The Blood Bank of Hawai’i held its annual blood drive at the Kamehameha Schools this past week. Here I am laying on a cot in the ‘Akahi Student Center a few moments after donating blood. This was my first time ever. I was highly “encouraged” to donate by my dear friend Suzanne who works for the blood bank. (I had the impression that she was gonna take my blood, either by force or free will.) Here’s what happened….
I started to hydrate from the day before. This was also an excuse to eat more steak and kalbi. I was ready to give blood! I went to ‘Akahi and filled out a bunch of paper work. I also ate a Haole Brownie for good measure. They finally called my name. There were about four other high school students who were already in the room giving blood. The nurse gave me a “squishy ball” to hold and started to draw my blood. Everything was going great…. at first….
I guess the tube wasn’t secured enough, because the weight of it started to pull down. I felt the sting of the needle wiggling inside my vein. I didn’t say a word, because I didn’t want the students to think I was a wimp. The nurse noticed the blood on my arm and quickly called for assistance. A team of a doctor and three nurses quickly arrived (not to help, but to shield me from view.) They pulled the needle out and applied pressure. I bravely responded, “You can try again on my other arm.” The nurse informed me that these blood bags automatically draw a pint of blood when attached. Because they already drew a half-pint, they were not allowed to try again. I was done….
When Susan Boyle was asked how she felt after her Britain’s Got Talent performance, she replied, “Bloody fantastic.” Those are not quite the words that I would use to describe my experience. So here is the big question. Would I ever do this again? Absolutely yes. Donating one pint of blood can help save three lives. What a small price to pay for doing good and helping people. I encourage all of my friends to do the same. And the kalbi’s on me….