The beginning of August 2011 was a week of many firsts for me. I took my first plane trip. I went to San Diego for the first time. I ate sushi, took a pedicab ride, and attended my first BlogHer conference. Each experience was incredible, invigorating and inspiring. Since I knew that I was going to fly for the first time I decided that I needed to do another first. I was going to give blood. It was something I have always wanted to do, but either didn't have the time or couldn't because I didn't qualify.
Years ago when I had tried to give blood I found out that you could not give blood during the same year you received a tattoo. That year happened to be the year I got my third piece of body art. Since I hadn't recently had any tat work done, wasn't on medication, and didn't have any health concerns, I decided that giving my first blood donation in the place I would experience many other firsts was fitting. It was very easy to sign up for an appointment online prior to going on the trip. I did it this way because I was worried if I didn't schedule it I would miss something going on at the conference.
My appointment with the San Diego Mobile Blood Bank parked outside of the conference center was at 12:40pm, just after lunch. It took about 10 minutes to go over the paper work and the 5 minutes to get an anemia test and blood pressure test. The nurse on staff who did the tests was very proud of how calm I was. She was surprised my blood pressure wasn't higher. I told her that I was shocked it was so good because my hands were clammy and I was nervous. She assured me there was nothing to be nervous about. I then went to wait for my turn to give a whole blood donation to the San Diego Blood Bank.
Another nurse got me all set up and explained the entire procedure so I would understand it. The really cool thing about the blood mobile was the cushy seats you get to relax in while your blood is being drawn. I was able to put my feet up and relax with reading material. I had the perfect reading material also. I had just finished meeting up with Jeremy from Soles4Souls who had given me a folder with information about the organization. It was perfect reading material for my first blood donation.
Fifteen minutes, a yellow bandage, a snack and a drink later I was on my way back through the conference proudly sporting my “Be Nice to Me, I Gave Blood” sticker. Going all the way to San Diego to give my first blood donation was fitting, but I won't be waiting for another trip like BlogHer to donate again.
If you haven't given blood yet, please keep in mind that your blood donation can save someone's life. It is one of the most important selfless acts you can do. Find a local blood bank and make a donation.
More by Linda:
Brazil’s “Zero Hunger” Program Offers Hope for the War on Poverty Worldwide
Child Poverty: America's Rising Crisis
Soles4Souls: Over 300 Million Children are Without Shoes
World Humanitarian Day: Celebrating the Men and Women Making a Difference
Yum! Brands, Inc. Fights Hunger in Africa with $1M