30 Before 30: First-Time Blood Donor

So this happened.

So this happened.

On Friday, I crossed another thing off the old 30 Before 30 list AND got the warm, tingly feeling that comes with doing a good deed. 

Or perhaps the warm, tingly feeling was a direct result of being drained of blood.

I’ve wanted to donate blood for much of my adult life, but I never seemed to get around to it, even when I was chauffeuring my hubby to his appointments to donate. I always joked that they wouldn’t let me donate blood because of my sordid past, but it turns out that’s not so. It’s just that I’m a big, fat chicken.

Why? I’m not afraid of needles. I have no problem watching nurses take my blood. It doesn’t fizz me in the slightest. My reluctance – my downright chickenness – must have something to do with the horror stories I’ve heard over the years. Like the time my dad passed out after giving blood. Like the time my sister nearly passed out while giving blood. And, to hear Ryan tell it, they use a gigantic needle that will hurt like a mother.

Despite what everyone led me to believe, donating blood wasn’t so bad. The staff there were all super helpful and nice, and as a first-time donor, they treated me like a minor celebrity (I got a sticker! And a pin!) The process was straightforward (even the questionnaire about my sordid past). And the needle? Well, the needle hurt, but only for a minute.

And as an added bonus, a lovely lady came up to me as I was donating and put an envelope in my hand. She said, “A family was in here this morning to donate blood together, and they asked me to give these out as a random act of kindness.”

It's surprisingly hard to take a picture when you're donating blood.

It’s surprisingly hard to take a picture when you’re donating blood.

In the envelope was a card thanking me for my donation and a Tim Horton’s gift card. To that point, I had been having a good experience, but that lovely gesture just made my whole day.

Overall, donating blood was a great experience, one that I hope to have again when I’m eligible to donate in March. This leads me to wonder: what other things have I been putting off because they’re much scarier in my mind than in actual fact?

Too many things, I bet. That’s the beauty of facing your fears. You begin to see just how much you’re capable of.

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