I lost almost half-a-liter of blood today. Nothing gross or tragic. It all went straight into a pouch, siphoned from my left arm while I squeezed a stress ball in 5-second intervals. The bag containing my Type O blood (not rare, I know) will be used to replace the blood that was transfused into my ailing aunt earlier this week.
For some people, donating blood is an ordeal. The sight of needles and blood is enough to drain the color out of them. (My mother is one of them; she is superwoman but the sight of blood is her kryptonite.) But not me; I don’t have any issues with needles or blood. I’ve had blood drawn from me many times, both for tests and donations. And each time, I relished watching the medtech insert the needle into my alcohol-swabbed skin, and then seeing the first trickles of dark-red fluid ooze out of my arm and into the transparent syringe or tubing. The sight is a reminder for me of life and its wonders; that important things are not always in plain view.
I feel a dull ache in my left arm as I type this, and a slight throbbing behind my left ear. The puncture wound has closed and I’ve disposed of the cotton ball taped over it. There are still things I want to write about–like the candid Q-and-A with friends at Baywalk as the sun set, the lovelife talk over pasta and pizza, the family chat in the FX on the way back– but I feel a bit heady. I’m thinking my body has made a rollcall of its blood supply and found that 450cc is missing. So before my system presses the panic button, I think I’ll lie down and rest, to convince my body that all is well.