I know I should say that I like donating blood because it’s a generous thing to do and it saves lives, but honestly I just do it for the free cookies and movie tickets.
The first time I donated blood was several years ago- 2011, I think? Prior to then, it's something I had always wanted to do, but despite how ridiculously easy it is to donate blood, I kept putting it off. Even after my first donation, I didn't donate again until 2014, and still only did three donations total that year. I had no excuse really- the center kept calling me to try and set up appointments, and they (claim they) do need it so what was I waiting for? My school even had a Blood Mobile on the campus that I passed literally every day it was out. It was silly for me to keep putting it off. So, sometime late last year, I arbitrarily vowed that I'd do it more often- call it my new year's resolution if you will. Part of this was inspried by a gift the center sent me- a calendar with my donation days starred on it. I felt bad, and a little embarressed, that they gave this thing despite only having three appointments on it. So after looking at it a few weeks ago, I decided that this is something I would make an effort to do more often.
So yeah, that’s what I did today. I donated blood, and then ate free cookies and accumulated some points to spend on free movie tickets. Specifically I donated platelets, which means that a machine takes blood out me, spins it around to separate platelets from other blood components, then pumps those components back into me. (At least that’s what they tell me they’re doing- I just sort of have to trust them). For those who haven’t done this, it takes a while. The first time I donated platelets it took about 75 minutes. This time, though, it took 119. Fortunately the blood center I go to is well stocked and they provided me with a tablet, with Netflix, to watch movies. It sucks having to watch movies on a six inch screen, but it’s a lot better than staring at a wall for two hours. The film I watched was Fantasia, which I got ten minutes short of finishing. I probably shouldn’t have bothered- Fantasia is one of those films that’s really hard to enjoy when you can’t give it your full concentration (and can’t hear the music that well), and it’s really hard to concentrate when you have a needle stuck in your arm and you have to squeeze a ball the whole time and your body is constantly changing temperature and your mouth and lips keep vibrating. It didn’t help that this time around was actually a little painful, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because this is the first time they’ve taken blood from my right arm? I dunno.
Because of how quickly the body generates platelets, one could potentially schedule one of these visits every two weeks (at least, two weeks is the date they gave me to come back). While this isn’t something I want to do every two weeks (which probably isn’t good for the body anyway), I’d like to make this a once a month thing. Because giving blood saves lives, and it’s a good thing to do.
Okay, fine, it’s because I like free cookies. Don’t judge me.