Bloody Nightmare

May 22, 2008
By Kathryn Wiley, Matthews, NC

Imagine sitting at a stoplight. The light turns green. You push on the accelerator. BAM. Another car crashes into you. Glass flies everywhere. Blood streams from your body. An ambulance quickly rushes you to a hospital. Upon arriving, the nurse hooks you up to a blood transfusion. This blood transfusion saves your life. That example seems a bit extreme but people need blood. In fact, every two seconds, a person needs blood. It lies at your discretion whether or not to donate blood.
I recently decided to give blood. This decision not only saved a life but it helped me conquer my fear of needles. Ever since I was little, I hated needles. They scared the living daylights out of me. I screamed bloody murder every single time I visited the doctor’s office. For there, the nurse always stabbed me with a shot or prick.
Therefore, when I turned sixteen, I asked a friend to hold me accountable to donate blood the next year. So after I turned seventeen and saw the sign for the Red Cross in the halls, I signed up. I anxiously awaited the needle part for days. The morning of I was a nervous wreck. I timidly walked into the gym. I saw people in chairs with blood filled bags. I saw women and men dressed in solid white. I signed my name in, took my number, and sat there almost in tears. The people around me calmed my fears slightly.
Then the nurses called the preceding numbers in what seemed like hours. Then, they called my number. Though scared, I walked over to the nurse. I handed her my license and she filled out forms. I answered questions about anything that possibly contaminated my blood. Sex. Travel. Sickness. Then the nurse sterilized my finger and pricked it. I dreaded that moment but in that moment I barely felt a pinch. She found my blood to have enough iron and directed me to the waiting station.
There, they called me up and I sat in the chair. They took my pulse, brushed this mustard color mixture on my skin, and found a vein. With a little pinch, the needle resided in my blood stream. I moved a rod in my hand for ten minutes. Then the stressful supposed nightmare ended. I rested for a few minutes and then joined the rest of the heroes at the recovery table. There we ate crackers and drank soda. After an hour or so we all decided to return to school.

The process of donating blood scares some. It takes determination, courage, and love of humanity to give blood. This selfless act saves lives. Though stressful, I love the fact that I conquered my fear and most of all that I gave someone a chance at life.
I highly recommend donating blood but I need to give a few pointers. First, ensure that you weigh over a hundred and ten pounds. Second, ensure that you drink plenty of water the day before the process. Third, eat balanced meals before donating. Forth, prepare yourself for the side effects of fainting, dizziness, vomiting, and bruising.
Call the local Red Cross. Book an appointment. Save a life.

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