To Give or Not To Give

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By: Shea Harris

After Thanksgiving, I made it my goal to hit the gym on Monday post the holiday. Thank goodness it wasn’t a rough day, so I was able to get into the groove and hit Planet Fitness. Before I arrived to the gym, I already knew what I wanted to accomplish: a little bit of weight lifting for legs, 10 mins of cardio and a pyramid workout for the lower body. I could barely reach the doors of the gym before I was stopped by a woman holding up a sign: Donate Blood Today for Free Movie Tickets.

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Now usually I don’t do this but uh…I decided to donate blood.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I have a serious fear with needles. Every time a nurse or registered phlebotomist decides to puncture me, I leave feeling like the world has ended. Funny enough I don’t have a fear of needles when it comes to getting tattoos, but when it comes to taking blood! Sheesh! I start freaking out. Let’s be honest. We’ve all had that one person take blood from us and act like it’s difficult for them to find a vein. I’m no pro at find veins, but mine is literally visible. After a few bad run ins with the needle, I made an effort to refrain from giving blood unless it was necessary for my annual physical.

Today I had a change of heart and decided to donate blood. After reading a peer’s post in The Huffington Post about donating bone marrow, I promised that I’d donate blood the next time I saw the huge red bus. I completely understand that donating bone marrow and blood are completely different but, one fear at a time. Prior to donating, my blood pressure, temperature and blood oxygen levels were tested. I must say the young lady who took my blood was very helpful, knowledgeable and I barely felt the needle. I was the first person who gave blood at the location and by this time next week, I’ll know my blood type.

Again, I know this probably seems a bit wacky but I’m glad I was able to get past my selfishness and do something for someone else. I take pride in this moment because who knows, I might be able to help someone out in the near future!

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