17 September 2011

The Gift of Life

One of my goals in life was to be able to donate blood for the sake of others; with Anorexia that’s not possible because of decreased levels, malnutrition, dehydration, etc. As a way to celebrate my healthy body, I decided to donate my own blood at the blood drive at college; I NO longer have to be stabbed multiple times due to severe dehydration & shrunken veins!!! Recovery is BEAUTIFUL!!!
On Tuesday after college I headed over to the Campus Center where Lifeshare had around ten beds set up in front of the cafeteria- right in the OPEN!!!(intimidating!) While waiting for my turn in line to have my iron levels tested, I was reminded of the first time I’d ever given blood; it was NOT out of excitement but obligation. The first time I entered the Red Cross building, I was “shaking like a leaf”; I’d never had blood taken prior. I sat in the private testing room at 16 years old, holding in all anxiety and other foreign emotions; I tried to act like nothing fazed me. My mom as well as the phlebotomist tried to tell me not to watch, but I of course didn’t listen; well, to my horror, after watching her squeeze my blood into a tiny tube, I started getting sweaty, lightheaded, blurry eyed, white as snow; I could hear people talking to me but couldn’t see a thing & all of a sudden I lost consciousness. To my horror & embarrassment I was wheeled out of the room into the PUBLIC after a stupid finger prick; I was HORRIFIED & beyond humbled & sent home.
Several days later it was time for attempt #2; this time I didn’t look! This needle was “slightly” bigger than the one used for finger-pricking! Lol Well, all went “well”- giving blood isn’t exactly “fun” but it IS possible; I got up quickly & tried to get OUT of there & ran down the steps & to the car with my mom freaking out behind me- I don’t know why but I love taking chances & don’t exactly always follow the rules! ;) Normally to donate the second pint a minimum of 56 day wait is required; for me that was not possible due to the rapidly approaching surgery date. A week after my first pint donation, I was back in the chair for my second pint; I now know why the wait requirement is so long- giving that much blood in such a short amount of time takes a toll on the body; God once again got me through it! Once it was over, the short countdown to my surgery- the day that forever changed my life- rapidly approached.
Well, three years later I am a changed person; life is truly a gift and not my own. I am alive by God’s grace, so I thought it only right to follow HIS calling; I do not LIKE the  process of giving blood, however I am reminded that this life is not my own and I only have one life here on earth. Here are some statistics by the American Red Cross on the lack of blood donations; I want to save lives & hope you do the same! For me it’s a motivation to stay healthy- I’m NOT about to lose sight of this BEAUTIFUL life!!
  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. (2006).
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
  • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
  • Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

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