*update at bottom*
It’s kindness week in Ottawa, and originally I was going to write about the things that we do with the lils to ensure that kindness becomes a way of life for them, and how to make kindness a habit that they don’t have to think about. We really try to do this by example all the time, but this week offers a chance to renew those efforts and look for new and continuing acts of kindness.
Then a couple of weeks ago a friend, Lara, suggested that a group of people get together and give blood during kindness week. I was intrigued and tempted, but didn’t commit. Although I have always wanted to give blood, I am deathly afraid of needles. I become the biggest baby in the world at the prospect of an injection, let alone a simple blood test. The thought of giving blood that is measured in pints makes me feel ill. It’s irrational, but it is what it is.
A few days went by after the initial call, and I could not stop thinking about giving blood. It hasn’t happened to date, but there is always the chance that someone in my family will need to use donated blood at some point in their life. I am not planning on this, I just know that it is a possibility. Is it right that I don’t even try to give blood? That I sit back and feel it’s OK to say no, just because I am scared?
This week Lara made a new call for donors. She’d organized a time this evening for us to go, and promised that she would hold my hand through the process. I said yes. This is a monumental step for me, and I admit that I am very nervous and a little nauseous right now. The truth is that I won’t know how hard it is until I try. It may be so built up in my mind and really not that big a deal. If it’s not for me, at least I will have tried, and hopefully done it once. I just hope that I don’t crush Lara’s hand in the process.
UPDATE: I was successful! The entire process was nowhere near as bad as I had built it up to be. When we arrived, I let them know that it was my first time and I was VERY scared. They were very good to me, answering all of my questions, keeping me distracted through the process, and not laughing too much at the fact that I kept my eyes closed for almost the entire time, even though they had covered my arm. This success despite the fact that there was no room for Lara to hold my hand!! We learned an added bonus trivia bit too – donating blood burns over 600 calories. So thanks for all your kind words and support, especially to Lara and Ron. I promise not to be such a baby next time!