I am 24-years-old and am ashamed to say that I have never given blood. I have never donated simply because I am afraid. I have heard horror stories of people fainting afterwards and being light-headed. Plus, I just don’t like blood. However, I admire people that donate blood on a regular basis and decided that I wanted to join their ranks.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute frequents different locations in Durant in the Bloodmobile, taking donations from generous donors. Walk-ins are accepted and appointments can be made. On Monday, the bus was parked in front of First Texoma National Bank on Main Street in Durant. When I stepped aboard the Bloodmobile, I was nervous, but was greeted politely and asked for a photo ID. As I sat there waiting for my turn, I was amazed at the number of people coming in to donate blood. As one gentleman that was waiting with me said, “Giving blood is something selfless and easy you can do. It doesn’t cost money and it only takes a little time out of your day.”
After waiting for a couple moments, I was taken to a room where I answered more questions and my blood pressure was measured. My finger was pricked to test my iron levels. I was all ready to go until the nurse getting my information said, “I’m sorry. Your iron is too low to donate blood today.” She recommended I cut down on drinking tea and add more leafy green vegetables to my diet. Being a former vegetarian in my teenage years, I had a brief flashback of my ex-military father looking at me sternly, saying, “Brittany, you need to eat more meat!”
Less than 38% of the United States population is eligible to give blood and today, I was not one of them. While watching others give blood, however, I realized there was nothing to be afraid of. Some donors had stoic looks on their faces while others laughed and chatted with nurses. Giving a blood can help save someone’s life and I think a little pain is well worth it.
I decided that giving blood isn’t scary at all and I will stock my refrigerator with spinach and steak and take my vitamins to make sure I am prepared for the next blood drive. Giving blood is really an easy thing to do to show that you care. After all, you never know when you or your family will need blood.
For more information, or to find a blood drive near you, visit http://yourbloodinstitute.org.