My first blood donation experience
Even though I am very much interested in public service activities and works results of which can directly help or reflect in the daily lives of the poor and downtrodden, I haven’t ever had a chance to donate blood to anyone. It doesn’t mean that I have touched all other areas of public service. I was only talking about my attitude. I specifically mentioned about blood donation because last day (15 October, 2008), I got a chance to donate my blood. My blood group is O -ve which is considered to be a rare group. If I am not wrong, only 7% of the world’s entire population has this group.
Jasid is my colleague at Naico who works as the DBA (Database Administrator). His mother’s elder sister became sick and reason was kidney stone, which is a big issue. She was admitted to Lourde Hospital, Ernakulam and it was decided to do go for an operation to remove the stone. For that reason there was a requirement for blood, may be 2-3 bottles(packs). He checked with our colleagues and when he talked to me about this I told him that mine is the same group. So I decided to go and donate the blood, provided there are no concerns like under weight issues as I am underweight (I am 5′ 10″ and my ideal weight is between 65-75 Kg if I am not wrong). We were like rushing to the hospital. But we could not reach there before 8pm. Jasid and myself had a nice mango juice from there. Then straight away went to the hospital. I waited at the hospital entrance for him to come since he forgot to take his helmet from the shop from where we had the juice. Jasid’s cousin (Sajjad) was there outside the hospital – not sure if he was waiting for us – and he took us to the blood bank. Sad to say, the blood blank was closed when reached there. Yet Sajjad talked to one of duty nurses that he was told that the blood bank is to be open till 9pm. Then she called the blood bank and talked to them. Later we went to the blood bank again and a lab technician came to open the door.
Oro karyangal cheythu theerthu vannappozhekkum time vykiyirunnu, athumalla mazhayum peyyyunundayirunnu kurachu munpu vare. Ekadesham 7:30pm aakarayikkanum, njangal office il ninnirangi. Randu perkkum bike undayirunnu. Enganeyengilum speed il Hospitalil ethuka ennathaayirunnu ente duesham, because irangiyittu 2-3 thavana thirichu kayariyappo thanne Jasid inu ithu nadapadiyaakilla ennu thonniyennu thonnunnu. Athumalla, irangiyappo thanne vykiyittundu, 8 mani kazhinjal hospital close cheyyum ennaanu arivu.
The lab technician seemed to be a little serious – may be I misunderstood her expression. We all entered the blood bank leaving our foot wears outside. There was another door which was the entrance to the blood bank. Lot of chairs were there, but without anyone from outside there other than the employees or the lab technicians, let me say. I was asked to sit in a chair pointed by a technician and she went after giving me an application form to fill up. The form was like a questionnaire to fill out to know about the history of the treatments we have undergone in the past and about the health conditions… It took only a few minutes to fill out that. I purposely left our some questions like, “relationship with the patient- friend or relative” – because I was neither a friend of the patient nor a relative, but a relative’s friend 🙂 – and “would you like to be added to the group of blood donors of that hospital” – because the hospital was somewhat far away from my home – or so. There were some posters in the wall explaining about the importance of blood donation, specialities of people with each of the blood groups, like that it goes…
Within a few minutes, she came back with a syringe to take my blood in order to ensure that my blood group is O -ve. In a matter of a few minutes, she did that and told me that mine is the same. Her face was fresh and pleasant which might create a freshness within us as well. May be sort of a psychological impact of her behavior. 🙂 As usual, I came up with few questions and concerns regarding blood donation. In fact, this is the first time I have set out for blood donation and what I know is the information I got from others, so may not be correct.
All these time, Jasid and Sajjad were waiting outside as it was not permitted for people to enter the blood bank other than the blood donors. They seemed to be busy discussing things…
Later, I was asked to enter into a room where all the major blood donation activities take place. I felt like it is the room of a dentist, with that type of chairs used at dental hospitals. Anyway I felt comfortable when I entered that room.
I had already started asking questions to that lab technician who came to attend me. She only gave me the application form to fill up and later came with a syringe to confirm my blood group. I hope I already told you that she was a young lady who looked pleasant and seemed to possess good spirits. So it is obvious that a talkative person like me (I think so) might automatically initiate a conversation with her. Her name was Melva (not sure if the spelling is correct). She briefed to me about her. She hails from Kothamangalam and had done B.Sc. MLT. She had a quite beautiful smile on her face and looked really nice when she smiled.
In a matter of a few minutes, she came to me with an empty blood packet (the plastic bag in which they collect and store the blood) along with a syringe. The size of the syringe really made me a little nervous because the needle was not of the normal size. 🙂 She made the environment ready for taking my blood out of my body. Later found out the right nerve to pierce the needle in to it. Blood started flowing our of my body and I think I could feel that. I was given a rubber ball with which I was asked to play in the right palm may be to keep the blood flowing or for something else. The packet started getting filled up with blood. It took between around 15-30 minutes to fill the packet and the needle was removed from my body. I was talking to Melva all the time so that I may not feel anything because of the blood flow out of my body. This was the first time I was donating blood. In between, she asked if I am feeling anything during this time, but Alhamdulillah, I was quite okay. As I said, everything was over in 15-30 minutes. I was asked to take rest for sometime and so I sat on the same seat.
After a few minutes, I was given with a packaged cool drink (if I remember correctly, it was Mango Fruity) and I had it. I didn’t forget to check with her to see if they can give the same to those who came with me, waiting outside. The expected answer came from her. Keeping a smile on her face she replied that it is only for the donors and not for those come with them. 🙂 I was given permission to leave the blood bank in another few minutes and I felt satisfied with this blood donation experience. I didn’t forget to ask her name again may be to make sure that I remember that to write about her somewhere. I thanked her wholeheartedly may be because I felt very comfortable with the way she treated me. May be they have had the training on how to deal with patients coming to the lab. Anyhow her behavior was good that I remember her face somewhat clearly even now (today it is 14 November and I am trying to finish this post).
After reaching the room in which Jasid’s aunty was, I told him the details I got about her from her (what is mentioned in the above paragraphs is what I know) and asked him to write down Melva’s name and other details in my pocket diary and he did so. It is really nice to recollect such experiences of our lives at a later time. We can think about these persons we met during this journey of life that might bring a comfort in our minds because there are people in this world whom we want to meet again.
When I was about to leave the blood bank, I was thinking like I should come back after 6 months or so in order to donate blood again because it was a wonderful experience for me. I expect only the pleasure of The Almighty for this if He considers my intent to be pure and sacred.
Jasid sent his cousin to the nearby hotel to bring some good food for me because taking 350 ml of blood from our body is not a silly thing because blood is the energy and oxygen carrier of our body, hence we may obviously feel tired. Jasid was keep asking me once in a while if I was feeling anything wrong. I kept telling him that I was feeling okay, because I was not feeling anything wrong. I had the food his cousin brought for me and a glass of Juice. Jasid’s mother and someone else was also there apart from his mother’s sister (she was the patient) and her son. After taking some rest, I left the hospital with Jasid in my bike’s back seat and his cousin driving Jasid’s bike.
I reached home safely in a matter of a few minutes and they both returned to the hospital. They met my father at my house as he was standing outside or came out hearing someone opening the gate or so. I went to bed without much delay as I was feeling a bit tired.
I may soon forget the face of that lab technician, but the first impression she created was really a good one that made me think like I should go for blood donation again and again if I get a chance. I should get involved in such social services oriented activities more and more because it teaches us lot of lessons. Basically I may be lazy, but I want to do a lot of things. Lets think about that later. Since I got tired by the time I reached home, I don’t want to say anything more… lets take rest. bye for now… I wish you a wonderful day! 🙂