09-Jul-2010, Pune, India
Yesterday was another great day in my life. I had an opportunity to donate 350ml of my blood and this was my 3rd time. O+ (Hopeless?) is my group but remember, someone is ‘hopeful’ about someone like me donating blood.
My memory trickles back to 3 years when I decided to donate blood for the first time. I was both excited and nervous. Excited, because I felt good with the very basic thought of donating blood. I was thinking of myself as a Hero; someone’s life is going to be saved; someone’s operation is going to be successful; someone could open eyes; someone could start walking again; some family is going to be happy again;………so many things. Nervous, because I was donating blood for the first time. Will I be fine after that? Will I be able to walk, talk? What about the so-called giddiness? Will I faint? When will I get back the lost 350ml? What should I eat or do to replenish? Will I be able to work out after that? Will someone else expected to donate blood for me?
But, I was confident. Enthusiastic organizers and experienced donors were around me. Few questions were asked (again was nervous because I did not want to be sent back for some silly medical reasons), a simple Physical Check (I always think I’m fit to do anything, huh) was done, a small prick to test the HB count and a Big (oooch…) prick to draw the blood. I was lying down, thinking about my stars, wife, kids, father, friends, my future, my insurance policies(?) and the efficiency of the Indian Insurance companies to settle claims (if anything were too wrong on this), unfinished work, so on and so forth….at the same time while the dark red fluid from my body gushing through my veins, through the tube into the collecting bag.
In the end, it appeared to be very simple and took around 15 minutes to complete the process. I was handled by a team of professional doctors and staff who were very gentle with me throughout. A great feeling remained after everything was over. Few Parle-G biscuits (it’s actually a very BIG meal for many Indian Poor families) and a cup of ‘sugary’ hot chaai (Indian version of Tea) were offered to me. I was also given a certificate for my voluntary donation – wow! felt like another graduation day for me. No flash lights…no cameras….no press in front of me but I was really a Hero….within myself.
I always like to share my thoughts, knowledge, advice, energy, extend a helping hand to anyone in need, donate money to the poor and needy and be there even before asked. But sharing blood was very emotional. I felt I was giving more of myself for the first time. Imagine, what goes through the minds of a person who decided to donate his or her organ. Wow!!! will I ever do that? For now, it doesn’t appear to be an easy decision to make.
I was never driven to donate blood during my young ages and had very little knowledge about it. Probably never cared. I was also under a blind assumption that O+ is very common and there are many people who are already in a queue to donate blood. But in reality it is not true. Every blood group is important and needed to be donated.
Let us look at some statistics (thanks to Wikipedia) In India with over 1.1 Billion population 36% of the population has O+ group, 22.1 A+, 30.9 B+ and 6.4% AB+. The problem starts with the Negative groups; 2% O-, 0.8% A-, 1.1% B- and 0.2% AB- (making it the rarest). It is shocking that the rarest blood group individuals who fall victims to critical injuries or illness are in need of a group that is not simply available. Some groups are rare because they are not compatible with others or rare because they are simply not available. Many of the victims don’t see the end of the tunnel because not many donors are easily available or the blood banks do not have enough stock.
Very interestingly donating blood burns a lot of calories, reduces the risk of heart diseases, and stimulates the growth of red cells. Wow!!! Why did I not know about this 15 years ago?
I’ve recently visited the site http://www.indiabloodbank.com/ and registered myself as a donor. Hopefully, someone is going to call me and ask this ‘Hopeless’ person to donate blood. The Japanese blood type theory of personality is a popular belief that a person’s A B O blood type is predictive of their personality, character, and compatibility with others. What do you think about my personality and Character? Am I predictable? Am I compatible?
Finally, here are my wishes,
I wish I can donate blood every day!
I wish I have enough spare organs that I can donate!
I wish I can transform my blood group into one of those rarest groups whenever needed!
I wish we can buy Blood of any group in the corner medical store, I wish medical science advances to such an extent
I wish I can save every single life which requires anything that I can give…..not just the blood!