After a four-month wait, I was finally allowed to donate blood again at the Children's Hospital. I still think it's crazy that women have to wait 4 months, while men can donate after 3 months but rules are rules. Anyway, after lunch on Good Friday (great day to donate and reflect on the blood Jesus shed for us!), Shona and I headed to the blood bank to donate. Last time we enjoyed Christmas music, this time we enjoyed an Independence song serenade by yours truly: Omar.
I have to say, the whole process is quite amusing every time we donate. My Hb was 12.3 g/dl this time I believe, which is not bad considering I hardly eat meat these days. And I lost 3 kilograms since the last time I donated. I won’t complain about that either. So, Hemoglobin fine, weight fine, ready to donate. And that’s when my least favorite part comes in- the big big needle needs to be inserted into my arm. Ouch. And unfortunately this time, shortly after the needle was in place, the blood stopped flowing. After some slightly painful maneuvering, the blood still didn’t want to come out and so we decided to give it another go. This meant a second needle stick. Fortunately this time, the blood flowed quickly into the collection bag. And there was a fresh bag of blood, waiting to help one or more women or children.
I love the thought of helping others in such a tangible way. And what does it cost me? A little time and a little blood. Oh, and two needle sticks this time. I would again encourage everyone in Freetown to come and donate blood at the Children’s Hospital; every 3-4 months please. And really, if you come, I’ll buy you a coke!