My Own Self-flagellation!

I love donating blood. It hurts but I endure it by putting myself in a trance. I feel very rejuvenated after donating because I understand that the recipients are in dire need.

I started donating blood several years ago. I was depressed after being dumped by a girl-friend. I felt hopelessly alone. The advertizement of the blood donor clinic instantly gave me a new purpose in life. I recognized that I was a healthy young male and that I had a lot of reasons to be happy. So, I made my first donation.

Later that month, I received a welcome letter from the blood donor clinic and it told me my blood type. It also told me that I lacked certain anti-bodies against a particularly common viral infection. Thus, my blood could be used to infuse newborn children. For the next year, each one of my donations went to four different children. At the time of my depression, I felt like I would end up being a loner for the rest of my life. I felt like I would never have any children of my own. Knowing that newborn children were getting my blood helped me feel better.

However, eventually I was taken off of the neo-natal list of donors. They never gave me an explanation but the nurses said that I probably caught the flu virus. I still continued to donate proudly but started to learn more about donation. I noticed that some donors got to sit at the back in larger comfortable recliners. I asked what they were doing and learned that they were donating platelets.

The platelet donations usually went to sick people in the most desparate situations. The recipients are usually close do death. The difference with donating platelets is that the donation takes longer and it is more gruelling. A small amount of blood is drawn, the platelets are filtered out and the blood is returned back into the same vein. It resembles being hooked up to renal dialysis for about two hours. Nowadays, the technology for filtering has advanced so that the donor does not have to be hooked up for as long but my average donation time is usually an hour and a half.

My first few attempts at donating platelets were scary and painful. My veins are not thick so the returning solution leaked into my flesh. That hurt and I was left with ugly bruises for the next few days. This happened to me at least three times. Then, one nurse suggested trying a side vein and that seemed to flow fine. For the average person, the side veins are the least reliable but for me it happens to be the opposite.

I continue to donate every two weeks on average and I enjoy it.
AnarChristian AnarChristian
36-40, M
6 Responses Jul 13, 2010

Thanks for posting this. I am a regular platelet donor too. It's a shame that people are afraid to donate blood because of the needles. It's a little scary but not painful and you are helping others at no cost to yourself other than a little time.

The platelets often go to people with cancer. <br />
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Before my father died of cancer, he had a short stay in palliative care. One day I told him that I would be late the following day for my regular visit. He wanted to know why and I told him that I was donating blood. He asked why I did that. I told him to help people like you who have cancer. You should have seen the stunned look on his face. <br />
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Dad, <br />
I love you!

thanks Anar! you taught me something I didn't know. I just started donating last year when I realized that my weight had increased to the point I could. I had never heard of platelet donation. Thanks...next time I go to the Red Cross Donation center I'll ask after it.

thanks Anar! you taught me something I didn't know. I just started donating last year when I realized that my weight had increased to the point I could. I had never heard of platelet donation. Thanks...next time I go to the Red Cross Donation center I'll ask after it.

Blood can be donated every 2 months and platelets every 2 weeks. To go through a long grueling process voluntarily is pretty amazing. Bravo :)

Good for you, AC! You are giving the gift of life. Where I am you can only donate every two months and I've never heard of the platelets donation. Bravo a vous-c'est un cadeau merveilleux que vous faites a chaque fois que vous donnez du sang!!!