He was from our class. That was all I knew about him. He was searching for a blood donor. I knew my blood group matched but I had doubts. I had never donated before. I was weaker than a lot others around. Why did they not donate? What will my parents think about this? What if something wrong happens? I could create excuses. I could say look for someone else and keep me as the last options. That’s we what many of us go through when faced with donating blood. We may think donating blood as noble act. But when it comes to ourselves, we tend to pull ourselves away. I will say, this is our natural reaction.
I had a parallel thought at the same. He was a classmate going through the same tough routine and schedule as the rest of us. And now that he was in problem, he would naturally be looking to his family, friends and class for help. If I did not help him and make him look for other options, to what avail was my existence? And, I should have some solid reason to deny. I had none. Whatever I had read or heard said nothing bad about donating blood. And internally I wanted to provide some relief to my classmate right from the moment. There is a right time for everything. There is time to take decisions on your own. I have no words to define what courage is but that is what we need at times. The next thing I asked him was when will I be leaving with him to the hospital? Do you think I will ever be able forget the sigh of relief and the smile on the face?
The donation itself, depending upon the staff there, is normally an excellent experience. The medical staff tries best to make you feel normal. They may crack a joke with you at times. The worst possible part, if you want to explore for the heck of it, may be when they inject the needle into your arm. Do you really think it is something deadly? How many injections you have on your count? Perhaps, you never counted. You just lie there for few minutes while they arrange juice for you. That’s a tradition around us even in blood banks; they have drinks to offer you. No matter how much you resist, they won’t let skip that part of the exercise.
I have been through this exercise around half a dozen times now. By the way, I have never felt any weakness ever after a donation. . The only precaution to take is not to rush up when you are done. You should wait for a 5-10 minutes so that blood circulation is normal. Otherwise you may feel a little dizzy, nothing to be afraid of by the way. At the end, you are amongst the happy ones. You definitely relish those moments of real satisfaction. Just to put it for you, I have basically been a lazy freak with no regular exercise or play in my routine. My friends, once, timid like me have gone similar experiences. Often it started when someone real close to us was in dire need of blood. But gradually we learn it is a little sacrifice worth it. What can be better service than saving a life at the cost of almost nothing? No fears now.
It is normally a half-hour exercise overall once you enter the hospital and are ready to leave. Sometimes, according to specific scenario, you may have to wait. At times, they may decide not to bleed you. Once I was in Mew hospital and it the process took around 3 hours. Government hospitals are overcrowded here, you know. What a surprise at the end, they handed me the bag of my own warm blood so that I could deliver it to the patient. OMG..!!! I held my (one pint) warm and fresh blood in my own hands and made sure it was injected to the patient within 30 minutes of donations. Once a school headmaster took me all the way from hostel to hospital on his bike and shared with me how he had been struggling to save life of his son for whole last year.
Well friends, on a lighter note, when you know there will be refreshments at end of match, you are definitely tempted to play. Now that I assure you of drinks at the end, can I hope you will be urged, just a little may be, for this noble cause?