“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
– Desmond Tutu
Everyday for the past three years, I’ve walked by the Canadian Blood Services building on my way to work, making a mental note to donate blood “next week.” Next week rolled into next month, next month into next year…and so on.
I couldn’t think of a better (and more terrifying) way to finish an otherwise mundane Tuesday morning. I’m a notorious wuss when it comes to needles; I avoid and delay blood tests and vaccinations like nobody’s business.
Upon arriving at the clinic, I’m pleasantly surprised at how efficient their setup is after years of dealing with surly nurses in packed walk-in clinics. After being greeted by a slew of friendly faces, I move my way through stations verifying my eligibility to donate, and once they’re sufficiently satisfied I’m not a heroin addict, I’m quickly whisked into a room where a nurse checks my hemoglobin levels.
I’ve never had my finger pricked before but my hands are shaking as she sanitizes my finger and checks my circulation. “This part is usually the scariest.” Gee. Thanks, lady.
It hurts; but not as much as anticipated. 119. The measurement required is 125 to be an eligible donor. She asks me if I want to try again. Why not? Already here…118.
Crap. She smiles kindly and tells me to contact my doctor and come back in half a year once I have my hemoglobin issues sorted, and sends me on a way with a nifty handout, “Why do I have low hemoglobin?”
Dejected, I walk past a room full of chatty donors enjoying their post-donation snacks and apple juice. Smug bastards. (Just kidding. Kind of.)
On my walk home, some of the disappointment begins to lift. Despite not being able to donate blood, I will count this as an attempted act of kindness. If I hadn’t gone today, I wouldn’t have received the gentle push to go visit my doctor (eugh!).
I will absolutely be back and donate my kick-ass hemoglobin-full blood in 6-8 months! Stay tuned.
Total Kindness Cost: $0