Last Tuesday we took M north to Boston Children’s Hospital for her (thankfully now infrequent) checkup with her pediatric rheumatologist. (Don’t worry - she’s still doing quite well.)
While we were at the hospital, I donated blood. Either Maggie or I nearly always give blood whenever we visit Children’s Hospital. Knowing I was going to donate, I made sure I had eaten something in the morning and had plenty of fluids in me.
They are always very friendly at the blood donation center of Children’s Hospital.
If you’ve never given blood at a place like this before, I can shed some light. I was going to write a first person account of my visit, but it was actually a pretty uneventful donation, as it usually is. So I thought I would just list some details that may be of interest to the neophyte.
Please give blood, if you can. If you are more comfortable in one place, then return to that place and give.
I am most comfortable in Boston. Donating at Boston Children’s is especially rewarding to us because they give you a pass for free parking at the hospital (It’s like free money!) and they’ll give you a T-shirt promoting blood donation. The friendly staff make you feel quite special. Add that to the excellent snacks and you’re definitely coming out ahead. Your body is making the blood anyhow, you may as well get something out of it. Boston Children’s is where I began giving blood during a stressful time when we were facing a chronic disease and close friends of ours had a newborn with tragic heart defects admitted to the very same hospital. It wasn’t hard to imagine the need we were assisting with. Childhood tragedy had become more concrete.
I used to be really afraid of needles. Girly man afraid. OK - I admit it, I am still afraid. But it always is less of a pinch than I think it’s going to be. You can get over a fear of needles; it’s manageable. This is especially true if you experience the positive feeling associated with donation. You’re giving an actual part of yourself to others. It’s a unique feeling which you have about 10 minutes to sit and contemplate.
And, of course, there are the treats.
On one visit to the hospital, we had K with us. She was probably about 7 or 8. The technicians agreed that if I donated they’d put me in the chair closest to the kitchenette and K could sit in there and read while I kept an eye on her. She was pretty well-behaved and books hold her attention, so I went for it. I worried a bit that she’s be upset by the process of donation, but I figured we’d see how it went.
Once I was immobilized it became clear that she trusted I was in no danger, and she was quite relaxed. She was also excited to be around all the snacks in the kitchenette. The Oreos grabbed her attention.
“Can I have Oreos?” she asked me from a few yards away as I was squeezing the ball. I told her she could have a couple of Oreos, and that was it, else her mother would object.
In child-brain translation she interpreted that as “a couple of 4-packs of Oreos.”
A few minutes later she exclaimed “I ate eight Oreos!” The technicians nearby were amused by my chagrin and burst out laughing.
I said “Please don’t tell your mother you ate that many cookies. Let me break it to her.” (This prompted a discreet round of laughter.)
Maggie got there with M just as I was finishing up and K went around the corner to the waiting room to join her. They were out of my field of vision, but not out of earshot so I could hear K’s words of greeting to my wife.
“I had eight Oreos!”
Cue laughter.Posted by James at June 7, 2007 7:45 AM
TrackBack URL for this entry: