One pint at a time

Staff managing editor describes experience with school blood drive


Chloe Presley-Gundaker

The first blood drive of the school year was held on Oct. 1

Madison Hodges and I had signed up for the blood drive weeks before this, each eager to help donate to a greater cause.

It wasn’t until this moment that I started to second guess myself.

Will the needle hurt?

Am I going to pass out?

Will I even be able to donate?

These questions, along with many others swirl through my head as I walk down to the auditorium to give a pint of blood, in hopes of saving up to three people’s lives.

After signing daunting papers that tell you all of the horrific side effects you may experience by doing this, I sit outside the auditorium for another 20 minutes before my name is finally called out.

I walk back into a small room to which I come to realize is where I will be getting my iron levels tested. The swirling questions return.

I’m a vegetarian, will my iron levels be high enough?

What if I’m at the very minimum and I pass out because of it?

The man testing my iron levels tells me they must be at a 38 to 59 in order to donate. He pricks my finger, and after what felt like days of waiting, he tells me they are at a 45.

I let out a deep sigh, not even realizing I was holding my breath.

Once everything else was checked, I walk out to a truck, where I am met with three other high schoolers sitting in blood giving recliners. I sit down in one of these intimidating contraptions, and somewhat patiently wait for someone to come and guzzle the blood out of me.

A lady then walks up to me and lets me know that if I am too nervous, she won’t let me donate. I assure her that despite the sweat I seem to have built up, I want to continue on with the process.

A few minutes later, she comes up to me with what looks like one of those plastic straws from the cafeteria, except made of metal. I later come to find out that this is the needle that will be going into my arm.

After the seemingly humongous needle is put in my veins, and to my surprise did not hurt that much, I sit and wait for the process to be over. I am unable to describe the next 20 minutes of me squeezing a stress ball every five seconds to keep me from passing out, and watching the blood getting sucked out of me.

When it is all said and done, I sit for another 10 minutes before they finally tell me that it is okay to go back to class.

Despite feeling slightly winded when walking between each class, I know that what I did was helping others in need, and I couldn’t be happier to have done it.

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