While I know giving blood is very necessary, many years ago I had several bad experiences while having blood taken at the hospital (NOT related to donating blood). A nurse was unable to get my vein and continued to poke and prod aggressively. After the 4th try I asked her to stop because it was really hurting. She told me to stop being a baby. Sadly, because the blood draw was necessary I had to endure.. While I never again had a nurse speak to me like that, I did unfortunately have several other blood taking experiences where the nurses were unable to get the vein. Consequently I developed a large aversion to needles.

So when I received a postcard from the American Redcross several weeks ago informing me there was going to be a blood drive in the Valley on July 25th (today), I felt torn on what to do. I know the importance of giving blood and how it saves lives. The first thing I did was to check the ARC’s New England website and see what the supply for my type of blood was (O+). The levels were “critically” low so I decided to go and do the best I could.

I am happy to report that I was able to successfully give a full bag. (The last time I tried to donate there was an issue with the vein and sadly the blood stopped flowing and there weren’t able to get enough and the bag had to be thrown away). I am very proud of myself for setting aside my fear of needles to help save a life. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do because I started to feel quite nauseous 1/2 way in. I actually still don’t feel the best 3 hours later. In hindsight I should have planned better; perhaps had a better dinner last night and a good hearty breakfast this morning..

The bottom line, it is possible to donate blood even if you have a fear of needles. A good nurse and a good friend makes it even easier! (I had at least one of those this time.. Thanks Carey!)


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