That's what my sticker says! :)
But these things generally don't go smoothly for me. Seriously, they don't! Case in point, last time I went to give blood was a few weeks ago, and they tried sending me to a different location. Partway there, I chickened out. :)
But today - ah, today. I got to the place I volunteer, and saw that the church next door was doing a blood drive. PERFECT! I can donate blood while I'm here, still have plenty of time to do Bible study with the ladies, and just have a fantastic evening. No sweat.
So, I go to donate blood. I sit. I wait. I answer questions. I wait some more. I get poked for the hemoglobin test. I answer more questions. I wait some more.
Then the meanest, terriblest nurse comes to ask me the last few questions. Seriously, she was the stereotypical old, mean, sourpuss nurse. Then I realized she was also going to be the one to take my blood! Yikes!
So, eventually we go over to the blood sucking section. She puts stuff on my arms, gives me the thing to squeeze so she can see my vein, puts the needle in my arm and tells me to make sure not to move it. Then she leaves. I think to myself "Wow, she might be mean, but she is GOOD! The needle going in didn't hurt at all!" After about 5 minutes, I get concerned that she's not coming back and the bags are still next to me. Where's all my blood going? I was following all her instructions. So I move enough to look down at my arm - there was no needle. The pressure I felt? (This is embarrassing.....) Was her marking with a marker where my vein was. So, there was no pain because IT WAS A MARKER NOT A NEEDLE!
Eventually (like 10 minutes total), Nurse Meanie comes back and says "Well, you moved your arm but I guess I left you too long. So we'll start over I suppose." (I know she told me not to move it, but it was hurting from leaving it there in one position like that!" So eventually, we start and the blood starts flowing (yuck....). But I'm tough. I can handle this.
About two minutes later, Nurse Meanie says "Time for my break, so she'll watch you. Bye." Now, it's been so long since I've given blood that I don't know how long things are supposed to take. So I didn't get concerned by how long tehy were leaving me alone. Then all the sudden, the other nurse looked over at me, gasped, and rushed over. But after her initial gasp, she totally tried covering it (which was wise, as I would have freaked out if she had freaked out). I think my blood was overflowing or starting to, because there was a little mess. And when she took the thing out of my arm, it was bleeding profusely enough that she tried to not let me see it as it bled through TWO of the gauze pads they put on it. Then she said "Oh, you're seeing the iodine. Let me get you a clean one." But I could tell she was lying by a) her tone of voice and b) the fact that I could clearly see where the brownish iodine ended and where the bright red fresh blood was smeared all over the place.
So, three gauze pads later, she was able to stop the bleeding enough to bandage me up and take me to the cot so I could lay down if I felt I needed to. The juice people gave me juice, and after a few minutes, I was allowed to go to the official juice and cookies table instead. Then I was shaking because it was so cold, though it's 90 degrees and the AC isn't working, so maybe it wasn't really just that I was cold. :) Maybe it was a blood thing too.
After a few minutes, my poor, bruised arm and I came back to the house. This may sound strange, and maybe I just need more to drink (you have to drink extra when you give blood - I do drink a lot of water, but seeing as I also drink a lot of coffee, they may cancel out) but I'm still a little dizzy. And I have a headache. I think I might need another early bedtime! (Hopefully, this one will include sleep.)
These blood-giving excursions just never seem to turn out normal for me. :)