A little background information is needed before I begin. First, I have A- blood, which only around 6% of the U.S. population has, making it kind of rare. I caught onto this in college, when the Red Cross called me almost every week to donate.
Also, I don't mind giving blood. I have probably donated 10-15 times and have seen the importance of donating, due to family members needing blood in critical situations. With that said, I'm not a very good blood giver. I don't get anxious, however I have either passed out or got light-headed and had to be propped back, feet up, cold rag on forehead, hand-over mouth and nose coughing, etc. on more than one occasion...okay probably 75% of the time--but I've always successfully donated. Then came yesterday.
You ever have foresight...when you just know something is going to happen? Well as I was waiting for my pre-screening at the donation site, I glanced around to see who I wanted to draw my blood and who I didn't...and then I saw her. One girl, that I knew I didn't want, but would probably get. She wasn't wearing a sign that said "I'm brand new," but she had that ora about her. The usually process followed: pre-screening, big glass of water, escorted to the bed by the nice volunteer...which bed? The newbie. The one I had picked out from the very beginning. Why do I call her the newbie? Because she flat out told me she was new. Fine. I don't care. As long as she was good.
I told her my history, that I get light-headed, which she said was fine, she'll lay me back...okay. Then she started hunting for the vein, and couldn't find one...so I switched sides, still no luck. I think my veins knew about my inclination, because the Red Cross has never had a problem finding one before. She brought over another nurse, who found one right away....great. Then apparently it went away. She called another nurse, Jim, over--he found it again...great. Then Jim squatted next to me and started asking me questions to distract me...poke...waiting...waiting, Jim and newbie switch sides, I feel the needle being moved around, Jim says he can't find it...light-headed...take it out.
Now, I know I'm a little stubborn, and I could have walked away then, but I've never not been able to donate, and the Red Cross started their old trick again, and have called me the last two weekends--Saturday morning, 9 a.m., like clockwork. So I gritted my teeth and asked Jim if he wanted to try the other arm...forget newbie. He said okay, found a vein, went through the whole process again, marking, iodine, iodine again and then...poke...nothing. Finally a third nurse came over, moved the needle around and found it.
The best part was, that I had told newbie from the beginning that I only wanted to be stuck with that damn needle once..but no, two pokes, two fiddling around with it...an hour and a half later, two bandaged arms, two cookies in the canteen and one successful A- blood donation. From now on, at least when it comes to donating blood, I'm going to trust my gut...no more newbies.