood drive went really well. While we didn’t meet our goal of 40 units, we had a pretty big turn out for a blood drive on the same night as a huge exam for most of the building!
It felt really good to give back (once I got past the dizzy, overheated feelings) through blood donation. While it upsets me that my gay guy friends cannot donate, it makes me really happy that so many residents came out to donate their “red.”
I definitely encourage all of you to donate and make a difference. You never know whose life you’re going to save.
For more information, please visit NYBloodCenter.org.