As a part of its social service event, Acclaim Social Club (ASC) organized a Blood Drive at Nepal Red Cross Society in Balkumari, Lalitpur on the 31st of January. This was my first time donating blood, and it was quite an experience.
To be honest, when the social club announced its plans for a blood donation, I was not readily up for it. I had never donated before and I have a teeny bit of fear of needles. Many were talking cheerfully about the event for days at the office, while the thought of an unusually large syringe had me on the edge. I planned of asking my wife, Sangeeta, to donate instead of me. I figured she would be representing my family and we will be doing our part.
The day arrived. We left Acclaim Technology around 11:30 AM and reached there by 12:00 PM. By we, I mean me, my wife and my team from Catch Themes. I parked my car and we walked over to register. Around 20 people from Acclaim Technology came with the aim of donating. While everyone else was waiting for his/her turn, I saw frantic people that had come to collect blood for their nearest and dearest ones who were admitted in a hospital. That just made me think about my family, and I thought to myself, “Such crises can happen to anyone, even my family and myself. I’d be helping someone else, someone I’ll never meet but someone whose life may be saved in part because of me.” The spirit of giving back to the society and the encouragement I got from my colleagues was the extra push I needed to actually donate.
Those who went in before me told me the blood donation staffers are really gentle and supportive. But I could not help but get a little shaky. I put on some good tunes to calm my nerves. Then, I was asked to come inside the extraction room. I was first seated by a middle-aged women who checked my blood pressure and asked a few questions regarding my medical history. It was determined I was healthy and eligible to donate and I was instructed to recline comfortably on a padded bench seat. The nurse then got the needle ready to insert in my vein. I could not look so I turned away. And just like that, the needle was in my arm and I was donating blood.
The needle insertion wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Just a little sting. A little physical discomfort for a good cause ain’t bad at all. After about 10 minutes or so, I had given a unit of blood. The nurse came, put a sterilized cotton ball on the tiny puncture and after making sure I was feeling OK, sent me to sit on a chair and gave me a mango juice to sip on. Prajjwal Acharya, from ASC, gave me some fruits to replenish my energy. Seeing the packet of my own blood, I got a little nauseous but I mentally gave myself a pat. It was such a simple and easy way to positively impact the lives of others.
After resting for a while, I was free to go. By 2:00 PM, everyone from our group had donated. I was much chuffed. I know I will become a regular donor. It really does feel wonderful to give back. The blood donation program went great. So for those of you thinking about donating yourself, and wondering if it will really make a difference, yes, it will. My heartfelt thanks to Nepal Red Cross Society, Lalitpur, for their professional attention and all of ASC members for making my first donation so memorable.