We've all heard it (well us Canadian gyals have); the Blood Donors radio or TV ad with the sign off "it's in you to give." I have to admit every time I heard that commercial my response was "NO it's in me to live!" But around this time last year my dad decided it was time to bring me along with him to his appointment. I refused but was made to anyways.
I swear I thought my arm was going to separate from my body and rub away before I got there! I'm not afraid of needles but I'm not a huge fan either (but really who is?). So my dad told me to chill out and just do it. So I got there signed up with them (and got a donor card; which I'm actually really proud of now) and they give you a little binder to glance at which just gives you some overview of whats going on. Remember you are NOT trapped; if you change your mind at anytime, even if they are just about to prick you with the needle, you can stop and leave. They aren't going to force you to stay!
So once you check in they prick your finger to check your iron levels in your blood and they need it to be higher than 124 (not sure the measurement unit) and mine is always higher than that. If it's lower they will probably just tell you that you can't give blood today and to either eat more iron or check with your doctor to see if you are anemic.
You then fill out a questionnaire about where you may have lived and a bunch of other stuff. Then there are more personal questions that they take you into a room to ask and there they take your blood pressure (120/80 is the "good" number but it has been said that 115/75 is better--incase you're curious). --side note-- If you are interested in your everyday blood pressure there are at home machines which don't cost a lot or if you pop into a pharmacy or Wal Mart/Shoppers they have the machines where you either insert your forearm or upper arm.
Then after that little chitchat you are taken to the chair and they take your blood. The problem I have is that I have small veins and they always have a little difficulty finding the one they want to use but don't worry they don't just keep jabbing you lol they wait until they find what they want and then a little prick and you're donating!
Now an important note, your blood type. This is noted somewhere in your medical documents that you or your parents have and some are more common than others and some have more benefit. For example, I am O Negative which is labelled as "universal donor" because everyone in the world no matter what their blood type can receive O Negative blood in an emergency (or anytime for that matter). But I can only receive my own type.
So the reason my dad wants me to donate is because the Canadian Blood Services are always asking for my blood. It's especially good to donate before long weekends if that's how your appointments work out (you go every 2-3 months) because of the accidents that occur over that time. And also something that was pointed out to me and that I'm constantly reminded of is that your ONE TIME donation, can help up to EIGHT, I repeat, EIGHT (8) people. And I think that is enough to convince someone to take 30 minutes out of their day (or less) to do this.
It IS in your to GIVE; and to help others LIVE. So I hope that this has at least made you think about donating, even if you only do it once.
For you lovely Canadians here's the site & number you can contact for more information! http://www.bloodservices.ca/