Random Selfless Act: giving blood

It was high noon on Wednesday when I visited my local VA clinic for a quick stop. I needed to pick up a pair of shoe inserts I ordered a while ago and it had arrived to the clinic about a week ago.  I have been busy the past week and it was until today that I was able to stop by the clinic. As I walked in, I saw the Florida Blood bank’s sign on the wall and immediately a thought came on me to stop by and give blood. Without hesitation I went there with the intention to donate blood for the first time despite my fear of needles. I picked up my inserts and I asked the clerk, a fragile old man “where is the blood bank?” “the bank?”  He asked and I said, “The blood bank” stressing the “blood” word in case he misunderstands me. Without hesitation he gave me the directions and as I walked down the hall and out of the building, my conviction level when up a notch. I was going to do this and it was going to be today. As the two double doors opened I saw my objective, the Big Red Bus. Walking the distance in the open, I felt the intense heat over me and started to sweat and uncomfortable, sticky sweat. When I opened the bus doors I felt a wonderful rush of cool air in my face and I could not resist entering inside to cool off. However, I quickly realized that I just entered the point of no return and it was time to back up what I said I was going to do. Then fear crept in; my palms and feet started to sweat and I felt uneasy.  That’s when the  nurse greeted me, breaking the anxiety that was building up inside me. “No backing out now man”, I said to myself and talked with the nurse who answered a lot of questions I had and also asked me a lot of questions about my health. After the first screening to see if I was a good candidate, I was feeling very comfortable with the nurse and the process was felt even welcoming.  After everything was set up,  it was on, the time of truth. I sat in a comfortable reclining seat and the nurse quickly took over everything else, keeping my mind occupied into something else than my arm and the needle. I was offered juice, got chocolate chip cookies for after the donation, and the good nurse put cold pads on my face and neck which felt like going to a spa, so cool and so relaxing. I didn’t even feel the first pinch of the needle and the whole thing took about 10 minutes. I was like “that’s it?” and she said “yes, we are done!” I was so happy that after all these years, in fact my entire life, I held a false believe about donating blood because of my fear of needles. Turned out to be a blissful experience. When I saw the amount of blood I donated I was shocked to see not a blood vial like the ones I have done for lab work, but a bag full of my blood. The nurse said “with this bag you can potentially save three lives” and I was elated just to hear that. There is life in that bag to help save someone’s life and I carry a lot of it to give over and over without me doing anything but to sit there, relax and be pampered for doing something so wonderful. I cannot wait to do this again on a regular basis, to do another random act of selflessness to help save a life.